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Friday, May 26, 2017

Rutherglen Parkinson's sufferer says NHS Lanarkshire could cut provision

May 26, 2017

Harry Hay fought tirelessly to have a dedicated Parkinson’s nurse operating in the Lanarkshire area, eventually having one installed 15 years ago.

Harry Hay (right) pictured with then Rutherglen MSP James Kelly after the pair suiccessfully lobbied for a second Parkinson's nurse in Lanarkshire

A man who suffers from Parkinson’s disease has warned Lanarkshire could see the level of care cut after a nurse he helped bring to the region quit her job.
Harry Hay, who lives in Cambuslang, fought tirelessly to have a dedicated Parkinson’s nurse operating in the Lanarkshire area, eventually having one installed 15 years ago.
More recently, with help from then Rutherglen MSP James Kelly, a second position was created.
But the original nurse is set to leave the role at the end of this month.
Harry, 68, is now concerned NHS Lanarkshire will not bring in a like-for-like replacement. He says although the nurse leaving was a trained Parkinson’s nurse, the second position was merely for a neurological nurse with an interest in Parkinson’s disease.
Harry, who was diagnosed 17 years ago, also raised concerns about the pay structure, saying the two Parkinson’s nurses were at a grade six level while in other health boards they were at a grade seven.
Speaking to the Reformer, Harry said: “The nurse is leaving to go to a private company.
“She has done 15 years on low money.
“She could have gone for grade seven jobs in that time but she was so dedicated to her patients.
“You won’t get anyone to say a bad word about her.
“For the first three years Parkinson’s UK paid her wages.
“But when James Kelly and I got the second nurse is was advertised as a neurological nurse rather than a Parkinson’s nurse.
“Everyone in Scotland pays their Parkinson’s nurses at a grade seven level, apart from Lanarkshire.
“I’ve no reason to trust they will bring in the same level of nurse. I’m not saying they will not fill the post, but I want them to know someone is watching them.”
James Kelly, now an MSP for the Glasgow region, has written to NHS Lanarkshire about the matter on behalf of Harry.
He said: “I am aware from Harry Hay and other constituents the invaluable role that Parkinson’s nurses play in supporting local people.
“It is essential that a replacement nurse is recruited urgently.
“NHS Lanarkshire need to move quickly to make sure a proper level of support continues.”
Jean Donaldson, associate director for nursing for the South Lanarkshire Heath and Social Care Partnership, said: “We are currently in the process of recruiting a full-time Parkinson’s nurse who will replace the current Parkinson’s nurse when they leave the post.”

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