Motions, Questions and Answers Search

 

Motions, Questions and Answers Search Help

UniqueIdEventIdEventTypeIdEventTypeEventSubTypeIdEventSubTypeMSPIdMSPNamePartyNameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswerTextFormattedAnswerDateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateHoldingAnswerQuestionToIdQuestionToAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatusDateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
123
Page size:
select
 2807 items in 3 pages

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of reported comments by BMA Scotland that the matter should be treated with urgency, what immediate action it is taking to tackle NHS recruitment problems.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

The Scottish Government continues to work closely with NHS Scotland health boards, the BMA and the Royal Medical Colleges, to support a comprehensive approach to workforce recruitment and retention. We have already announced immediate work being taken forward to supplement existing recruitment activity, including the investment of over £4 million pounds, over the next three years, in priority areas, including consultant specialists, nursing and general practice. This includes the development of a dedicated international recruitment unit, based in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which is now live.

Additionally, we have worked with the BMA GP group to develop the new GP contract, backed by investment of £110 million in 2018-19, which will promote service sustainability and enhance recruitment into the profession. Furthermore, we continue to look holistically at the attractiveness of health and social care careers through a variety of measures, including developing Scotland’s first Graduate Entry Medicine Programme (ScotGEM), through the remote and rural incentive scheme, and through increases to the student nursing bursary. I remain committed to engaging proactively with stakeholders to explore how we continue to evolve this comprehensive approach.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assistance it provides to parents living in absolute poverty who have (a) given up work, (b) turned down a job and (c) not been able to take up education or training.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (18/03/2019):

Through our range of devolved employability programmes, the Scottish Government is keen to support anyone who wants to work and who is able to work to secure meaningful employment. Those eligible for support can engage with our employability programmes, including Fair Start Scotland, without fear of sanctions or penalty.

Funded early learning and childcare is available to around a quarter of 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 years olds (from the relevant start date). The eligibility criteria for 2 year olds includes having a parent that is in receipt of certain benefits. If a parent’s circumstances change after a child takes up a place, e.g. if they lose access to benefits, the child remains eligible and will not lose their place. Local authorities also have discretion to provide access to funded ELC to children who do not meet the eligibility criteria.

Over 11,000 children are already benefitting from access to more than 600 hours. We estimate that the full ELC entitlement will save families over £4,500 per child per year.

Out of work benefits, such as Universal Credit and Child Tax Credits remain the responsibility of the UK Government. Our 6th Welfare Reform Report on 1 October 2018 showed welfare spending will be reduced in Scotland by £3.7 billion in 2020-21.

The Scottish Government expects to spend £127 million in 2018-19 on welfare mitigation and measures to help protect those on low incomes. This includes £38 million on the Scottish Welfare Fund and £63.1 million on Discretionary Housing Payments.

We are using our new social security powers to directly support family incomes:

  • Delivering the Best Start Grant - providing a payment of £600 on the birth of a first child, and introducing a payment of £300 for second and subsequent children. Including additional payments at key transition points; next year we will also starting delivery of the early years payments of two £250 for under 5s
  • Putting an extra £442 a year into over 75,000 carer pockets in 2018-19 through the Carer’s Allowance Supplement which will be uprated in line with inflation;
  • In 2019 we are increasing eligibility for Funeral Expenses Allowance and are introducing the new Young Carers Grant and Job Grant.

We also provide a wide range of universal provision, including:

  • Free university tuition for eligible students;
  • Free prescriptions, saving £8.80 per item, and residential care worth £9,048 per year;
  • Free NHS funded eye examinations every two years, or annually for some groups;
  • Over £30 million to support delivery of the baby box in this Parliamentary term;
  • We provide £54 million to local authorities in 2018-19 to deliver free school meals to all pupils in primaries 1 to 3 at all publicly funded schools;
  • More than 133,500 P1 to P3 children are benefitting from free school meals; delivering annual savings for families of around £380 per child;

Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much has been spent on preparations for the creation of a Scottish National Investment Bank.


Answered by Derek Mackay (18/03/2019):

At the end of the current financial year 18-19 the Scottish Government will have spent £4 million to support the establishment of a Scottish National Investment Bank. The Bank will be operational in 2020 providing a cornerstone institution in Scotland’s economic architecture supporting businesses across all stages of the business growth lifecycle and financing infrastructure to secure private sector investment.

The Financial Memorandum published alongside the Scottish National Investment Bank Bill details estimated costs for the establishment of the Bank and can be accessed via the following link : Scottish National Investment Bank Bill Financial Memorandum .


