BAILLIE ADMITS NHS BLANKET CLAIMS ARE WRONG

George Adam MSPFALSE COMMENTS TALK NHS DOWN YET AGAIN

HEALTH WORKERS OWED AN APOLOGY

The SNP has called on Labour to apologise to health workers after Jackie Baillie admitted her claims that NHS patients had to share blankets in a Paisley hospital were wrong – weeks after the health board provided proof there was no truth in her accusations.

SNP MSP George Adam has written to Johann Lamont asking her to investigate Ms Baillie’s remarks and apologise to the staff of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for her health spokesperson’s false statements.

Ms Baillie made the allegations, despite NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde saying, when the matter “was raised a few weeks ago”, that they provided “proof that there was no truth in this claim”. She later admitted in a newspaper that they were wrong

Mr Adam, SNP MSP for Paisley and a Member of the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit Committee, said:

“To knowingly make incorrect claims in her conference speech beggars belief.

“She should be ashamed of herself for talking Scotland’s health service down yet again.

“Ms Baillie knew her allegations were wrong as NHS GGC had addressed them weeks before.

“I have written to Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, asking her to investigate these remarks and apologise to the staff of the Royal Alexandra for her health spokesperson’s false statements.

“Ms Baillie is a repeat offender in smearing Scotland’s NHS. It was only in December she tried to pass off “new figures” for infection rates as ones gathered under the SNP, when in fact they were collected in 2005/06, when Labour were last in power.

“And this follows her infamous “Winter Watch” campaign last year, which had nothing to do with improving the NHS, and everything to do with her finding new ways to talk down the NHS and its hard-working staff.

“She must explain why she made an assertion in her conference speech which had already been comprehensively rebutted by the Health Board several weeks before. This is not only disrespectful to our health professionals – it has caused alarm among patients and their families. Labour’s health spokesperson should instead be acknowledging the hard work and dedication of our NHS workforce.”

Notes:

1) In her speech to Labour conference at the weekend, Jackie Baillie stated that “In one hospital in Greater Glasgow and Clyde patients are even having to share blankets because of the cuts.”

2) However, responding to the blanket claims, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “This matter was raised with us a few weeks ago, and we were able to provide proof that there was no truth in this claim. Extra blankets are available in all our hospital as and when patients need them.”

3) Jackie Baillie herself “later admitted that the claim was wrong” http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/political-news/independent-carer-representative-to-sit-on-shadow-cabinet.1330830213

4) Link to story from Straight Statistics in January about Jackie Baillie passing off figures from 2006 as an attack on the SNP http://www.straightstatistics.org/article/superbug-data-trip-scottish-labour

5) Details of Jackie Baillie’s “Winter Watch” campaign – asking for patients and staff to report “any strains in the NHS” and then suggesting the information will be used by the Labour Party – can be found at http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/winterwatch

Paisley Development Trust Welcomes George

Paisley Development Trust (PDT) has welcomed George Adam to their new offices on the high Street in Paisley, within the YMCA facilities. Meeting Brian McGuire, one of the directors of PDT, George got to know a bit more about the voluntary organisation. Formed in 2004 to facilitate community renewal through arts and culture, the PDT has organised numerous events promoting the town, the first of which was an exhibition to commemorate the 71 lives that were lost in the Glen Cinema Disaster in 1929.

Speaking on the visit, George said:

‘The PDT is a tremendous organisation with the interest of the town at its heart, which benefits everyone from the town. They have organised many events since their inception and they are currently working on the Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697, researching and then creating an exhibition about the last mass execution of witches in Western Europe, which took place in Paisley.

‘This voluntary organisation is an example to all of us throughout Scotland with an interest in our local towns and cities, and how to ensure they remain vibrant parts of our community.’

PDT Website

George Shows his Appreciation for the Paisley Sorting Office

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, today [Tuesday 13th] visited the Royal Mail’s Paisley sorting office to see the effort being put in by local men and women to ensure cards and presents are delivered on time for Christmas.

George dropped by this morning to see the hard work going on behind the scenes.

Commenting afterwards, George said –

‘I was delighted to have the chance to pop into the Paisley sorting office which is currently delivering around of 78,000 pieces of mail per day.

‘The Paisley office works tirelessly at this time of year to deliver all our cards and parcels on time for the big day. I was greeted and shown around by the Transport Manager, Ashye Rafique, who gave me a very informative tour. Very interestingly, I was told of how the sorting office has redesigned its service to cope with the increased amount of parcels coming through the office as a result of the increased use of online shopping.

