LOCAL MSP Nigel Don has pledged to help ensure that all people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in Scotland have access to the right treatment, care and support regardless of where they live.
Mr Don added his support to the MS Society’s ‘Stop the MS Lottery’ campaign after the organisation showcased the results from its latest report, ‘A Lottery of Treatment and Care’, during a reception at the Scottish Parliament last week.
Mr Don attended to show his support for the organisation and to meet people living with the condition.
The report follows the largest ever survey of people with MS and shows that good progress has been made in Scotland and other parts of the UK, but highlighted areas in which further work and improvements are required.
Mr Don said “I was delighted to be able to participate in the Parliamentary debate and took the opportunity to highlight some of the great work that the MS Society has done.
“It has produced the wonderful ‘My MS, My Needs’ report, which gives us a picture of what is happening around the country and gives us cause for concern and food for thought.
“The survey would not have been possible without the groundbreaking work in setting up a database of those who have been diagnosed with MS. I’m pleased to be able to show my support for this important campaign and I know the SNP Government is committed to ensuring that everyone with MS is able to access the care and support that they need.
“MS affects many of my constituents and everyone should be able to get the treatment, services and support they need. I will continue to work with my constituents, fellow MSPs and organisations to drive this campaign forward”.
Although the report found that progress has been made, it also revealed that six out of 10 eligible people with MS are not taking a disease modifying drug for their condition; two in 100 people with MS use one of two licensed symptom management treatments and half of those who are struggling financially and are in need of social care support are unable to access it.
Christine Carlin, the MS Society’s director for Scotland, said: “There are over 10,500 people living with MS in Scotland and it is essential that these people can access the right treatments, services and support in order to manage their condition.
“We have been delighted by the support we have received from MSPs throughout MS Week and at our reception. By working together we can stop the MS Lottery.”
Cat Johnson, who spoke at the event, was diagnosed with MS when she was 21 years old.
She said: “Living with a fluctuating condition like MS means that you never really know how you’re going to feel from day to day. It is absolutely essential that we can access the right treatments, services and support when we need them.
“When all this is in place, people with MS can live independent lives. Without it, you’re struggling with the symptoms of your condition and the physical and social barriers that stop you from living your life to the full.
Launching its ‘Stop the MS Lottery’ campaign, the MS Society has asked the Scottish Government to ensure improved and equitable access to treatment, care and support by people living with MS. Further details about the campaign can be found at www.mssociety.org.uk.