MS Nurse appointed

NHS Western Isles is delighted to announce that an MS Specialist Nurse is due to start work in the Western Isles shortly, following a successful interview process.

The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society and NHS Western Isles jointly agreed funding arrangements for the post. The MS Society has agreed to provide funding for an MS Nurse for nine months, on the understanding that NHS Western Isles will continue to fund the post. The interview panel included a representative from the national MS Society and a representative from the Western Isles branch of the MS Society, as well as senior staff from NHS Western Isles.

Successful applicant, Rachel Morrison, will be based in Stornoway as the MS Specialist Nurse. Rachel currently works in Broadbay Medical Practice, and she will start in her new position with NHS Western Isles early in May 2012. Rachel has 22 years of nursing experience and also has experience of nursing patients with Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological conditions.

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson said: “The Board is delighted that Rachel has been appointed as our local MS Specialist Nurse. She brings with her a commitment to improve the care and services provided to people with MS in the Western Isles. More than 80 people in the Western Isles are diagnosed with MS, and the Board fully recognises how beneficial it will be for these individuals and their carers/families to have the support and care provided by Rachel to promote symptom management, gain psychological support and to be empowered to self manage their condition. This will provide a timely and responsive service, enhancing continuity of care.”

He added: “We are delighted to have been able to successfully work in partnership with the MS Society to be able to develop this service. Whilst this appointment has been a long time in coming, we believe it is the right way forward and the best support we can offer to MS patients in the Western Isles.”

MS Society Service Development Manager Andrew Johnston commented: “The MS Society has worked closely with the health board over recent years to ensure a MS nurse was appointed to the area. This is great news for people affected by MS in the Western Isles as it will help them manage their condition day-to-day.

“We welcome Rachel into her post and look forward to working with her moving forward.”

NHS Western Isles also continues to progress with plans to further develop local neurological services for the wide range of neurological conditions, which will involve investment in training for staff, and the development of a formal network with a mainland Board for specialist support.