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many people (a) nationally and (b) in each NHS board area are affected by foetal alcohol spectrum disorder; what proportion of the population this represents, and what action it is taking in response to this.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (18/03/2019):

This information is not held centrally. Historically, this condition was difficult to diagnose and assess consistently. To aid better assessment and diagnosis The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network published a guideline on the assessment and diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) on 23 January 2019. It stated that it is estimated that approximately 3.2% of babies born in the UK are affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) It is estimated that prevalence of FASD is around 2% in Scotland. With approximately 60,000 births annually in Scotland this would translate into an estimate of 1,200 babies with FASD born in Scotland every year. S5W-15530 on 17 April 2018 provided detail from the Scottish Birth Record of those recorded as having a diagnosis of “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome” in Scotland during the period 2003 to 2017. The action the Scottish Government is taking includes an increase in third sector support for families affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and improved access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services set out in Programme for Government 2018. The Alcohol Framework published on 20 November 2018 sets out our priorities for preventing alcohol related harm, including a specific action on FASD.

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 Joe FitzPatrick on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many women have received treatment for problems arising from an intrauterine (a) device and (b) system in each of the last five years, broken down by (i) NHS board area and (ii) age group.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

Most intrauterine devices (IUDs) are inserted in a primary care or hospital outpatient setting and any problems arising will often be treated there rather than as a hospital inpatient. However, data are not available centrally on the number of women treated for such problems in primary care or hospital outpatient settings.

Information on the number of intrauterine devices and intrauterine systems prescribed from sexual health settings (National Sexual Health System - NaSH) and primary care settings (Prescribing Information System) is published by NSS: Information Services Division.

'The Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) Key Clinical Indicator (KCI), LARC - 2018 in the LARC' publication gives details in 'data tables' 2 and 3 of the number of prescribed IUD devices/systems respectively and shows that across the last 5 years, the total number of prescribed intrauterine devices was around 36,000. For the same period, around 111,000 intrauterine systems were prescribed. The tables are available through the following link: https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Sexual-Health/Publications/

NSS: Information Services Division has also provided the following table which shows the number of hospital inpatient stays which resulted from complications related to intrauterine contraceptive devices. The number of hospital stays are too small to allow further breakdown by age-group:

Number of hospital stays with any diagnosis of mechanical complications of intrauterine contraceptive device, by health board of residence

Health board

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Total

NHS Ayrshire & Arran

*

7

*

9

6

28

NHS Borders

*

-

-

-

-

*

NHS Dumfries &
Galloway

*

*

*

*

-

5

NHS Fife

9

17

13

14

11

64

NHS Forth Valley

*

*

*

4

*

14

NHS Grampian

*

6

*

6

*

20

NHS Greater Glasgow
& Clyde

14

22

14

19

24

93

NHS Highland

5

7

*

*

7

25

NHS Lanarkshire

*

-

5

5

*

16

NHS Lothian

14

31

30

16

23

114

NHS Orkney

-

-

*

*

-

*

NHS Shetland

-

-

*

-

-

*

NHS Tayside

*

8

9

*

7

29

NHS Western Isles

-

*

-

*

-

*

Grand Total

60

105

84

81

85

415

Source: NHS National Services Scotland - Information Services Division (NSS:ISD). SMR01 data.

Note: a "*" represents a value of less than 5, and a "-" represents zero.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in response to the recent study by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which suggests that the NHS in Scotland is facing problems in recruiting paediatric doctors, with numbers have to rise by a quarter, and whether it agrees with the college's analysis.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

We have worked closely with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) to agree the appropriate and sustainable paediatric trainee supply. As the report highlights, we have acknowledged the need to increase the number of paediatric trainees.

We have provided 18 additional paediatric posts since 2014, achieving a 100% fill rate in a recent recruitment round.

We introduced a new broad-based training programme to help retain trainee doctors last year. The post foundation programme involves 6 months in each of Psychiatry, Medicine, General

Practice and Paediatrics.

The report also points out that trainees want to train in Scotland where there is twice the UK average applicants for each available post.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether Scotland Transerv has the available resources to fulfil its contractual obligations regarding the management and maintenance of the A75 and the trunk road network in the south west.


Answered by Michael Matheson (18/03/2019):

Scotland TranServ has sufficient resources available to cover its contractual obligations for the management and maintenance of the South West Trunk Road Network, including the A75.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government by what date the South West Scotland Transport Study will publish its draft report.


Answered by Michael Matheson (18/03/2019):

Transport Scotland is currently analysing the evidence gathered from stakeholder and public engagement, and other research methods, to fully determine the issues and opportunities for transport in this area. It is anticipated that a draft report will be published this spring. Transport Scotland continue to keep stakeholders updated via its website.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has regarding the annual uptake of the phased retirement option of the Scottish Teachers' Superannuation Scheme, including the average number of years teaching staff work part-time while drawing part of their pension.


