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To ask the First Minister what assessment the Scottish Government has made of how any proposed post-Brexit trade deal with the United States could impact on the whisky sector.


Current Status: Due in Chamber on 24/05/2018

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has taken forward the recommendation by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in its report, The paediatric workforce: Focus on Scotland, to raise with the UK Government what the college advised was the need to ensure that, within the immigration rules, paediatrics should be included on the Scottish shortage occupation list, with exemption from the resident labour market test, and, if so, what response it has received.


Answered by Shona Robison (22/05/2018):

I can confirm that the paediatrics specialty is currently on both the UK and Scotland Only Shortage Occupation List (SOL). In using either of these lists, Boards are free to recruit internationally to any of the medical occupations listed on the UK or (SOL) List, without the need to go through a Resident Labour Market Test.

We will continue to promote retention of the specialty on the shortage occupations lists, engaging with both the UK Government and the Migration Advisory Committee, as appropriate.


Current Status: Answered by Shona Robison on 22/05/2018

To ask the First Minister whether the Scottish Government will provide an update on progress towards tackling excessive parcel delivery surcharges affecting parts of Scotland.


Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 10/05/2018

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of reports of disruption caused by the A939 regularly closing due to bridge repairs, what specific support is available to local authorities to construct new bridges that are required due to listed Highland bridges on key rural routes not being fit for purpose.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (08/05/2018):

Transport Scotland is a member of the SCOTS Bridges Group which shares issues from the wider bridge community with local authorities. Transport Scotland take concerns raised about various issues to the UK Bridges Board, which is a sub group of the UK Roads Liaison Group, and also the Bridge Owner’s Forum.

The vast majority of funding from the Scottish Government is provided via a block grant and Transport Scotland do not stipulate how local authorities should utilise their individual allocations. It is therefore the responsibility of each local authority to manage their own budget and to allocate the financial resources available to them on the basis of local needs and priorities, having first fulfilled their statutory obligations and the jointly agreed set of national and local priorities. The Scottish Government allocated over £10.4 billion to local government for 2017-18. In 2018-19, councils will receive funding through the local government finance settlement of £10.7 billion. This will provide a further real terms boost in both revenue and capital funding.

Highland Council will receive £487.5 million Scottish Government funding in 2018-19. Taken together with the decision to increase council tax by 3%, Highland Council will have an additional £17.1 million to support services compared to ‎2017-18.

In addition, the Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay MSP, has taken the decision to allocate an additional £10 million to cover all 32 councils, with individual council allocations to be determined by COSLA. This additional £10 million is being made directly available to local authorities immediately.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 08/05/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what (a) funding and (b) support is available for people with Huntington’s disease in Moray, and what plans it has to enhance this.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (04/05/2018):

NHS Boards are responsible for planning and delivering healthcare services, including specialist services, to meet the assessed needs of their resident populations, taking into account strategic frameworks and guidance, within the allocations provided. Specialist care for Huntington’s is usually delivered as part of a multi-disciplinary team, comprising a range of professional input across the clinical, nursing and allied health professions. Staff working within these specialities are likely to cover more than one area.

With regard to the support available for people with Huntington's Disease in Scotland, I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-16117 on 4 May 2018. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 04/05/2018

To ask the Scottish Government how many people are diagnosed with Huntington’s disease in each (a) NHS board and (b) local authority area, also expressed as a figure per 10,000 of the population.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (04/05/2018):

This information is not collected or held centrally.

The National Advisory Committee on Neurological Conditions is developing Scotland's first National Action Plan on Neurological Conditions. As part of this project we are working closely with NHS National Services Scotland Information Services Division to understand the prevalence of neurological conditions and will share our findings during consultation events later this year.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 04/05/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what specific funding is available to support the work of patient and community groups set up to offer advice and support for people with Huntington’s disease.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (04/05/2018):

The Scottish Huntington’s Association (SHA) received £120,000 in funding to develop a National Care Framework for Huntington’s Disease, plus a further £60,000 to deliver localised frameworks by 2019. The framework aims to help ensure families affected by the condition are given the best possible care, information and support - regardless of where they live in Scotland. Further information about the frameworks is available at: http://care.hdscotland.org/ . On
‎ 23 April 2018, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport launched the first phase of the localised frameworks at an event in NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

In addition, SHA has received core funding of £146,000 split equally over two years (2016-17 and 2017-18) and will receive a further £73,000 in 2018-19. This funding contributes to SHA’s network of specialist support and initiatives to raise awareness of Huntington’s Disease.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 04/05/2018

To ask the Scottish Government whether it can legally enforce community benefit agreements between communities and wind farm operators.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (02/05/2018):

The Scottish Government has no direct powers to oblige developers to pay community benefits or determine how funds are spent. In 2014, in partnership with industry and communities the Scottish Government produced Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits from Onshore Renewable Energy Developments which set out national standards on community benefits, which we encourage all developers and communities to use.

In Scotland's Energy Strategy (published December 2017) the Scottish Government gave a commitment to review its Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits and Shared Ownership. As part of the review process we have set up a Steering Group comprised of representatives from communities and industry, and are gathering evidence more widely through stakeholder workshops prior to undertaking a formal consultation later this year.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 02/05/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on devolving responsibility for the recruitment of staff at Dr Gray’s hospital in Elgin from NHS Grampian to the hospital's management.


Answered by Shona Robison (10/04/2018):

Whilst the Scottish Government supports NHS Health Boards in their efforts to ensure that they have the right staff in place to meet the healthcare needs of the local population, the detailed management of recruitment functions are a matter for the Health Board as employer.

NHS Grampian has confirmed that decisions about recruitment to posts at Dr Gray’s Hospital are made by the hospital’s senior clinical and management teams, who also undertake the shortlisting and assessment of candidates. They are supported by the NHS Grampian Recruitment team who provide guidance and management of the process of recruitment in line with established policies and governance arrangements.


Current Status: Answered by Shona Robison on 10/04/2018

To ask the Scottish Government how many paediatrician vacancies there are (a) nationally and (b) in each (i) NHS board and (ii) hospital, and what percentage of vacancies this represents.


Answered by Shona Robison (10/04/2018):

NHSScotland staff numbers have increased by over 10% under this Government to a record high of than 127,000 WTE, which includes an increase of over 90% in Paediatric Consultants.

Information relating to paediatrician vacancies levels at NHS hospital is not centrally held. Information on how many (a) consultant vacancies for Paediatrics nationally and at board level is published by ISD Scotland and is available at the following web link - https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Workforce/Publications/2018-03-06/Consultant_Vacancies_D2017.xls .


Current Status: Answered by Shona Robison on 10/04/2018