Kirkcaldy MND campaigner welcomes funding for specialist nurses

Gordon Aikman has welcomed the NHS funding package
Gordon Aikman has welcomed the NHS funding package

Kirkcaldy MND campaigner Gordon Aikman has welcomed an NHS funding package to double the number of specialist Motor Neurone Disease nurses in Scotland.

The move was announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last week after she met Gordon (29) at the end of last year.

She revealed the NHS is to begin funding the specialist nurses who care for MND patients in Scotland, currently paid for through charity donations, this year and pledged to double their number.

The funding is part of a £2.5 million-a-year package to be invested in specialist nursing and care.

Former Kirkcaldy High pupil Gordon was diagnosed with the incurable condition last summer when he was working for the Better Together campaign.

When he met with the First Minister before Christmas he asked for the number of specialist MND nurses to be increased from seven to 14.

Nicola Sturgeon said: “MND support has been championed by many, not least by Gordon and his inspiring campaign to raise awareness of the condition.

‘‘ I am confident that we can continue to improve care and provide better support for people living with MND.”

Giving his reaction to the news, Gordon said: “I am delighted. This will transform the lives of Scottish MND patients, including me. It is up to the UK parties to commit to double MND research funding so we can find a cure for this horrific disease.

‘‘This is a victory for the thousands of supporters who demanded action through, MSPs and the First Minister who answered the call for change.”

Press teams at quiz night

A fundraising quiz in aid of MND Scotland was held at the Ghillie Dhu in Edinburgh on January 8. The event featured 41 teams - including two from the Fife Free Press Group.

As well as the quiz, there was also a raffle and a silent auction held to raise as much money as possible for the charity. Prizes included dinner, bed and breakfast at Tigerlily, Filmhouse tickets and tickets to the rugby at Murrayfield. There was a good turnout at the fundraiser which saw £6000 raised on the night.

Gordon thanked all those who attended.