Gordon Aikman scholarship projects announced

Gordon Aikman, MND campaigner, who is to have a lecutre theatre named after him.''Picture: Lisa Ferguson/TSPL.
Gordon Aikman, MND campaigner, who is to have a lecutre theatre named after him.''Picture: Lisa Ferguson/TSPL.

The first two recipients of the Gordon Aikman Scholarship have now been announced in the run up to the first anniversary of the death of the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) campaigner.

The Gordon Aikman Scholarship was set-up in memory of the Kirkcaldy-born activist to support people affected by MND, or their carers, and healthcare professionals to research and develop practical improvements in the way people with MND are cared for. The fund, which is worth £50,000, is joint-funded by the charity, MND Scotland and the Scottish Government.

The first two scholarships have been awarded to Alison Clarke, lead clinical nurse specialist in the long term ventilation service at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow and Dianne Fraser, clinical specialist for Motor Neurone Disease, neurology department at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Alison will be looking at how best to introduce people with MND to non-invasive ventilation, for example bringing people into hospital or training them in their own home, and to establish best practice across the country.

Dianne will investigate the potential of rolling out a technique for MND patients across Scotland, called Breath Stacking, which can reduce distress when choking occurs, keep the lungs elastic and healthy, and may reduce hospital admissions.

Lawrence Cowan, chairman of MND Scotland and close friend of Gordon Aikman’s, said: “Gordon transformed MND care in this country. With these scholarships we want to make a difference to the lives of people affected by MND.

“I am delighted that Alison and Dianne will take forward a new phase of transforming MND care in Scotland.”