Answered by Kate Forbes (18/03/2019):

The following table sets out the number of phased retirements in the Scottish Teachers' Superannuation Scheme from 2015 - 2016. From the data available, the average time spent on phased retirement by members who are currently active is 1.89 years. The average time spent on phased retirement for those who have retired from the scheme is 1.76 years.

Year

Number of phased retirements

2018-2019
(to February 2019)

314

2017-2018

324

2016-2017

289

2015-2016

218


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, following the completion of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR), whether it plans to detrunk the section of the A92 between the Charleston and Findon junctions and, if so, for what reason, and for what reason other sections of the A92 south of the Findon junction are not being considered for detrunking.


Answered by Michael Matheson (18/03/2019):

The Detrunking Order published in 2010 sets out the detrunking requirements for the project. Our plans for detrunking were extensively discussed with Local Authorities prior to publishing the Orders and as a consequence of this we are not planning to detrunk the section of A92 between Charleston and Findon nor sections further south. This is standard practice and consistent with our strategy across all major projects.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it had with NHS Lothian regarding the reported long-term sick leave among its glaucoma consultant team, and what support it is being providing to the board to ensure that this staffing issue does not have an adverse impact on waiting times.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

The Scottish Government Access Support Team is in regular contact with NHS Lothian glaucoma team. There is currently a member of the glaucoma team on long-term sick absence, a locum consultant has been employed to provide cover.

NHS Lothian are identifying the highest risk patients to ensure they are reviewed without delay. New ways of working are being developed within the glaucoma team, such as virtual glaucoma clinics where lower risk patients undergo a series of images which are then reviewed at a dedicated clinical session by the consultant. This enables a higher number of patients to be reviewed virtually and consequently frees up consultant time to review patients at the highest risk of sight loss. In addition, the Board are developing the roles of the non-medical profession (optometrists and orthoptists) to support the service.

I am aware that some aspects of performance across ophthalmology services within NHS Scotland, are below the level expected. The Scottish Government is working closely with health boards to improve Ophthalmology services across Scotland. Additionally on the 23 October 2019 I published our £850 million Waiting Times Improvement Plan.

The first allocation of £26.7 million has been allocated to all territorial NHS Boards and the Golden Jubilee National Hospital. This funding will be used to improve waiting times in the face of rising demand for services.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of information provided by its officials in July 2018 regrading detrunking sections of the A92, and following the completion of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR), whether it has altered its plans for detrunking on this road since that date and, if so, for what reason.


Answered by Michael Matheson (18/03/2019):

No. Excluding the section at the A90/A96 Haudagain Improvement Project, the detrunking of sections of the new A92 will go ahead as planned on 1 April 2019 as per Detrunking Orders published in 2010.

These Orders can be found at the following link: https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/aberdeen-western-peripheral-route-road-orders/


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a breakdown by origin of inward investment into Scotland, including from the rest of the UK, in each of the last five years.


Answered by Ivan McKee (18/03/2019):

I have place the answer in the Parliament’s Reference centre, BIB number 60521.


Current Status: Answered by Ivan McKee on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to reduce waiting times for glaucoma outpatient appointments.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21952 on 18 March 2019. 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 Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action is it taking to ensure that NHS boards recruit a sufficient number of consultant ophthalmology posts to meet rising demand, in light of the recent Workforce Census for 2018, published by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, which showed that NHS boards in Scotland are recruiting or planning to advertise for 11 consultant ophthalmology posts compared with an "ideal" number of 23.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

Under this government, the number of Consultants in NHS Scotland has increased by 51.3% to record high levels, with the number of ophthalmology consultants increasing by 45.5% over the same period (Sep-06 to Sep-18). The rate of ophthalmology vacancies has also seen a downward trend over the past two years. The number of Consultants specialising in Ophthalmology who are employed by each Board in NHS Scotland, and the current vacancy picture, is available on the ISD website: https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Workforce/Publications/2018-12-04/Medical-and-Dental.asp .

NHSScotland Boards have fully delegated powers in relation to employment issues. They are required to have the correct staff in place to meet the needs of the service and to ensure high quality patient care. It is for individual health boards to make decisions on the creation of posts and filling of vacancies to meet the needs of the service.

To support Boards, the Scottish Government has invested £4 million pound in domestic and international recruitment efforts across NHS Scotland over the next 3 years.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what new guidance has been provided to NHS Lothian on infection control, and whether this includes building design and healthcare associated infections processes.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

Current national guidance remains extant across NHS Scotland. This is set out in the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual which can be accessed via: http://www.nipcm.scot.nhs.uk/ .

