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Call for more specialist nurses

A shortage of nurses in Scotland who specialise in looking after people with Parkinson's disease must be addressed, the leader of the country's Labour party has said.

MSP Iain Gray said that around 10,000 people suffer from the degenerative brain disease in the country, yet there were only around 25 specialist nurses.

He accused the Scottish government of underestimating the scale of the problem, saying that Holyrood's figure of 4,800 diagnosed with the disease "significantly underestimates the number of sufferers".

"These figures are from patients attending primary care but do not measure the total prevalence of the disease in the population," he added.

According to Mr Gray, more than half of sufferers have never received treatment from a speech and language therapist or an occupational therapist, while more than one in three has never received treatment from a physiotherapist.

But a Scottish government spokesman defended Holyrood's record on healthcare, saying that the SNP has provided an extra 6,200 NHS staff since it came into office.

He added: "There is now a record number of doctors, nurses and consultants employed by NHS Scotland, including additional Parkinson's disease nurses employed by NHS Lothian."

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Scottish Government