George tries virtual reality in the Scottish Parliament

George and VR

It was reality, but not as we know it, for George Adam as he gave virtual reality a try, courtesy of Sue Ryder.

 

The charity, which operates Sue Ryder Dee View Court, Scotland’s only specialist residential care centre for people living with complex neurological conditions, such as Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and acquired brain injuries, uses virtual reality as a form of therapy for its patients.

 

The system, which was specially developed for Sue Ryder Dee View Court users by tech company Immersicare allows residents to find themselves in places they may not be able to visit, such as the beach, jungle or outer space. Its impact has been so positive that the system is now being rolled out to all of Sue Ryder’s neurological care centres.

 

George said:

 

“New technology has a place in healthcare.  This is one of the simplest examples of this but the virtual reality technology is far from simple.  The benefits of this type of technology can only expand.  In this age when we experience and are aware of stories about the down side of new technology we should recognise the almost unlimited potential that can and will be discovered for the benefit of all.”

 

Pamela Mackenzie, Director of Neurological Care and Scotland at Sue Ryder, said:

 

Early evidence from the team at Sue Ryder Dee View Court shows that use of virtual reality by people with neurological conditions is helping to lower blood pressure and pain levels as well as boosting mood and wellbeing.

 

“As we eagerly await the Scottish Government’s National Action Plan on Neurological Conditions, it seems like a good time to share with others the innovative technology we are using with our service users to improve their quality of life.”

 

Public Health and Wellbeing Minister Joe FitzPatrick said:

 

“The use of virtual reality technology to help people with neurological conditions is a great example of innovation in health and social care. I commend Sue Ryder for this and the wider work they do in supporting people living with these conditions.

 

“The Scottish Government wants to ensure that people living with neurological conditions have access to the best possible care and support across the country. We have worked in partnership with the neurological community to develop Scotland’s first ever National Action Plan on Neurological Conditions. We will publish the draft plan in the coming weeks for public consultation and I would encourage everyone to provide their views.”

PRIME MINISTER FAILS TO GUARANTEE SUPPLY OF MEDICINE IN NO DEAL BREXIT

Theresa May has failed to guarantee the supply of medicine to the NHS in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
 

SNP Westminster Leader raised the issue after it was revealed the government last week quietly began a tender process to try and stockpile medicines at a cost of tens of millions of pounds.
 

It follows comments from the UK government’s most senior health official who says he cannot be “confident” that essential medicines will still be available after a no-deal Brexit – describing the task as “extremely difficult”.
 

Paisley’s MSP , George Adam said:

 

“The Prime Minister cannot guarantee the supply of medicines in the event of a No deal. This is chaos of the Tory government’s own making.

 

“Last week we found out the UK government are giving out contracts to stockpile medication at the cost of tens of millions of pounds.

 

 

“Funds that should be spent on frontline health services. And funds that this week’s Budget was totally silent on.

 

“We all know people or have relatives that are dependent on medication, especially for long term conditions.  This is not some kind of abstract problem, this is the prospect of people being harmed because they cannot access the medication that they need.  How can we have come to this position where small mindedness can affect people’s health.”
 

 

Brexit: Ministers launch ‘tens of millions’ bid to stockpile medicine

https://www.hsj.co.uk/policy-and-regulation/brexit-ministers-launch-tens-of-millions-bid-to-stockpile-medicine-/7023652.article
Senior official cannot be confident essential medicines would still be available:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-latest-no-deal-crash-out-eu-medicine-supplies-a8588531.html
Indy report says (18 October) –
“England’s most senior health official says he cannot be “confident” that essential medicines will still be available after a no-deal Brexit – describing the task as “extremely difficult”.

Maintaining supplies would be “very complex” if the UK crashes out of the EU, Sir Chris Wormald told MPs, adding: “I never use words like confident.”
Sir Chris, the department of health’s permanent secretary, warned there were also major concerns about staff shortages and the treatment of British travellers to the EU after Brexit….
…At the meeting of the Commons Brexit committee, Sir Chris was asked whether he was “confident that the supply of essential medicines will be maintained in the event of no deal”.

After declining to say he was, Sir Chris said his department was “pleased” with the response of pharmaceutical firms, but added: “It’s a very complex market and a very complex supply chain
“As no-one can really predict exactly what will happen, there will be decisions we will have to make along the way.”
Sir Chris added that it would be “extremely difficult” to guarantee that all supplies would be fully maintained.

 

FAR FROM A ‘BORING’ VISIT AS SCHOOLCHILDREN WELCOME ‘TUNNELLING TANYA’ TO PAISLEY

It was quite a different morning for a group of schoolchildren from Paisley as they began their day learning about Scottish Water’s major engineering project in the town.

