MND Nurses in Scotland - Update

Update on the commitment from The Scottish Government to double the number of Specialist MND nurses in Scotland.

Posted : 26/01/2016

On 7th January 2015, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, committed to doubling the number of MND Specialist Nurses, in Scotland, and to ensuring that they are paid for from public funds, instead of being 80% funded by MND Scotland.

The Scottish Government committed £700,000 to this pledge and as of April 2015, MND Specialist Nurses, in Scotland, have been paid from the NHS. Scottish Government funding went to the four neurological centres in Scotland – NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lothian, Tayside and Grampian – as well as NHS Highland. With the funding, the health boards were to ensure an MND specialist nurse service would be provided for MND patients across Scotland.

Unfortunately the deadline for new MND Specialist Nurses to be in post, which was set for 31st October 2015, has been missed. MND Scotland is disappointed that this deadline was not met but we are confident that the new nurses will be in position by 31st March 2016.

Below is an outline of the progress that is being made by each NHS Board to ensure the number of MND Specialist Nurses in Scotland doubles. This is the most up to date information as known by MND Scotland and we will keep updating this as and when we receive new information.

NHS Grampian

Note: WTE = whole time equivalent, CNS = Clinical Nurse Specialist (also known as Specialist Nurse)

A new full time post is to be created by NHS Grampian. The new post has been advertised and interviews are set to take place on Friday 4th March 2016.

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

In the West of Scotland, two new posts have been created and recruited for. Both of the successful candidates are now in post.

NHS Highland

The hours of the existing MND Specialist Nurse has been increased and a new part-time post has been created. Recruitment to this new post has been completed and the post holder will start on 7th March 2016.

NHS Lothian

There are currently two MND Specialist Nurses employed by NHS Lothian and both members of staff have had their hours increased. A new part-time post will also be created and will be based in Forth Valley Health Board, covering Forth Valley and Fife. According to the response from Scottish Government, this post ‘will be advertised in early 2016’.

NHS Tayside

The hours of both the existing MND Specialist Nurses have been increased so that both now work a 30 hour week. Another part-time post has been created, advertised with a closing date of 8th January 2016.

Once all of the above posts have been appointed there will be 11.85 WTE (whole time equivalent) MND Specialist Nurses working in Scotland.

In addition to this, it is MND Scotland’s understanding that both Orkney and Shetland are looking to give an existing nurse specific responsibilities for MND as an additional part of their job description.