MS sufferers in islands ‘are victims of discrimination’

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Health chiefs in the Western Isles are having to advertise a specialist multiple sclerosis (MS) nursing post for a third time because the salary is too low, campaigners claim.

The Western Isles, which has 90 diagnosed MS sufferers, is the only health board in Scotland without a specialist nurse.

Scotland has the highest rates of MS in the world.

Sufferers who need to see a consultant have to make a 12-hour journey to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow.

Last July, after a three-year campaign, funding for the full-time post was agreed but the salary grading was determined at band 6 (£25,528 – £34,189) rather than band 7 (£30,460 - £40,157) which would be the usual payment for a specialist nurse.

MS sufferer Christine Stewart, 54, from Stornoway, said: “We feel we are being discriminated against. Quite simply, not enough money is being offered for an experienced professional.”