Earlier today the pupils from St Charles Primary were on site to welcome the second, eagerly anticipated, Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) from Germany onto site. The children heard all about the project and had the chance to see ‘Tunnelling Tanya’ up-close.

The project team ran a competition at the end of last year’s school term asking pupils to come up with a name for the TBM. It was Hope Hunter, now a primary 6 pupil at the school, who impressed the judges with the name ‘Tunnelling Tanya’.

Headteacher Grace Hannigan accompanied the schoolchildren to site and was delighted for them to be there. She said: “It’s been amazing for the pupils to see first-hand what’s involved in a project of this scale and nature. Tunnelling Tanya certainly is an impressive piece of equipment and it’s such an honour that one of our pupils has named her. We’d like to thank everyone involved for providing this unique opportunity.”

One and a half metres in diameter (5ft) and weighing in at an impressive 23 tonnes, Tunnelling Tanya will tunnel at depths of up to 27 metres and will remove 5,000 tonnes of rock as she makes her way under Saucelhill Park in Paisley.

Brian Boland, Project Manager, welcomed everyone to the site. He said: “We’d like to thank you all for coming along today to help mark this important milestone for the project. We’re sure you’ll join us in wishing Tunnelling Tanya well as she sets to work, tunnelling for around eight weeks before emerging at the other side of Saucelhill Park. She’ll undertake the longest drive on this project.”

Working alongside Donegan Civil Engineering, Scottish Water contractors Amey are constructing the large interceptor sewer in Paisley which, once completed, will substantially reduce the frequency of spills from the sewer network into the Espedair Burn and White Cart Water in storm conditions. The project will therefore improve the river water quality in the two watercourses and, in turn, the River Clyde.

Paisley’s MSP George Adam also joined the local schoolchildren on their visit. He said: “It’s not every day you get to see a Tunnel Boring Machine in Paisley – it was a fascinating visit for us all. And what a brilliant name Hope came up with!

“I’m extremely encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by the pupils; they’re so keen to learn and perhaps having had the chance to find out about this major engineering project will spark their interest in a future career in engineering.”

He added: “I’ve really enjoyed hearing about the work that’s being done here and the environmental benefits the project will bring for our vibrant town of Paisley.”

The investment, which is the biggest of its kind Scottish Water has ever made in Renfrewshire, is part of the company’s £250m, five-year programme of work, launched in 2013, to improve river water quality and the natural environment and tackle flooding across the Greater Glasgow area.

SNP’S Programme For Government Drives Progress In Paisley

This year’s SNP Programme for Government will help contribute to a successful and vibrant Paisley, driving progress in health, social security, the environment and the economy, the Paisley’s MSP, George Adam has said.

 

Paisley will benefit from ambitious action in a wide range of areas throughout 2018-19, including:

  • Empowering head teachers to lead improvements to their schools with more power over their own budgets; developing ways for parents and pupils to ensure their voices are heard in decision-making; giving £10m to schools and councils to work together across regions; continuing to support teacher recruitment; and investing £33 million over three years to help children in care with education.
  • A National Export plan ‘A Trading Nation’, backed by £20m, will boost the value of Scottish exports, help Scottish companies succeed in emerging markets, and provide additional help to those considering overseas trade.
  • The National Infrastructure Mission, the most ambitious infrastructure spending plans yet, will invest £1.5 billion more infrastructure each year by 2025-26, including for faster broadband, improved transport and more low-carbon energy.
  • £250m will be invested to reform the way we treat mental health in children and adults – delivering 430 new school, college and university counsellors, and fast-track specialist treatment systems for those with serious mental illness.
  • A new Scottish Social Security System with dignity and respect at its heart will deliver 11 benefits, including the first Best Start Grant payments for low income families with young children by Christmas, 6 months earlier than planned; a 13% increase in the Carers’ Allowance – an extra £442 per person this year – as well as funeral expense assistance.
  • New legislation to introduce a Scottish National Investment Bank.
  • A major package of reforms in the justice system – with a new support system for victims, witnesses and families of those affected by crime, including a dedicated case worker for families of murder victims, improved information and support about prisoner release, as well as support for engagement between victims and offenders to help the victim and to prevent reoffending.
  • £1bn investment a year including funding for low carbon transport solutions and to phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032 – creating at least 20 electric towns across Scotland by 2025; adding 1500 new charge points in homes, businesses, and in public; investing £20 million to help people switch to electric vehicles; adding more than 1500 new ultra low emission vehicles to public sector fleets; and investing £1.7 million to add over 100 green buses.

