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Briggs backs calls for restoration of specialist headache service in Lothian

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative & Unionist MSP for Lothian and the Shadow Health Secretary, is backing Lothian constituents who suffer from severe headaches and migraines and who are calling for the region’s specialist headache service to be restored. Scotland formally had 3 specialist NHS headache centres in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh but the specialist Edinburgh service based at the city’s Western General Hospital was discontinued, meaning some Lothian patients are having to travel as far as Aberdeen to access treatment. Miles has raised the matter with NHS Lothian and with the Scottish Government through written Parliamentary questions.

Speaking today Miles said:

“I have been contacted by a number of Lothian constituents who suffer from acute headaches and migraines and who are frustrated and disappointed that they are now unable to access the specialist headache service which formally was offered in Edinburgh. This service was greatly valued by those who used it and made a real difference to many constituents.

“As things currently stand some Lothian patients with severe headaches and migraines face inconvenient and potentially costly journeys to as far as Aberdeen if they want to access a specialist headache service.

“Given the growing population of Lothian and the fact that over 30% of neurology consultations in hospital are for headaches, I hope that NHS Lothian and the Scottish Government will look again at re-establishing a specialist headache service in this area so that Lothian residents have access to the best possible expertise on the same basis that patients in NHS Greater Glasgow and NHS Grampian have.”

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* Please see below the written Parliamentary questions as tabled by Miles.

Question S5W-13169: Miles Briggs, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 07/12/2017

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to improve services for patients with headache disorders.

Question S5W-13168: Miles Briggs, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 07/12/2017

To ask the Scottish Government how it ensures that there is (a) a patient-centred care approach and (b) consistency in (i) clinical practice and (ii) outcomes for patients being treated for headaches.

Question S5W-13167: Miles Briggs, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 07/12/2017

To ask the Scottish Government whether NHS Lothian patients who require specialist headache services are able to access the specialist headache centres in Glasgow and Aberdeen, and, if so, what its response is to concerns regarding the costs of travel to these centres from Lothian.

Question S5W-13166: Miles Briggs, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 07/12/2017

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on NHS Lothian no longer having a specialist headache centre, in light of it previously having one in Edinburgh, and what discussions it has had with NHS Lothian on this issue.

Miles Briggs