‘We only have to think back to this time last year, when Paisley was beset by snow and ice, to realise just what Royal Mail staff sometimes have to overcome to ensure our letters, cards and packages reach us and as the MSP for Paisley I want to place on record my appreciation for their first-rate work.

‘I would also like to remind Buddies that the recommended last day for 2nd class post is the 17th and for 1st class post, the 20th.”

Paisley’s MSP Urges Constituents to Beat the Flu!

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, today received his flu vaccination from his local doctor’s surgery.

Mr Adam said, “My wife Stacey suffers from multiple sclerosis and would be very at risk from catching the flu from me if I was to come down with it. There are lots of other people in the same situation as myself who have family members that could become very ill if they were to catch the flu.

’There are certain groups who are most at risk from developing the flu, and they include, over 65’s, pregnant women, and people with long term or severe medical conditions. If you are in one of these risk groups, please contact your doctor now as you are entitled to a vaccination.

’The NHS website is a very good point of reference for all the information you could need on the subject. Please follow my lead and stay in the best of health for the festive period just around the corner”.

NHS Flu Vaccination information

George says ‘Let’s all be positive about Paisley’

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, has today commented on two recent articles in the Daily Record and Scotsman respectively.

George said, “Both of these articles have painted a very bleak picture of the Paisley High Street. Both included pictures of what the Scotsman called fake shops. While this is not a time to argue over who is right and who is wrong because we all want our High Street to thrive, I was disappointed by the negativity in both articles.

‘Not mentioned were the tireless efforts of the Renfrewshire Council, especially the Council leader Brian Lawson, who are constantly looking at ways to improve Paisley Town Centre. Groups like the Paisley Development Trust and Paisley.org day in, day out are trying to promote Paisley to attract all kinds of people.

‘While the Town Centre is clearly not as attractive to shoppers as it once was, events are happening to try and attract people into Paisley, who in turn maybe become aware of a shop they never knew was there. The massive success of the Christmas lights turn on, when 37,500 people were in the centre of Paisley may go some way to doing that.

‘To pick up on the so called ‘fake shops’, the use of these signs was a concerted and imaginative effort to try and attract shops to Paisley, and signs are that this may be working. If we look at the Piazza, this is a really success story, through good management and a varied mix of shops, Paisley Buddies seem to really enjoy using this once maligned resource.

‘Essentially, I challenge everyone in Paisley and beyond to be as positive about our town as possible, it may not be easy and there will always be some one trying to put Paisley down, but a positive approach and outlook to Paisley will hopefully change this town’s fortunes and encourage Buddies, shoppers and shops to come to our great and historic town.”

Link to the Scotsman Story

Link to the Daily Record Story

George Praises ‘Paisley on the Web’

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, recently visited the offices of Paisley.org in the High Street in Paisley, responsible for ‘Paisley on the Web’. The organisation was established by Brian McGuire to promote community groups and other organisations to show the best of Paisley, its facilities, businesses and events. The group also offers website design, marketing, photography and IT support for organisations and businesses throughout Paisley.

Speaking on his visit, George said:

‘I am delighted to visit the offices of Paisley.org, another example of the
spirit in Paisley, determined to make a difference in the town in a positive way. Many people forget what the town has to offer, with great buildings and architecture, combined with the history of the town and the commercial opportunities available.

‘I have been keeping track of Paisley.org and I can’t help but be impressed with the positive vision and promotion of Paisley that this website provides. For an organisation of volunteers to work positively for Paisley shows the pride that Buddies have for the town. This demonstrates a truly different attitude and work ethic, to do something for the town, when others find it too easy to sit back and criticise, with no solutions to the challenges we all face. Paisley.org truly is Paisley on the web.

‘I would also like to draw everyone’s attention to Paisley.org’s application for funding through the RBS Community Force fund. You can vote for ‘Paisley on the Web’ at http://communityforce.rbs.co.uk/project/208.

Paisley.org – www.paisley.org.uk

Fuel Poverty Boost as Boiler Scrappage Scheme is Extended!

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, has welcomed the news of a record 35% increase of funding to target fuel poverty and energy efficiency.

George said, “By 2015, the Scottish Government will be spending £66.25million to help fight fuel poverty and increase energy efficiency. At this time of year, heating our homes becomes far too costly for many in our town. This is not helped by rising costs which the main energy companies are charging every one of us.

’While the UK Government continues to dilly-dally over what to do to, the Scottish Government is taking decisive action to help the people of Paisley and Scotland. In addition, there will is a £5million boost for the Energy Assistance Package scheme will also provide vital additional help through the forthcoming months, helping replace inefficient central heating systems – and with £1.5million more going towards the successful Boiler Scrappage Scheme, this will help target private landlords .

