Martin Whitfield MSP is backing a call for co-ordinated action to improve care and support for people living with a neurological condition in Scotland.

Neurological conditions affect the brain, spine or nervous system – and about 1 in 6 people in Scotland live with one. They are the third biggest cause of illness in Scotland, but a recent Neurological Alliance of Scotland survey of over 800 people exposed significant shortfalls in mental wellbeing support, delays to accessing vital treatment and care and a lack of information and support at diagnosis.

Mr Whitfield is joining colleagues in amplifying the voices of over 1,700 Scots who have signed a UK-wide petition calling for action, including better coordination and shared learning about how to improve support.

The South Scotland MSP has supported a parliamentary motion calling on the Scottish Government and other UK administrations to work together to improve the care and support that people with neurological conditions need.

Living with a neurological condition can be very difficult for people, and the impact on day-to-day life is often severe. For many individuals and families, the impact of a brain, spine or nervous system condition is enormous. The neurological condition landscape is complex and the challenges that people live with can vary considerably between, and within, conditions.

Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“People across South Scotland have signed this petition calling for a UK neurological taskforce.  I know that people with neurological conditions face serious challenges, including long delays for diagnosis, treatment and care as well as difficulties accessing specialist services including neuro rehabilitation and neuro psychology.  

“I stand with the 1 in 6 campaign to create a neurological taskforce which will help with getting people access to the right support at the right time.”

Alice Struthers, Programme Director for the Neurological Alliance of Scotland said:

“Over 1700 people across Scotland have signed the petition calling for a UK wide neurological taskforce. One in six people, which is around one million people in Scotland, live with a neurological condition but there simply isn’t the workforce or services in place to provide the support they need. The report we published last year shines a depressing light on the experiences people are having in living with a neurological condition. 

“A neurological task force would enable shared learning to advance practices across the whole of the UK.  It would also help align prevalence data collection, which is urgently needed in order to prepare for the future, for instance when it comes to planning service delivery.  This is particularly important when we are facing a sharp rise in conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s.”

Further information about the campaign can be found at