Any new or updated infection prevention and control guidance is rightly provided to boards by Health Protection Scotland (HPS). The guidance is regularly updated by HPS and health boards then use this to develop their local policies and processes as appropriate.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to increase recruitment of ophthalmology trainees, in light of the recent Workforce Census for 2018, published by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, which showed that there were 11 Deanery funded ophthalmology trainee posts unfilled in Scotland.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

The data published in the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Workforce Census 2018 does not accord with that published by NHS Education for Scotland (NES), who are responsible for medical trainee recruitment in Scotland.

The fill rate for vacancies in Ophthalmology at both Specialty Training year 1 level (ST1) and ST3 level, have been consistently 100% over each of the past five consecutive years, with the exception of one ST3 post in 2018 that did not fill out of 11 posts in total.

An annual process, managed by the SG Shape of Training Transition Group, considers medical specialty trainee supply and demand. The process takes account of a range of factors including medical profile workforce data (such as the number of trainees about to qualify and gain their Certification of Completion of Training and retirals) as well as responses from Health Boards, Specialty Training Boards, and others with an interest such as Royal Colleges. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists have not submitted a case for increasing Ophthalmology training numbers in Scotland during the recent consultation for 2019 trainee recruitment.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) nursing and (b) midwifery vacancies there have been in each year since 1999.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

A table on the number of nursing and midwifery vacancies for staff working in NHSScotland from 2007 onwards has been placed in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre- Bib reference number 60524

The number of nursing and midwifery vacancies for staff working in NHSScotland as at 1999-2005 is available on the ISD website historic tables: Nursing and midwifery vacancies by level of qualification and specialty - total vacancies - trend

Please note: The information in these tables should be treated with caution. The non-submission of data is not thought to have a major impact on the vacancy rates shown but the underlying vacancy and establishment numbers will be undercounts of the real total. Figures from 2003 (shaded in the table) are considered to be the most reliable.

The information requested on nursing and midwifery vacancies for staff working in NHScotland for 2006 is not centrally available.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the average age is of an NHS (a) specialist, (b) GP, (c) nurse and (d) dentist.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

ISD workforce holds information on the number of Hospital, Community and Public Health Services (HCHS) medical staff by specialty directly employed by NHS Scotland. Staff are not directly classified as “specialists” within the ISD workforce data, however we interpret this as staff who are working as HCHS medical consultants. As at 31 December 2018, the average age of HCHS medical consultants directly employed by NHS Scotland is 48 years and 1 month.

The average age of NHSScotland GPs as at 30 September 2018 is 44 years and 4 months. The analysis excludes GPs working only on a locum/sessional basis and the majority of those working only in Out of Hours services.

The average age of NHSScotland qualified nurses as at 31 December 2018 is 43 years and 3 months. Qualified nurses are nurses who are on Agenda for Change (AfC) Bands 5-9 excluding interns. Nursing staff working as and when required, e.g. bank and agency staff, are excluded.

The average age of NHSScotland dentists as at 30 September 2018 is 39 years and 9 months. This reflects the wider dental workforce across Scotland including those in the General Dental Service (GDS), Public Dental Service (PDS) as well as hospital dentists.

Further information on the statistics, including information on how the data are collected and notes to aid interpretation, is given in the 'FAQs' section of the Workforce Statistics website at http://www.isdscotland.org/workforce/ .


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many cancer nurse specialists there were in (a) 2016, (b) 2017 and (c) 2018.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

The number of cancer nurse specialists employed by NHScotland for years 2016 and 2017 is available on the ISD website: https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Workforce/Publications/2018-12-04/Clinical_Nurse_Specialists_S2018.xls

Health Boards are currently reviewing their Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) data, following data quality concerns raised by several Boards which resulted in this CNS data not being published in September 2018. The number of cancer nurse specialists employed by NHScotland for year 2018 is not centrally available.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many people are diagnosed with blood cancer, on average, each year in Scotland.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

NHS National Services Scotland’s Information Services Division (ISD) supported by Scottish Government funding, collates this information.

Number of People Diagnosed with Blood Cancer each year in Scotland:

Year

Total

1992

603

1993

654

1994

650

1995

617

1996

696

1997

691

1998

671

1999

703

2000

691

2001

748

2002

719

2003

818

2004

752

2005

768

2006

725

2007

706

2008

725

2009

747

2010

695

2011

766

2012

671

2013

658

2014

661

2015

654

2016

589

Average

695

Further information is available at the following link: https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Cancer-Statistics/Leukaemias/ .


