There are approximately 12,400 people in Scotland who currently have Parkinson’s diagnosis and this number is predicted to increase by 40% within the next 20 years. Due to such numbers, the SNP has taken steps to best support everyone living with Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions, whether this be research or access to the best possible care and support.
Last year the SNP Scottish Government published Scotland’s first draft National Action Plan on Neurological Conditions (NAPNC). This included 17 commitments on how to improve neurological care across Scotland.
Unlike the NICE guidance on Parkinson’s, the Scottish Government’s NAPNC does make reference to mental health issues for those living with neurological conditions.
As such I and my colleagues in the Scottish Government are aware that people suffering from Parkinson’s disease may experience a range of mental health issues. And, I welcome that the SNP Scottish Government has taken numerous steps to ensure adequate mental health provision for all who need it in Scotland. This includes a £1 billion investment in mental health in 2017/18.
The SNP and Scottish Government are constantly looking to improve services for all Scots which is why on 20 May this year John Scott QC was announced as chair of the Scottish Government’s review of the Mental Health Act.
Whilst I am happy of what the SNP has achieved with respect to Parkinson’s and mental health, I recognise there is more to be done and so I along with my colleagues in the SNP will endeavour to revise and reflect on how best to support and care for those living with Parkinson’s.