Health chiefs in Moray have vowed to devise an “interim plan” to combat a staffing crisis which has deprived Parkinson’s sufferers of support.
Highlands and Islands MSP Douglas Ross met NHS Grampian bosses following the revelation last week that the area’s only specialist nurse had quit her post at Elgin’s Dr Gray’s Hospital.
Concerns over the provision of local services for the 200 people with the neurological condition had already been raised after a doctor at Dr Gray’s retired and another took a sabbatical.
Mr Ross held talks with the chief officer of the Moray Health and Social Care Partnership, Pam Gowans, to outline his fears for struggling residents.
He said: “With the current Parkinson’s specialist nurse now working out her notice period, it is imperative NHS Grampian acts swiftly to allay the fears of those living with this dreadful condition.”
Mr Ross added he was heartened to learn that the regional health board was working on an “interim plan” to ensure patients continued to receive care, which will be put in place in the coming weeks.
Mrs Gowans also pledged to communicate with patients throughout the turbulent period to ensure they remain aware of how the situation is developing.
Mr Ross argued it was “vital” replacement cover was secured “as quickly as possible”.
NHS Grampian has been forced to bring in a temporary consultant while its remaining Parkinson’s doctor is on leave.
The Scotland director of Parkinson’s UK, Katherine Crawford, responded: “National standards make it clear that ongoing access to a Parkinson’s nurse and specialist consultant is essential to manage this complex condition.”