Martin Whitfield MSP has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament highlighting a new report on the urgent need for action to improve MS and neurology services in Scotland.

Published by the MS Society Scotland, “Neurology Now”, explains how the pressure on neurology services, already significant pre-pandemic, has been exacerbated over the last year and calls for strong action from both the Scottish and UK Governments to act to improve MS and Neurology services.

Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“I was pleased to table this motion at Holyrood and help the MS Society to highlight the report’s important findings. Covid has added to the pressures on already over-stretched neurological services across the country and that has to be prioritised by governments here in Scotland and at a UK level.

“Thousands of people across Southern Scotland are living with MS and other neurological conditions. They deserve to be able to access professional care and support from the NHS when they need it. That’s why funding for improving neurology and MS services must be a core part of our health recovery plans in Scotland.”

Morna Simpkins, Director of MS Society Scotland, said:

“The findings from our report are deeply troubling, and we are glad Martin Whitfield MSP has highlighted them in his parliamentary motion.

“MS can be relentless, painful and disabling, so having access to the right professional support at the right time is essential. Healthcare professionals, like MS nurses, want to support people with MS – but there simply isn’t enough of them and the backlog from the pandemic is huge. We need to see urgent action from both the Scottish and UK Governments to address this crisis – they’re close to breaking point.”

The full motion is as follows:

MS Society Report, Neurology Now

That the Parliament recognises MS Society’s report, Neurology Now, which found that 63% of Neurology specialists find it difficult to provide a good service to their patients; understands that 15,500 people in Scotland are waiting for an outpatient neurology appointment, an increase of 25% since December 2020;  notes that as waiting times for neurology appointments have increased the number of people diagnosed with MS in Scotland has decreased with 540 people diagnosed in 2020 compared to 450 in 2019; recognises that Scotland has one of the highest prevalence of MS of anywhere in the world and calls on the Scottish Government to not leave people with MS and other neurological conditions behind, and take urgent action to improve neurology and MS services.

The Neurology Now report can be found on the MS Society website.