George, Stacey and Stacey's father Tom during this years MS Week

World MS Day 2015

Today is World MS Day.  George, whose wife Stacey has MS, is the Convenor of the Cross Party Group on MS in the Scottish Parliament and below is the motion he recently submitted in recognition of this years World MS Day.

George, Stacey and Stacey's father Tom during this years MS Week

George, Stacey and Stacey’s father Tom during this years MS Week

World MS Day 2015

That the Parliament acknowledges World MS Day as research by the MS Society reveals that many people are misdiagnosed and live in uncertainty for years before MS diagnosis; notes that the survey of over 1,500 people with MS across the UK found that 81% had been misdiagnosed by their GP, more than a quarter were told that they had a trapped nerve, one in 10 were misdiagnosed with depression or anxiety or stress and a further 11% were told they had had a stroke; notes that the MS Society is highlighting the importance of GPs recognising the warning signs and referring people promptly to a consultant neurologist who can then make an accurate diagnosis; further notes that the society is calling for the role of specialist nurses to be recognised, and while it considers that the commitment from the First Minister for an additional £2.5 million investment in specialist nursing and care is welcomed, it would be helpful for further guidance to be published on how this will help those diagnosed with MS.

# i support sport

#isupportsport Says George

At the recent SNP Party Conference the Scottish Sports Alliance’s #isupportsport campaign received a host of new supporters as Paisley’s MSP George Adam joined fellow SNP Party officials in getting their #isupportsport selfie.

While getting their selfie George also spoke with the Scottish Sports Alliance about #whysportmatters. #whysportmatters details the impact of sport and being active across all areas of society: health, mental health, older adults and social care, education, the workforce, the economy, communities and social cohesion. Participating in sport/being active have been described as “the best buy in public health” – it fundamentally supports people to live longer, healthier and happier lives and provides benefits to individuals, society and the whole population.# i support sport

George commented, “Sport is a big part of my life, both personally and professionally.  Personally, I am a passionate supporter of St Mirren and the Scottish National Football Team, as well as the Paisley Pirates ice hockey team.  You’ll hear me cheering on Andy whenever he is playing tennis and shouting at the TV when Scotland are playing rugby.  Professionally, I have seen just how important sport and an active lifestyle can be.  Not only is it good for your health, it’s a great way to make friends and have fun.  Getting children involved in sport from an early age and keeping them hooked can have such a positive impact on their life, while keeping active in your latter years can be vital in preventing health concerns.  Sport really does matter and that’s why #isupportsport.

Kim Atkinson, CEO of the Scottish Sports Association, said “Already nearly one-fifth of our population participate in sport through one of Scotland’s 13,000 sports clubs. While having fun, they already reap the many benefits of being active – benefits that we’d like more people to enjoy.

‘Currently 2,500 people in Scotland die every year from being physically inactive – yet participating in sport and being active can reduce the risks of premature mortality by up to 30%. We need to embrace the many benefits of participating in sport – from sheer enjoyment to positive contributions to health, mental health, education and economic productivity as highlighted by #whysportmatters.

‘Our members provide opportunities for people of all ages to get active and we would encourage everyone to find their sport(s) and to join us in saying #isupportsport.”

George at Glasgow Airport Amanda McMillan Alyn Smith MEP

Passengers Numbers will Increase as APD is Cut

A recent report by Edinburgh Airport ‘The impact of reducing APD on Scotland’s airports’ has highlighted the benefits to our airports, economy and tourism sector, a reduction of 50% in Air Passenger Duty (APD) would create. Glasgow Airport alone would be projected to receive 200,000 extra passengers a year, bring along with it countless positives for the local and national economies. This reports comes days before Glasgow Airport released figures showing that they enjoyed their busiest February in 8 years, welcoming 510,000 passengers and boosting 24 months of consecutive growth.George at Glasgow Airport Amanda McMillan Alyn Smith MEP

Speaking recently, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said, “For far too long, our airports have been working wonders but with one hand tied behind their backs. Glasgow Airport has continued to grow it passenger numbers during difficult times, but the UK Government continues to hinder our local airport further by imposing high levels of APD on each passenger that travels. Thankfully, APD looks set to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government has already confirmed that it intends to reduce APD by 50% within the next session of Parliament, with a view to eventually abolishing the tax when public finances allow.

