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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

Anthony Nolan

Life Savers Assemble

Championed by Paisley’s MSP George Adam, the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan is searching for more local heroes in Paisley to join its bone marrow donor register and help in the fight against blood cancer.

The charity has revealed today that, in Paisley, there are more than 760 selfless people willing to donate their stem cells, or bone marrow, to save the life of a stranger. More than 550,000 people are currently on the Anthony Nolan register and the average per constituency is 790.Anthony Nolan

Anthony Nolan was the world’s first bone marrow register. The charity has been saving lives for four decades by matching remarkable people willing to donate their bone marrow to patients in desperate need of a transplant.

Two thirds of UK patients will not find a matching donor from within their families; instead they turn to Anthony Nolan to find them an unrelated donor.

In Scotland the charity works with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to recruit donors, but currently a perfect match can only be found for 60 per cent of transplant patients.

Commenting, George said: ‘There are 765 heroes on the register here in Paisley but the challenge continues. I’m hunting for more crusaders to sign up today, so we can fight blood cancer together. Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer.

‘Around 2,000 people in the UK need a bone marrow (or stem cell) transplant each year. Every day, more people are needed as donors.’

‘It is something truly heroic to give a stranger a second chance at life. I have even managed to get a member of my staff to sign up and become a bone marrow donor through Anthony Nolan. This is why I’m proud to champion this cause to my constituents.’

Ann O’Leary, Head of Register Development at Anthony Nolan, added: ‘We are delighted that {insert name} has been inspired to encourage others to sign up as donors. Donating is an incredibly selfless thing to do and will give someone with blood cancer their best chance at survival. What many people don’t realise is that it is also surprisingly simple.’

To join the Anthony Nolan register you must be 16-30 and in good health. It involves filling out a simple online form and spitting into a tube.

The charity needs heroes of all ages to champion the register at a local level and help us spread the word – from schools, communities and workplaces to your own friends and family. Be a hero – find out how you can help by going to www.anthonynolan.org/capes.

George Serious Paisley Town Hall

New Report Shows Sanctions Could Double Under Tory Plans

The SNP is today repeating its call for an immediate moratorium on sanctions and for full powers over social security to be transferred to Scotland – after further ‘heartbreaking’ evidence of the impact of the UK Government’s sanctions regime.George Serious Paisley Town Hall

As reported in today’s Daily Record, a Fife man found himself sanctioned after missing a Jobcentre appointment – despite the fact that he was in hospital recovering from emergency surgery after a major heart attack.

Today’s report comes as the New Policy Institute think-tank warns that the levels of sanctions imposed could double with the roll out of the Tory’s Universal Credit policy – increasing by as much as an extra 600,000.

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said, “I find these reports heartbreaking. This is yet further evidence that the Tory government’s austerity policies are not working and forcing the most vulnerable in society to live without money after being sanctioned for often the most ridiculous of reasons.

“And the idea that the imposition of these cruel, punitive sanctions could in fact double as the Tories’ Universal Credit is rolled out is deeply worrying – and shows the need for urgent action.

“I had a young man attend my office. He was sanctioned for taking an unsanctioned holiday. The ‘holiday’ was in fact a two day trip to Aberdeen to seek employment in the oil industry. He walked around the granite city for 2 days handing in CVs and he slept on a relatives couch. He was actively looking for work, however on his return, he was told he has taken an unsanctioned holiday and his benefits were stopped.

“The SNP has already been clear that there needs to be an immediate review of the UK Government’s conditionality and sanctions regime – and the DWP should not be allowed to impose any more unfair sanctions on vulnerable people while the review is ongoing.

“But more than that, we need the powers to put a stop to this relentless assault on vulnerable people – and to design a new and better system which supports and empowers people who need help rather than punishing them as this Tory government seems intent on doing.

“The Tories have shown time and time again that they can’t be trusted to take decisions on social security on Scotland’s behalf – and it’s time that these crucial powers are in Scotland’s hands, rather than Iain Duncan Smith’s.”