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George outside the A&E Dept at the RAH

George Praises A&E Staff

Paisley’s MSP George Adam has congratulated all A&E staff at the RAH for a dramatic improvement in waiting times at the Paisley hospital. Over the winter months, the RAH experienced difficulties, but due to continued efforts of hard-working staff, figures published today show the RAH A&E has made vast strides toward the national target.

George outside the A&E Dept at the RAH

George outside the A&E Dept at the RAH

Nationally, A&E figures show that the Scottish Government’s interim target of treating 95 per cent of patients within four hours has been exceeded – and is pledging to continue to work hard to further improve Scotland’s health service. The figures released today for the week ended July 12th show that 95.4 per cent of A&E patients were treated within four hours – the best performance levels since weekly reporting of figures began in February.

Commenting on the figures, George said, “These figures are very welcome, highlight the commitment and hard work of staff across A&E units in Scotland. At the RAH in Paisley, which seen some very difficult times during the cold winter months, 91.9 per cent of patients were seen within 4 hours for the week ended 12th July. While this in not yet the target 95 per cent, I think we must recognise the dramatic improvement in such a short time and praise all staff.

‘Often, the NHS can be used as a political football, not taking into account the massive pressures our NHS can be put under, especially during winter months when more people are suffering from seasonal conditions, particularly our elderly. However, no matter the challenge, staff at our town’s hospital have risen to the challenge and should take great pride in their continued improvement.

“While these figures are welcome, there is always more which can be done – and staff and patients can rest assured that the SNP will be working harder than ever to further protect and improve our NHS and deliver the first-class health service people across Scotland deserve.

“The SNP’s commitment to our health service is second to none – investing an additional £383m in front line health spending in 2015/16, meaning Scottish health spending will now be above £12bn for the first time ever – and these figures show that this investment is delivering real results.”

George with SNP members on the night he was selected as the SNP Candidate for the forthcoming Scottish Parliament Election

George Is Paisley’s Candidate!

Paisley SNP Constituency Association has confirmed George Adam as its candidate for the forthcoming Scottish Parliament election. George, who has been Paisley’s MSP for the past 4 years will seek re-election to continue his work of representing his constituents and promoting our town locally and nationally. George, who is Paisley born and breed, lives in Paisley with his wife Stacey and is not only our local MSP, but chairman of the St Mirren Independent Supporters Association (SMiSA) and honorary president of Paisley Pirates Ice Hockey Club, to name but a few things George is involved with in our local community.

George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

Speaking after his selection, George said, “It has been the privilege of a life time to spend the last 4 years representing my home town in the Scottish Parliament. When I was elected on 5th May 2011 in the wee hours of the morning, I made a commitment to the people of Paisley that I would stand up for everyone in my constituency, both those that voted for me and those that didn’t.

“I am here to represent you no matter your political affiliation. Since that night, I have worked every day to raise out towns profile and promote Paisley, highlighting everything it has to offer. It is a standing joke in the Scottish Parliament that I will mention Paisley, St Mirren, Paisley Buddies in every speech I make. Now my colleagues may find this amusing, but that’s what I’m there to do, talk up Paisley and bring attention to the numerous great people and places we have in this historic town.

George with SNP members on the night he was selected as the SNP Candidate for the forthcoming Scottish Parliament Election

George with SNP members on the night he was selected as the SNP Candidate for the forthcoming Scottish Parliament Election

“By seeking re-election, I ask the people of Paisley to again put their trust in me to effectively represent Paisley in our nation’s Parliament. Months of hard campaign are ahead and I relish the opportunity of speaking to as many of my constituents as possible, out and about in our town centre, on the doorstep and throughout our town, putting forward a positive message of how I will continue to promote our town and stand up for the people of Paisley.”

George town hall landscape

Paisley Sees Modern Apprenticeships Rise Since 2007

Paisley’s MSP George Adam is marking UN World Youth Skills Day by highlighting figures showing that the number of people on Modern Apprenticeships has grown by almost 60 per cent since the SNP came to office in 2007 – and repeating calls for powers over the minimum wage to be devolved to Scotland to allow action on fair pay for apprentices.George town hall landscape

An analysis of figures from Skills Development Scotland shows the number of Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland has risen from 15,803 in 2007/08 to 25,247 in 2014/15 – an increase of 59.7 per cent. The SNP in government has exceeded its target of 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships a year every year since 2011/12 – and has increased the target to 30,000 a year by 2020.