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) nursing and (b) midwifery training places there have been in each year since 1999.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

The number of nursing and midwifery training intake numbers since 2000-01 are listed in the following table and have been sourced from ISD Scotland publications:https:--www.isdscotland.org-Health-Topics-Workforce-Publications-data-tables2017.asp

 

Year

Nursing Training
intake Places

Midwifery Training
intake Places

 

Total intake

2000-01

3,036

206

3,242

2001-02

3,160

205

3,365

2002-03

3,183

212

3,395

2003-04

3,422

186

3,608

2004-05

3,513

185

3,698

2005-06

3,419

173

3,592

2006-07

3,233

172

3,405

2007-08

3,181

181

3,362

2008-09

3,116

195

3,311

2009-10

3,291

182

3,473

2010-11

3,307

198

3,505

2011-12

2,948

101

3,049

2012-13

2,606

107

2,713

2013-14

2,768

143

2,911

2014-15

3,024

161

3,185

2015-16

2,986

178

3,164

2016-17

3,094

172

3,266

2017-18

3,268

203

3,471

Numbers for 1999-00 are unavailable and data for 2018-19 will be published in December 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government by what date all Scottish trauma centres will be open.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

As set out in the Scottish Trauma Network’s National Implementation Plan, the chosen model for trauma care in Scotland involves four Major Trauma Centres (MTCs). The first two of these were opened in the North (Aberdeen) in October 2018 and in the East (Dundee) in November 2018. It is expected the MTCs in the South East and the West will open as set out in the Implementation Plan.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to improve early diagnosis of blood cancer.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is committed to early detection – this is reflected in our £42 million Detect Cancer Early (DCE) Programme. DCE’s latest social marketing campaign – Survivors – ran on TV, radio and digital channels across Scotland late 2018 to highlight that more people are surviving cancer than ever before and early detection plays a big part.

The Scottish Cancer Coalition – which includes representation from blood cancer charities - was consulted on the campaign’s development and human interest stories secured through the forum, to encourage individual early action.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer were clinically refreshed and published in January 2019, to support primary care clinicians in referring patients with symptoms suspicious of cancer. Work is ongoing, with support from Macmillan Cancer Support Scotland and Cancer Research UK, to ensure the revised Guidelines are fully disseminated and adopted across NHSScotland.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many children are diagnosed with blood cancer, on average, each year.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

NHS National Services Scotland’s Information Services Division (ISD) supported by Scottish Government funding, collates this information.

Number of Children Diagnosed with Blood Cancer in Scotland

Year

Under 5

5-9

10-14

1992

26

10

5

1993

22

14

8

1994

32

6

12

1995

20

12

5

1996

20

4

9

1997

32

13

13

1998

24

8

11

1999

19

8

9

2000

17

15

7

2001

25

6

6

2002

30

17

11

2003

18

18

11

2004

17

18

13

2005

19

4

12

2006

26

9

5

2007

19

7

4

2008

30

15

9

2009

22

8

7

2010

15

5

7

2011

17

13

7

2012

24

16

6

2013

24

11

6

2014

18

13

6

2015

21

14

8

2016

22

15

9

    

Average

22

11

8

Further information is available at the following link: https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Cancer-Statistics/Leukaemias/


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government in what percentage of cases did the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (a) reach and (b) act on a decision within 28 days of receiving a prosecution report in each year since 2007-08.


Answered by James Wolffe QC (18/03/2019):

COPFS has a published national target to take a decision on the appropriate course of action and implement that decision in at least 75% of cases within 4 weeks of the date on which the report is received from the reporting agency. This target applies to all cases except cases which are likely to be dealt with under solemn procedure i.e. the more serious cases where the case is likely to be dealt with in the High Court or in the Sheriff Court before a Jury. COPFS performance against this target is detailed on the following table:

2007-08    78%

2008-09    82%

2009-10    85%

2010-11    86%

2011-12    83%

2012-13    82%

2013-14    84%

2014-15    81%

2015-16    77%

2016-17    76%

2017-18    77%

2018-Jan   79%


Current Status: Answered by James Wolffe QC on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on what progress is being made in increasing the role of NHS National Services Scotland in negotiating the costs of medicines, in light of the findings of the Montgomery Review of Access to New Medicines.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (18/03/2019):

The Scottish Government has been discussing with public sector partners how the process by which new medicines are considered by the Scottish Medicines Consortium and the role of NHS National Services Scotland can develop to achieve better value for money when new medicines are made available on the NHS. Progress since the end of 2018 has however been slower than the Government first intended, as it has been necessary for officials and NHS partners to devote substantial time to the preparation of medicine supply contingency plans for the eventuality of a no deal UK exit from the EU. The Government hopes that it will be possible in the coming months to resume progress on this important recommendation of the Montgomery Review.

