MSPs’ grow­ing con­cerns

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Jonathan Ged­des

Ruther­glen MSP Clare Haughey MSP said she was“con­cerned”about the lack of an MS nurse cov­er­ing Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang.

She also ques­tioned the pay grade of the MS nurse in the re­gion and the caseload they were ex­pected to han­dle.

She said:“While I have been re­as­sured that they are look­ing to re­cruit two nurses, with the sec­ond post ini­tially funded by the MS Trust, this still leaves a gap in pro­vi­sion in South La­nark­shire un­til they are in place.

“How­ever, the newly re­cruited nurses will be paid at band six, when MS Trust nurses across the UK are paid as band seven. In fact, NHS La­nark­shire is the only Scot­tish main­land NHS Board that does not em­ploy band seven MS nurses.

“The pre­vi­ous MS nurse in La­nark­shire had a caseload of around 1100, when the MS So­ci­ety say that a caseload of around 358 is more re­al­is­tic.

“Hav­ing two nurses in the ser­vice will not be enough to meet the needs of peo­ple with MS in La­nark­shire, but it is, at least, an im­prove­ment.

“For MS nurses to have ca­reer pro­gres­sion, and for there to be ef­fec­tive suc­ces­sion plan­ning in this field, health boards must look at their skill mix in th­ese ser­vices to make them sus­tain­able, and con­tinue to be able to pro­vide the ser­vice that those with MS de­serve.”

Glas­gow Labour MSP, James Kelly, said:“It’s shock­ing that in La­nark­shire there is only one MS nurse post, cur­rently deal­ing with a caseload four times the rec­om­mended limit.

“MS patients re­quire com­plex and spe­cial­ist care and it is vi­tal that the Scot­tish Govern­ment en­sures there is ad­e­quate pro­vi­sion for health boards to be suf­fi­ciently re­sourced. This is a deeply con­cern­ing story and I will be work­ing with Labour col­leagues to raise with the Scot­tish Govern­ment fur­ther.”

Ques­tions Clare Haughey MSP

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