Published: 08/12/2011 17:00 - Updated: 09/12/2011 10:52

MSP pledges to keep MS high on the political agenda

 

Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant speaks at a reception to celebrate the work of MS specialists MS at the Scottish Parliament this week
Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant speaks at a reception to celebrate the work of MS specialists at the Scottish Parliament this week

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has pledged to keep MS high on the political agenda at the Scottish Parliament.

She secured a Members Debate on Thursday to highlight the postcode lottery for treatment, something which the MS Society has campaigned for.

She also spoke of the need for better care for people with MS at a reception held in parliament to celebrate the work of MS Specialists.

Scotland has one of the highest rates of MS anywhere in the world – with approximately 10,500 people living with the condition.

For many of these people, accessing quality healthcare is a postcode lottery.

Clinical standards were launched in 2009 to address this problem and set out the levels of care people with MS should expect, wherever they live in Scotland.

Specialist healthcare is identified as a key part of care for people with MS.

Mrs Grant MSP said: "It is clear that the right support at the right time makes an enormous difference to people with living with MS.

"It is vital we keep MS high on the political agenda as well as recognising the fantastic work of MS specialists".

The MS Society (www.mssociety.org.uk) is the UK’s largest charity dedicated to supporting everyone whose life is touched by multiple sclerosis (MS).

The charity provides an award-winning freephone helpline (0808 800 8000), specialist MS nurses and funding more than 80 vital MS research projects in the UK.

MS is the most common disabling neurological condition affecting young adults and an estimated 100,000 people in the UK have MS.

It is the result of damage to myelin – the protective sheath surrounding nerve fibres of the central nervous system – which interferes with messages between the brain and the body.

For some people, MS is characterised by periods of relapse and remission while for others it has a progressive pattern.

Symptoms range from loss of sight and mobility, fatigue, depression and cognitive problems. There is no cure and few effective treatments.

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