Progress however has also been made in the agreement of a new UK Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access Scheme, which commenced in January 2019. The new scheme introduced provisions that allow the UK Health Administrations to share the details of previously confidential pricing arrangements and also imposes new responsibilities on pharmaceutical companies to achieve comparable arrangements that provide an acceptable value proposition in each part of the UK.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of statements in its Industrial Injuries Disabled Benefit: policy position paper, and the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People's letter to the Convener of the Social Security Committee of 28 February 2019, whether it is its confirmed position that the new claims service for Employment Injury Assistance will be launched in Autumn 2022.

 

 


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (15/03/2019):

Yes .


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 15/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government at what rate disability assistance for older people will be paid, and whether it will provide a breakdown of the components of this benefit.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (15/03/2019):

The Consultation on Disability Assistance in Scotland, which launched on 5 March 2019, set out our intentions to pay Disability Assistance for Older People based on the following 2018-19 rates for care:

  • Lower Rate £57.30
  • Higher Rate £85.60

Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 15/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it will address the lack of 4G mobile phone coverage in areas of Shetland where there is no commercial interest.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (15/03/2019):

As the member is aware, regulation and legislative competence in respect of all telecommunication matters is reserved to the UK Parliament and UK Ministers. The Scottish Government is intervening, on economic development grounds, to try to address "notspot" areas that have arisen, across large areas of rural Scotland, as a consequence of the failure of the UK wide approach to market regulation, but is, as the question alludes to, only able to intervene where there is no commercial proposal to establish coverage,

The Scottish Government is investing up to £25 million in the Scottish 4G Infill Programme (S4GI) to deliver 4G infrastructure and services in selected “notspots”.

Initial target locations for S4GI include three sites in the Shetland Islands, located at Ham, Ayres of Selivoe and Bruray.

Preparatory work is underway to secure landowner agreements and planning permission. However, as with other target locations, masts will only be built when there is a firm commitment in place from at least one mobile network operator to deliver services from each site. We continue to engage proactively with mobile operators to encourage them to support the programme. We will publish quarterly progress updates via the Scottish Government website.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 15/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to encourage the uptake of superfast broadband.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (15/03/2019):

Since the £400 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme began, as our response to a failing in the UK wide model to deliver broadband services to many communities across Scotland , take -up of fibre broadband has been encouraged through extensive promotion, including press releases, regular briefings for local and national politicians as well as a variety of pro-active activities in recently activated areas, such as post-code mail shots and direct engagement through community councils.

The DSSB website provides extensive information about the current programme along with a helpful enquiry form, enabling the public to contact the project teams directly with specific queries.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 15/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government on what dates the Saltire Prize Committee has met since its establishment, and whether it will place a copy of the minutes of all of these meetings in SPICe.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (15/03/2019):

The Saltire Prize Committee has met or held teleconference discussions with officials on the following dates:

  • 03 October 2008
  • 02 December 2008
  • 22 & 23 April 2009
  • 07 October 2010
  • 22 March 2011
  • 22 March 2012
  • 18 March 2013
  • 17 May 2013
  • 18 March 2014
  • 24 April 2015
  • 08 May 2015
  • 10 November 2016
  • 27 January 2017
  • 7 Februrary 2018

Committee meetings have not been routinely minuted. Meetings of the Saltire Prize Committee have been to inform ongoing policy development and will not be published in SPICe at this time.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 15/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether there are any plans for Social Security Scotland's involvement in making referrals to the Work Able Scotland programme.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (15/03/2019):

The referral period for Work Able Scotland finished in March 2018. Social Security Scotland was not formed until after this period, in autumn 2018.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 15/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how Social Security Scotland plans to carry out face-to-face assessments, or the Scottish equivalent, and what specific consideration it has given to people living in rural and remote areas and the islands.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (14/03/2019):

We recognise that attending an assessment in rural locations can be more challenging for people. We therefore plan to consult on the distances people should reasonably be expected to travel to attend assessments and what additional factors should be taken into account when inviting clients for a face-to-face assessment.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many Police Scotland staff will have a reduction in their salary from April 2019 as a consequence of the current pay offer.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (14/03/2019):

The Scottish Government does not hold this information. Police Scotland and the SPA confirm that the pay and reward modernisation package recently agreed with trade unions will directly benefit the majority of police staff. More than 70% of police staff will benefit, a number of staff will face no change and a minority may experience a detrimental effect. However for those facing a reduction, SPRM provides pay protection for two years in the form of a lump sum or monthly payments. The exact figures will be determined by changes to posts and shift patterns in the lead up to implementation.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the full revenue budget allocation to the Scottish Prison Service is for 2019-20, and how this compares with 2018-19.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (14/03/2019):

The Scottish Prison Service’s budget for 2018-19 and 2019-20 is set out in the following table:

 

18-19 (£m)

19-20 (£m)

Fiscal resource

312.2

312.2

Non cash

33.0

34.0

Capital

16.2

47.5

Total

361.4

393.7

 


