SNP MSP Christina McKelvie is leading a debate in the Scottish Parliament on global recognition day for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) to help raise awareness of the condition and its impact on families in Scotland.
The MSP will highlight how the Scottish Government is working to ensure that people living with MND have access to the best possible care, support and research.
The SNP in government has invested £2.5 million in a Specialist Nursing and Care Fund each year since 2015, more than doubling the number of MND specialist nurses across the country.
The Scottish Government is also developing Scotland’s first National Action Plan on Neurological Conditions, investing in research capacity and bringing major MND studies to Scotland. Since 2015, the government has committed more than £750,000 has been committed in Scotland to research into MND and is funding two new recipients of the Gordon Aikman Scholarship again this year.
Christina McKelvie MSP said:
“When I started discussing MND in the chamber 11 years ago, the average life expectancy for someone with the condition was 14 months. It is now 20 months, and I believe this is due to better care and more joined up support across Scotland.
“But we cannot rest until we find a cure. And that’s why the MND register is so important. The more people that sign up, the more data we have to improve research, and the better we will be at ensuring better short, medium and long-term care.
“I hope that my debate in the Scottish Parliament today will complement MND Scotland’s campaign to bust some of the myths around the condition. The charity has done a fantastic job raising awareness so far, with their “let me speak” campaign winning support from the Scottish Government to ensure that iPads, eye gaze technology and other communication equipment is available on the NHS so that people with MND can continue to communicate effectively.
“When our friends and their families lose their voices to MND, we honour them by raising our voices in this chamber and throughout Scotland at any opportunity.
“I am also delighted that our new Scottish Social Security system, which is embedded in a culture of support, dignity and respect, is providing automatic entitlement and lifetime awards to people with MND. This will make an immeasurable difference to families, I know only too well what my family went through to get support.
“For those we have lost and those facing life with MND - let’s face the future with determination and hope in our hearts that we can find a cure. I wish MND Scotland and all organisations around the world a hope-filled global awareness day.”