The current minimum wage for apprentices is £2.73 per hour – while under plans put forward by the SNP at the General Election, the rate would have risen to £6.86 by 2020.
Commenting, George said:

“These very welcome figures highlight a key success of the SNP in government – with the number of Modern Apprenticeships in Renfrewshire rising by almost 47.9 per cent since 2007/08 and more young people being given an opportunity to get into work, learn a skill and secure a better future.

“Apprenticeships are a key part of the SNP in government’s successful youth employment strategy – and the Scottish Government has exceeded its target of 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships a year every year since 2011/12. This target is set to increase to 30,000 by 2020.

“Over the past few years, I have met with many modern apprentices in Paisley who are really benefiting from learning while working and receiving a wage.

“However, it is simply wrong that due to the discriminatory regulations of the UK Government, many apprentices could find themselves earning less than £3 per hour. In the recent budget, we seen another attack on young people from the Westminster Government, removing the ability of anyone under the age of 21 from claim for housing benefit. How can you afford a flat if you are earning less than £3 an hour.

“It’s imperative that we can continue to attract more young people into the Modern Apprentice programme – and that they aren’t put off by the disincentive of low pay. That’s why it is absolutely vital that powers to tackle low pay are devolved to Scotland.

“The SNP’s record in supporting and empowering our young people is second to none – and with powers over the minimum wage in Scotland’s hands rather than in George Osborne’s we can take further action to deliver a fairer wage for apprentices and ensure that they have all the support they need to succeed.”

George Serious Paisley Town Hall

SNP calls for Tories to scrap ‘flawed’ restrictions for international students

The SNP has called for the Home Office to scrap plans to introduce ‘flawed’ new immigration restrictions on foreign students. The new rules are expected to limit the ability of students from outside the EU to work during their studies and at the end of their course.George Serious Paisley Town Hall

The SNP has repeatedly called for the reintroduction of a post-study work visa and for the UK Government to honour the spirit of the Smith Commission – which recommended UK Ministers explore the introduction of such a scheme. Last month more than 100 representatives of public, private and third sector organisations in Scotland, including several universities, signed a statement supporting the principle of a post-study work visa.

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP George Adam  said:

“These wrong-headed immigration changes will damage the UK’s reputation as a place to study and work and will create the ludicrous situation where highly-skilled graduates are being forced out the country.

“The SNP has consistently called for the reintroduction of a post-study work visa scheme – most recently in the General Election where the SNP won 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats – and a scheme has been supported across political parties and civic Scotland. But rather than responding constructively to this plea, as recommended by the Smith Commission, the Tories are now doing the exact opposite by introducing further restrictions on foreign students.

“The UK Government must urgently rethink these flawed plans and engage constructively with the Scottish Government and civic Scotland to develop a scheme that harnesses the skills and knowledge of the talented people who chose to study in Scotland.”

George Adam MSP and Delia Henry Subtitle It Jun 15

George Backs Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s Subtitle It! Campaign

George Adam MSP is backing a new campaign by the charity Action on Hearing Loss Scotland which is calling for more subtitles for people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Hearing loss affects an estimated one in six people in Paisley and accurate, timely subtitles are vital to help deaf or hard of hearing people follow what is being said on public information videos as well as television programmes and movies.George Adam MSP and Delia Henry Subtitle It Jun 15

The charity has launched its Subtitle It! campaign to achieve equal access to television and movies – whether through digital, on-demand or new media services – for viewers who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “The lack of subtitles is one of the biggest issues we are contacted about by our members. As technology has advanced, the ways in which we watch television programmes has changed, but, unfortunately, people with hearing loss are being left behind.

“Just a fraction of on-demand content is currently subtitled and some local digital television channels don’t provide subtitles at all, so we want broadcasters and the video-on-demand industry to substantially improve their subtitles provision to enable people with hearing loss to have equal access to their favourite shows like everyone else.

“We’re delighted that George Adam MSP is behind our Subtitle It! campaign to stop the digital exclusion of people with hearing loss in Paisley.”