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much investment has been made by BT through Gainshare as part of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme, broken down by Parliamentary region.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (14/03/2019):

To date, as a result of better than expected take-up of broadband services by customers with 48.6% in rest of Scotland and 53% in the HIW area, £17.83 million has been brought forward through Gainshare by BT, across the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme Of this, £15.6 million has been invested in the 'Rest of Scotland' contract and a further £2.23 million in the Highlands and Islands contract. This has resulted in further deployment in every local authority area across the country. We are not able to break this amount down by Parliamentary region.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much of the £1.35 million committed to initiatives with colleges and the Student Awards Agency for Scotland’s (SAAS) outreach programme in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan has been spent; where the funding has been spent; which colleges have received funding; how many people have been supported, and how the funding has been used by SAAS’s outreach programme.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (14/03/2019):

The Scottish Government Advanced Learning and Science Directorate has been allocated £1.35m, to be distributed over the course of the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan implementation period, to fund pilot projects based in further education settings and via the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). £236,816 has currently been committed for Financial Year 2018-19. Of this funding, SAAS have received £150,000 to expand their Outreach Programme and Dundee and Angus college has been offered up to £86,816 in Academic Year 2018-19 to start work on a new project.

Funding provided to the college is to enable work to start in this academic year with the remainder of their funding and activity continuing in 2019-20. SAAS have been working to expand their existing outreach programme and have used this funding to target new groups. SAAS are tracking and analysing all digital activity linked to the programme.

To date, SAAS have worked with a range of stakeholders to raise awareness of available funding for at risk groups including lone parents, young families, ethnic minorities and families with disabled children. Specifically targeted activity includes; development of a financial assistance information video aimed at S2-S4 school pupils, expanded distribution of SAAS literature to include libraries, citizens advice bureaus, supermarkets and local authorities, literature produced in 8 languages and targeted community events, work with Job Centre Plus to upskill staff and claimants on available funding to learn, development of marketing products in collaboration with Young Scots Young People's Parenthood and Pregnancy Project and delivery of live streaming outreach events for rural areas with demographic and geo targeted digital advertising.

Before the end of the financial year, SAAS will also have rolled out posters to be displayed in supermarkets, continue to increase their presence in schools and deliver more live streaming events.


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much of the £7.5 million Innovation Fund committed to in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan has been spent; which organisations have received funding, including any that successfully bid for money via application, and how much each received.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (14/03/2019):

The Innovation Fund is a joint fund between the Scottish Government and the Hunter Foundation, each contributing £5m and £2.5m respectively over the life of Every Child, Every Chance .

Following an application process eight organisations were successful in securing funding from the fund. We also agreed with the Hunter Foundation to invest this financial year in organisations that form part of our Social Innovation Partnership (SIP) to allow them to expand the work they do to tackle child poverty. The following table details the organisations awarded funding, awards for 2018-19 and indicative awards, yet to be finalised, for 2019-20:

New organisations via application

Award – 2018-19

Award (indicative) 2019-20

Clackmannanshire Council

No spend

£84,500

Clyde Gateway

£9,900

£80,100

Covey Befriending

£11,994

£38,336

L.I.F.T

£70,177

£102,168

MCR Pathways

£97,000

£100,000

Midlothian Sure Start

£121,914

£198,767

North Lanarkshire Council

£41,000

£46,000

Stepwell

£99,900

£251,525

Monitoring costs

£7,685

£9,000

 

Existing SIP organisation

MsMissMrs

£47,000

 

One Parent Families Scotland

£87,000

 

Radiant & Brighter

£44,764

 

Street Soccer Scotland

£49,523

 

WorkingRite

£32,517

 
   

Total

£720,374

£910,396

An update on all actions committed to within the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan will be published by the end of June 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many childcare providers in receipt of college bursaries (a) meet the Care Inspectorate’s standards and (b) pay staff at least the Living Wage.


Answered by Maree Todd (14/03/2019):

All 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds are currently entitled to 600 hours per year of funded early learning and childcare. The entitlement will increase to 1140 hours a year from August 2020. Discretionary support is also available to students who are parents through their individual colleges and universities. Where assistance is provided for childcare costs from a college or university this may be given in the form of a direct payment to the student or to a nominated third party, for example, a childcare provider.

All childcare providers, by law, must register with the Care Inspectorate before they can operate. The Care Inspectorate’s registration process will determine whether a setting is fit to deliver a daycare of children service. Newly registered settings will then receive a full inspection from the Care Inspectorate within 12 months of being registered.