’If this announcement wasn’t good enough, everyone in receipt of Carers Allowance is eligible for the Energy Assistance Package scheme – this will mean an extra 7,000 people across the country in line for help heating their homes.

’I believe whole-heartedly that the Scottish Government is and will continue to act on the issues which affect the people of Paisley.”

Additional Information

Fuel poverty is defined as spending 10 per cent or more of household income on domestic fuel bills.

Scottish government Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency programmes will receive £65million in 2012-13 and in 2013-14, rising to £66.25million in 2014-15, representing a 35 per cent increase on the original £48million budget in 2011-12. The £48million includes £12.5 million for the Universal Home Insulation Scheme, £2.5million for the boiler scrappage scheme and the balance for the Energy Assistance Package and Fuel Poverty measures.

MSP Delighted by the Local Uptake of the Small Business Bonus

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, has spoken about the many local businesses continuing to benefit from the Small Business Bonus (SBB). George said, “The Scottish Government has recently published figures showing the number of small to medium sized enterprises which are in receipt of the Small Business Bonus. This a scheme set up by the SNP to help give relief to these types of businesses in this economically harsh time.

‘The Scottish Government has made a huge effort to help small – not just through this scheme but also through making it much easier for small and medium sized firms to bid for public contracts – and simply underlines how much more we could do to help business if we had full economic powers.

‘In Renfrewshire, 2,258 companies are receiving the SBB, which in total equates to £4,009,937 in relief. These figures have steadily increased since the scheme was introduced in 2008, when 1,797 Renfrewshire companies first took up this offer. This scheme has proved to be very attractive to local businesses and it will continue under this SNP Government.

‘These figures are truly great news and I would urge any owner of a small to medium size business, which is not already in receipt of the SBB, to apply for it.”
You can get more factual info on the SBBS here

Paisley’s MSP Speaks for Looked after Children

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, spoke in a debate on looked after children recently in the Scottish Parliament. The debate centered on the ways in which the Scottish Parliament as a whole can work together to improve the lives of looked after children.

 George said, ‘On 31st October this year, Renfrewshire had 765 looked-after children, 321 of whom were in accommodation. It looks like we will face an on-going situation of looking for permanent families for 50 children at any given time. The problem is that it is difficult to get foster parents. No matter what local authorities do, it is difficult for them to get people involved in fostering. I believe that the best people to sell the idea of being a foster parent are foster parents, because they can tell others what they have gained from the experience.

 ‘Members of staff in Renfrewshire Council, who are ably led by the director of service, Peter MacLeod, are motivated to succeed in this area. In the first half of this year, the council managed to get 13 children adopted into a home—a significantly higher figure than the previous year.

 ‘One thing that has become clear is the tremendous work of people in social work departments across the country. They deal with difficult situations in their job and work with families to get the best for them. I am extremely pleased that we have had such an open debate, in which everyone has agreed that we have to deal with the situation.

 ‘It is important that we get this right and that we all take our role as corporate parents seriously. As corporate parents, we are not just the parents of our own flesh and blood, but the parents of every child in Scotland.  Much work has been completed, but we need to achieve much, much more. We all know the social benefits to our country of getting this right. If we do not, we will create future problems—and future debates—for ourselves. All strands of government can work together to ensure that we provide every child with a secure upbringing and a chance to prosper.”         

Link to George’s speech and a transcript of the whole debate

MSP Welcome Massive Boost to Scottish Infrastructure

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, has heralded the news of the massive investment to Scottish infrastructure announced today by Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment.

 Mr Adam said, “The announcement today of £60billion of capital investment to drive growth in our country is tremendous news. Roads, rail, energy and Scotland’s next generation of broadband have all been given a massive boost. Paisley is already experiencing investment in the shape of the refurbishment to Gilmour Street Station and the improvements to our rail link with Glasgow.

 ‘As a country, we will all benefit from the Next Generation Broadband Action Plan which will deliver the next generation of broadband by 2020, ensuring future innovation in our digital economy and supporting businesses, ensuring they stay competitive in the global digital environment.  In addition, major investment will be undertaken to upgrade Scotland’s electricity grid, making sure we can deliver our energy potential, especially with our capacity to produce so much renewable energy.

 ‘We are investing in our water supply, with Scottish Water actively improving our drinking water. 55 schools will be replaced or refurbished to help our children learn in a more modern environment. On top of that, 30,000 affordable homes will be built over the five years of this parliament. All this points to one thing, this Government is working for Scotland; the people of Scotland; the future of Scotland.