‘Since becoming Paisley’s MSP, I have on a number of occasions spoke with Amanda McMillan, Managing Director of Glasgow Airport and APD is always high on the agenda. If we want to help our economy grow, we can’t impose regressive taxes which not only impact on the airport, but increase the costs to every one of us when travelling in search of sun, sea and sand. The devolution of APD to the Scottish Parliament really can’t come soon enough. Let’s hope whoever is 10 Downing Street after May 7th respects the Scottish people and deals with the APD issue early in their term in office.”

Speaking yesterday, the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Keith Brown said, “Over the past four or five years, I have been at meetings with all the major airports in Scotland and most of the major airlines—airlines that in other situations will sometimes be at each other’s throats in a competitive environment—and it is remarkable that they sit together and say the same thing. There would be the same benefits in Glasgow, in Edinburgh, in Aberdeen and throughout the country, and in particular there would be benefits to individuals who currently have to endure one of the highest taxes of its kind in the world.

‘Even better for the Scottish economy, we would have an increase in passengers coming to this country, many of whom, we know, have said, “We’re not going to go to the UK. We’re going to go to France.” People from South America and various other parts of the world will go to France, not least because the visa requirements are less onerous, but especially because the airport tax that is applied to them is much lower there. Let us get the tax devolved and let us get that business back.”

George town hall landscape

SNP Investment in NHS Supports Staffing Increase

Paisley’s MSP George Adam has welcomed new statistics showing a significant increase in NHS staff in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board area – and is paying tribute to the hard work and dedication of local NHS staff.George town hall landscape

The figures published this week show that the total number of Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) staff in the NHSGGC area has grown by 2.8 per cent over since the SNP came to office. NHS staff numbers in Scotland as a whole are now standing at a record high.

A recent Survation poll has found that the SNP is the party which people most trust with the NHS – by a factor of more than two-to-one over Labour.

Commenting, George said:

“Our local NHS staff do an incredible job for which we should all be thankful – and so these figures showing that there are even more NHS staff in Paisley is very welcome.

“The SNP’s commitment to our health service is second to none and is delivering real results for Paisley – investing even more in frontline health spending in 2015/16, meaning Scottish health spending will now be above £12bn for the first time ever.

“This real commitment the Scottish Government has demonstrated to protecting and improving the health service is exactly why polls show far more people in Scotland trust the SNP with our NHS than any other party.

“The SNP will never be complacent with our health service because we know there are always challenges and there is always more which can be done to support patients and staff– but these figures show that the Scottish Government’s investment in our NHS is continuing to deliver for local people.

“That’s why I will continue to work with my colleagues in the government, getting the best deal for our local health service, instead of using our treasured NHS for electioneering purposes.”

George supporting Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal

George  supports Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal

Wearing his daffodil with pride, George  lent his support to Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal at the Scottish Parliament on 4 March.

George supporting Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal

George supporting Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal

George met staff and heard about the work of the charity that cares for terminally ill people and their families across Scotland. He posed with a placard pledging support for people with a terminal illness.

The Great Daffodil Appeal is Marie Curie’s biggest fundraiser, which encourages everyone to give a donation and wear a daffodil pin in March. The money raised will help Marie Curie Nurses to provide more free care to local people with terminal illnesses in their own homes and in the two Scottish Marie Curie Hospices in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

George said: “Cancer affects all of us in some way at some point in our lives, but how we care for people in their hour of need defines us. Marie Curie staff are the ones at the front line caring for our friends and family when they are dealing with this horrible illness. I have proudly worn my daffodil this week to highlight my support for Marie Curie. I recently took part in my second firewalk raising funds for Marie Curie, organised by fantastic local fundraisers. Some of them, Julie McGuire, Jayne Evans and Lynn Wilson made the journey through to the Scottish Parliament this week to support #daffodilappeal. Marie Curie is truly a charity to be proud of and I look forward to continuing to promote their great work in the future.”

Richard Meade, Head of Policy and Public Affairs Scotland said: “It’s thanks to the support of MSPs such as George we can spread the word about the Great Daffodil Appeal and raise vital funds to support terminally ill people in Scotland. Every March millions of people across the UK support our biggest fundraising campaign and it’s easy to join in, simply give a donation and wear your daffodil pin. With the support of the Scottish Parliament Scotland will lead the way in caring for people with a terminal illness.”