George Adam MSP said: “Access to TV programmes for people with hearing loss has vastly improved in recent years, however I was shocked to learn that more than 80 per cent of on-demand providers don’t offer any subtitles on their catch-up services and that digital channels in Scotland can do much better too.

Having spoken to Action on Hearing Loss Scotland campaigners, I’m aware of the understandable frustration that the lack of subtitles causes many who are deaf or hard of hearing – especially when programmes on catch-up services were originally broadcast with subtitles provided!

“I encourage all my constituents to support Action on Hearing Loss’s Subtitle It! campaign to encourage broadcasters and Video on Demand providers to ensure people who are deaf or hard of hearing can use accurate subtitles, which are synchronised with speech, on everything that they watch.”

For information about Action on Hearing Loss’s Subtitle It! campaign, visit www.actionhearingloss.org.uk/subtitleit

George outside the A&E Dept at the RAH

RAH Staff Praised in Parliament

The most recent figures produced by the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board (GGCHB) have shown a marked improvement in the waiting times at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) in Paisley. Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, pressed the Health Secretary for further details on the current situation at the Accident and Emergency (A & E) department. Due to recent changes and the hard work of staff at the RAH 91.2% of patients are being seen within the four hour waiting time target. An expert support team joined the department for a two week stint in February after the busy winter period.

George outside the A&E Dept at the RAH

George outside the A&E Dept at the RAH

Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet secretary for Health and Wellbeing said:

‘The most recent figures ending on the 14th of June state 91.2% of patients were seen within 4 hours due to the hard work of staff within the hospital. We must sustain and improve that performance even further’.

Speaking on the issue, George said:

‘The A & E department at our hospital has been under pressure, this was evident after the usual winter pressures felt across the NHS. In February the support team entered the department and with the efforts of the staff there has been an improvement in waiting times from 84% to over 91%. The staff should be recognised for their hard work and we have more to do.

‘The Scottish Government have set a target of 95% of patients waiting less than four hours. These are tough targets but we should always be pushing to see progress. We should never find ourselves in a position being happy with our lot, unwilling to look for improvements. In everyday life we look to improve ourselves, our government should look to improve public services.

‘I would like to offer my thanks and support to staff at the RAH and look forward to further progress.’

George high street

20,000 two year olds now eligible for free early learning and childcare

Around 20,000 two year olds are now eligible for funded early learning and childcare, parents and carers have been reminded to take up a place for their child.
The entitlement to 600 hours of annual funded early learning and childcare has been extended to two year olds from low income households. This comes into effect from August and adds to the entitlement for all three and four year olds and around 15 per cent of two year olds.George high street

Acting Minister for Children Fiona McLeod reminded parents of eligible children to register for their funded places as she met staff and children at Dens Nursery in Dundee.

Speaking on the announcement, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said, “Through my work in the Education and Culture Committee at Holyrood, I am all too aware of how vital is that we get it right during the early years of a child’s life. This is especially true for more vulnerable or disadvantaged children and I’m pleased they will be able to benefit from this extra provision.

“This is not simply about childcare; it is about ensuring all three and four year olds and those two year olds who would benefit the most, have access to high quality early learning and education in a nurturing environment. This will allow them to develop vital skills including literacy and numeracy from an early age.

“I’m encouraging all parents and carers to check if their child is eligible for funded early learning and childcare and register now so they can get their place in the autumn term. Our local council has been provided with the tools by the Scottish Government to make a dramatic difference in the early years of our children’s’ life’s and I will be watching closely to ensure these tools are used to their fullest.”

A public information campaign with advice for parents and carers on the eligibility criteria for funded early learning and childcare will begin next month.

The Scottish Government has committed £329 million to expand funded early learning and childcare for all three and four year olds and the 27% most disadvantaged 2-year-olds (around 20,000) to 600 hours from August 2014 over two years.

The Scottish Government has expanded funded hours by 45 per cent since 2007 – an increase worth up to £707 per child per year. They have set out our plans to go further by increasing provision from 16 hours a week to 30 hours a week by the end of the next parliament.

More information about eligibility criteria and local provision is available on the Scottish Families website: www.scottishfamilies.gov.uk