 

George said:

 

“The SNP’s plan for Scotland signals a major boost for jobs and the economy in Paisley, including an additional £7 billion infrastructure investment in schools, hospitals, transport and digital connectivity over the next five years.

 

“We are continuing the major reforms in our health, education and justice systems over the course of 2018-19 – with a significant £250 million extra funding for mental health , increased support for teachers, head teachers, parents and pupils, as well as a major package of reforms for the justice system, increasing support for the victims of crime and their families.

 

“With Scottish exports up 12% – the fastest growth in the UK – a £20m National Exports Plan this year will ensure Paisley’s businesses in Renfrewshire continue to thrive in the face of the Tories’ despite their damaging hard Brexit plans.

 

“Despite Brexit, we will ensure Scotland remains an attractive place to live and work and provide advice and support for those EU citizens already living in Paisley that are dealing with the Tory government’s unfair plans to charge them for the right to live and work here.

 

“And our global climate change ambition will continue to be matched by realistic action, with £1billion funding in low carbon and public transport over the next year.

 

“These bold and ambitious plans for the year ahead are just some of the reasons why the SNP is the second biggest party in the whole of the UK.”

Paisley’s MSP George Adam, Calls On Constituents To Have Say On Bottle Deposit Return Plans

Zero Waste Scotland Holding Events To Gather Public Views

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has called on people across Paisley to get involved with the latest series of events to gather views on the proposed bottle deposit return scheme.

 

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on the scope of a deposit return scheme, to boost recycling and cut plastic waste – with the proposal being that customers would pay a deposit when they purchase a product, which would be refunded when the item is recycled. The scheme already operates in many other parts of Europe.

 

Zero Waste Scotland is now hosting a series of events across the country, including in Glasgow, to give people across Scotland the chance to put forward their views on the scheme.

 

Commenting, George said:

 

“A deposit return scheme has huge potential to help us meet our recycling goals, as well as tackling the scourge of plastic litter and waste on our landscape.

 

“The issue of plastic pollution, particularly in our water, has become well known in recent months, as the impact of the problem was brought to light by Blue Planet last year.

 

“And it is of course an issue that affects us right here in Paisley – and the deposit return scheme can make a real difference.

 

“Zero Waste Scotland’s events across the country give us all a chance to give our views on the scheme, how it could work and how it can be implemented.

 

“We all have a stake in protecting and preserving our planet – and the bottle deposit return scheme is one small step we can take in the fight against plastic pollution.”

Sharp Fall In Weapons Offences Since 2007

 

SNP Knife Crime Approach Working In Renfrewshire

 

Cases of handling of offensive weapons across Renfrewshire have fallen sharply since the SNP came to power in 2007, latest figures have revealed – proving that the SNP’s approach to crime and justice in the community is working.

 

In 2007/08, there was 19 cases of handling offensive weapons per 10,000 of the population in Renfrewshire – which has fallen sharply to 7 by 2016/17, a drop of 63%.

 

The latest figures back up Tory Justice Minister Rory Stewart’s comments that the rest of the UK “has a lot to learn from Scotland” – and are a further indication that SNP efforts to tackle issues such as knife crime have worked.

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“This is welcome news – and proves that the SNP’s approach to issues such as knife crime is paying dividends for our communities across Paisley and Renfrewshire.

 

“Thanks to our approach to justice and well-supported police in our communities there has been a marked drop in the number of weapons offences across Renfrewshire – meaning everyone can enjoy living here more safely.

 

“Given this sharp drop in weapons offences – 63% since 2007, contrasting sharply with the trend south of the border – it is no wonder that the Tory UK government are looking to Scotland for answers on how to tackle crime, acknowledging that they have ‘a lot to learn from Scotland’.

 

“The SNP has made justice one of its top priorities since coming to power in 2007 – putting more police on the streets and taking decisive action to reduce reoffending, meaning crime is at its lowest level in over 40 years and our communities are as safe as ever before.”

 

Sharp Fall In Vandalism Over Last Decade

SNP Tackling Crime In Renfrewshire

Cases of vandalism across Renfrewshire have fallen sharply since the SNP came to power in 2007, latest figures have revealed – proving that the SNP’s approach to crime and justice in the community is working.

 

In 2007/08, there was 199 instances of vandalism per 10,000 of the population in Renfrewshire – which has fallen sharply to 86 by 2016/17, a drop of 57%.

 

The latest figures back up Tory Justice Minister Rory Stewart’s comments that the rest of the UK “has a lot to learn from Scotland”.

 

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“This is welcome news – and proves that the SNP’s approach to justice is paying dividends for our communities across Renfrewshire.