 

To find out how you can get involved in the Great Daffodil Appeal visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil or call 0845 601 3107

Marie Curie is the leading charity providing care to people with any terminal illness in their own homes or in one of its nine hospices. The charity is also a leader in research into the best ways of caring for people with a terminal illness. In addition to this the charity designs and advises on end of life services and works to ensure that the best possible care and patient choice is at the heart of commissioning end of life care across the UK. All Marie Curie services are completely free of charge. Around 70% of the charity’s income comes from donations with the balance of funds coming from the NHS.

For more information visit www.mariecurie.org.uk

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The Great Daffodil Appeal

The Great Daffodil Appeal is Marie Curie’s biggest fundraising campaign and encourages everyone to give a donation and wear one of the charity’s daffodil pins during March.

Since the first Great Daffodil Appeal took place in 1986, more than £70 million has been raised to fund the charity’s work. This money has enabled Marie Curie to provide more of the free hands-on care and emotional support the charity is renowned for. Daffodil pins will be available from volunteer collectors, local shops and supermarkets. For more information call 0845 601 3107 (local rate) or visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil.

Follow the conversation on twitter via #daffodilappeal

George The People's NHS TTIP

George Signs up to Protect the NHS from TTIP

Paisley’s MSP George Adam along with his SNP MSP colleague have pledged to fight to protect Scotland’s NHS by calling on David Cameron to use his veto to protect the NHS from the effects of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).George The People's NHS TTIP

George, along with his SNP colleagues signed up The People’s NHS campaign which demands that David Cameron exempts the NHS for the EU-US trade agreement, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and that David Cameron commits to using his veto of the agreement should this exemption not be granted.

Commenting, George said:

“Protecting the NHS is rightly one of the most important priorities of people in Scotland and the duty we have to protect it is something the SNP takes extremely seriously.

“That is why SNP MSPs have pledged that if TTIP does not explicitly exempt the NHS from the agreement, then we will call on the Prime Minister to veto the agreement.

“Scotland’s NHS as a publicly owned and operated institution is too important to be put at risk from TTIP. It must be protected and the SNP will always do everything in our power to ensure that happens.

“In May, the people of Scotland have a wonderful opportunity to secure meaningful influence and power in Westminster. Every SNP vote is a vote for a party that only has one key goal – to best represent the people of Scotland. So the more SNP seats there are, the more we’ll be able to ensure that Westminster does not lose sight of the things that are most important – starting with the NHS.

“Protecting Scotland’s NHS is at the heart of our Westminster campaign. SNP MPs in a hung Parliament will use their clout to protect our budget from Westminster’s agenda of austerity, patient charging and privatisation.

“Protecting Scotland’s NHS will always be our priority and I will be proud to sign this pledge today.”

George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

Agreement to Maintain Teacher Numbers Reached

All 32 Local Authorities Sign up to Scottish Government Plan

The SNP has welcomed today’s announcement that each of Scotland’s 32 local authorities has signed up to the deal proposed by the Scottish Government to safeguard the number of teachers.

As announced by the First Minister today, an agreement has been reached for councils to maintain teacher numbers and their pupil-teacher ratio for next year at 2014/15 levels – supported by a £51m package of support from the Scottish Government.

This comes on the day that a poll shows that the SNP is by far the most trusted party to safeguard the future of Scotland’s education system – outstripping Labour by more than two-to-one.

George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

Commenting, SNP MSP George Adam said:

“This is excellent news for both teachers and families across the country – having quality teachers in our classrooms is one of the best ways to ensure our children have the best start in life and this agreement will protect teacher numbers across country.

“The SNP has an excellent record on education – with exam results standing at a record high, investing even more in tackling the attainment gap to ensure our least advantaged children have the opportunities they deserve and now securing teacher numbers in every local authority area in Scotland. This is exactly why people in Scotland trust the SNP with our education system more than each of the other parties put together.

“And while we are clear that there is more to be done to ensure every child in Scotland has the first-class education system they deserve – parents across the country can be assured that the SNP will work tirelessly to continue to protect and improve our education system.”

 

Further information can be found by clicking here.

Poll: SNP most trusted with Scottish education