 

“Thanks to our approach to justice and well-supported police in our communities there has been a marked drop in the rate of vandalism across Renfrewshire – meaning everyone can enjoy living here more safely, without damage to property.

 

“Given this sharp drop in cases of vandalism – 57% since 2007 – it is no wonder that the Tory UK government are looking to Scotland for answers on how to tackle crime, acknowledging that they have ‘a lot to learn from Scotland’.

 

“The SNP has made justice one of its top priorities since coming to power in 2007 – putting more police on the streets and taking decisive action to reduce reoffending, meaning crime is at its lowest level in over 40 years and our communities are as safe as ever before.”

Renfrewshire Loses Over £2 Million Because Of Tory Welfare Cuts

Paisleys MSP, George Adam Demands Devolution Of Social Security Powers

 

Freedom of Information figures supplied by the Department for Work and Pensions have shown that Renfrewshire has lost out on over £2 Million because of Tory cuts to disability benefit.

 

The information – requested by investigative news outlet The Ferret – shows the number of people who have lost out on social security benefits following the change from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payments.

 

The Tory welfare cuts – taking a total of £56 million away from communities across Scotland – have hit the poorest people hardest, leaving vulnerable and disabled people across Renfrewshire without enough money to live off.

 

            George Adam MSP

Commenting, George said:

 

“It is absolutely devastating that Tory welfare cuts have taken over £2 million out of our communities.

 

“This really hits home at how disastrous these cuts have been for people across Renfrewshire – robbing our society and vulnerable people of the money they were entitled to until the Tories decided that they no longer were.

 

“It is shameful that those most in need of support in Scotland have lost over £56 million under this cruel Tory regime.

 

“While the Scottish Government is busy setting up a new social security agency with dignity and respect at its heart, figures such as these continue to emerge showing just how damaging Tory welfare cuts are for Renfrewshire.

 

“Only with full powers over social security can Scotland treat all those in need of support with the respect they deserve, not the cruelty they face under a toxic Tory government.”

 

Extra NHS funding

New Investment In NHS Diagnostics And Care In Renfrewshire

George Adam MSP (Left) & Derek MacKay MSP (Right)

£50M To Support Treatment Across Scotland

The NHS in Renfrewshire is set to benefit from a share of a £50 million Scotland-wide investment to help deliver swift treatment and diagnostics.

The extra funding is part of a package of measures to help reduce waiting times – and which will also see two independent diagnostic leads appointed to improve co-ordination across the country on specialist tests.

Scotland already invests more per head of population than anywhere else in the UK. Tory-led England and Labour-led Wales continue to lag behind Scotland, including on A&E waiting times where Scotland has had the lowest waiting times for over 3 years.

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

“The staff of Scotland’s NHS do a fantastic job day in day out. This funding boost will support a package of measures to help further improve performance in Renfrewshire, including new independent experts being appointed to speed up diagnostic tests.

“The Scottish Government has already committed to invest an extra £2 billion above inflation by the end of this parliament – the highest funding offer of any party at the last election – and we already invest more in our NHS per head of population than anywhere else in the UK, supporting frontline health services across Renfrewshire.

“That’s one of the reasons why Scotland’s A&E’s continue to have the best performance of anywhere in the UK for the last 3 years.”

School Leavers Across Renfrewshire Heading For Work Or Study

Derek MacKay MSP, George Adam MSP, Gavin Newlands MP

More Young People Setting Up For Success After School

 

School leavers in Renfrewshire continue to go on to positive destinations after finishing secondary school – with the latest figures showing 92.8% of youngsters in Renfrewshire going into further or higher education, employment or training three months after leaving school.

 

The total across Scotland has risen from 93.3% last year to 93.7% this year – showing that even more young people are finding fulfilling opportunities after leaving school.

 

In Renfrewshire, the percentage of people going on to positive destinations has gone from 92.2% last year to 92.8% this year – and increased from 88.1% since 2011/12.

 

Of those in positive destinations, 45% are at University and 23% are at college, while 21% are in employment and 3% are in training.

 

Commenting on the latest stats, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“The Scottish Government continues to make education its priority this parliament – and these figures reflect just how important SNP action on education is for our young people.

 

“Being able to go on to a positive destination after leaving school – whether that is college, university, work or training – is a great boost for young people across Renfrewshire, improving their self-confidence and setting them up to make positive contributions to our communities as adults.

 

“That more young people across Renfrewshire are going on to positive destinations this year than previously – up from 88.1% to 92.8% over the last six years – is fantastic news for our local community.

 

“Our young people need fulfilling work, study or training after leaving school to help ensure they don’t get left behind – and these positive figures for Renfrewshire and across Scotland show that they are benefitting from exactly that.”