As part of the Funding Follows the Child approach, from August 2020 a new National Standard for all providers will be introduced. All settings delivering the funded early learning and childcare entitlement will have to meet the National Standard. Under this approach providers will receive a sustainable rate from local authorities, which will enable them to pay the real Living Wage to all childcare workers delivering the funded entitlement from August 2020.

Employers who pay the real Living Wage can, if they wish, seek to become Living Wage accredited. There are already a number of Living Wage accredited private and third sector employers operating in the ELC sector, including Enterprise Childcare in Greenock. Whilst the Scottish Government encourages more providers to become Living Wage accredited, it is not required to the criteria in the new National Standard to be introduced in August 2020.

More information on Living Wage accredited employers in the sector can be found at: https://scottishlivingwage.org/accredited .

There are also other private and voluntary sector providers in the sector who are paying at least the real Living Wage, but have not sought accreditation.


Current Status: Answered by Maree Todd on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it supports students with childcare costs when some, but not all, of their children qualify for funded hours.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (14/03/2019):

Colleges are allocated childcare funding annually by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) as part of student support funds. These funds support students studying Further and Higher Education courses at college. The two elements of the funding are the Lone Parent Childcare Grant (LPCG), and the Discretionary Childcare Fund.

The LPCG is an entitlement payment of up to £1,215 per year for students who are lone parents and who have formal registered childcare expenses. The Discretionary Childcare Fund is a cash-limited fund to help with formal registered childcare expenses. Payments from the fund are made at the discretion of colleges and on assessment of need, intended to supplement students’ existing resources. The SFC places no limit on the amount of support a student can receive and colleges have the flexibility to determine award levels.

In 2018-19, students in Further Education are benefitting from a record amount of £111 million in student support funding, which includes funding for childcare.

University students with childcare costs are also supported by way of the LPCG and the Discretionary Childcare Fund. Funding for these is allocated by the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) and is administered by the institutions themselves. Similarly to in colleges, the LPCG is an entitlement payment of up to £1,215 per year, while universities have discretion over the level of awards made from the Discretionary Childcare Fund.

In 2018-19, a total of £4.8 million has been allocated to universities for the LPCG and Discretionary Childcare Fund.


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how organisations and businesses can input into its consideration of what types of activities, programmes and support will be eligible to benefit from the financial commitment to mitigate the risks of Brexit that it announced in its Budget.


Answered by Derek Mackay (14/03/2019):

As a responsible government we must prepare for all EU Exit possibilities, and the 2019-20 Scottish Budget will support vital preparedness activities. All Portfolio areas have benefited from all of the 2019-20 EU Exit consequentials being allocated via the Scottish Budget. We are prioritising activity in areas that will be heavily impacted by Brexit - the economy, transport, food and drink, medicines, agriculture and the rural economy. The Scottish Government is working with all delivery partners to ensure that essential actions to reduce the impact of a no-deal Brexit can be taken.

Raising awareness in and action by businesses is vital. Last year we launched “Prepare for Brexit”, offering readiness self-assessment tools and expert advice as well as access to learning and networking events, and grants for Brexit planning support. That campaign can help many more businesses to take steps to enhance resilience despite the ongoing uncertainty.

We are also engaged in civil contingencies planning around any impacts that may have an immediate and direct effect on citizens. Intensive planning and preparation for a ‘no deal’ outcome has been underpinned by detailed work across government to identify the risks and potential impacts of EU exit and the mitigating actions that we and others could take across a wide range of issues, including impact to businesses.

Weekly meetings of SGoRR – the Scottish Government Resilience Room Committee – have been held with the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister convening. These meetings have input from Cabinet Secretaries including those responsible for Health, Justice, Transport, Rural and my own Portfolio, as well as other organisations such as Transport Scotland, COSLA, and Police Scotland.

I am working with the Deputy First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations to ensure that any decisions to reprioritise resource towards EU exit priorities are made collectively and consistently.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on reported concerns that the admissions system for postgraduate teaching programmes is insufficient, and whether it will consider introducing a system similar to that used in the rest of the UK.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (14/03/2019):

Applications for postgraduate teacher training courses in Scotland are currently processed through UCAS’ undergraduate admissions service, at the request of Scottish universities.

We understand that UCAS is in the process of undertaking a programme of technological development’s across all of its systems and is in on-going discussions with institutions in Scotland in respect of that, including in relation to the admissions system for post graduate teaching programmes in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has no plans to introduce a new and separate admissions system.


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the UCAS undergraduate admissions system for postgraduate teaching programmes in Scotland.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (14/03/2019):

Applications for postgraduate teacher training courses in Scotland are currently processed through UCAS’ undergraduate admissions service at the request of Scottish universities.

Higher Education Institutions are autonomous bodies and, as such, liaise directly with UCAS regarding admission systems and processes. The Scottish Government has not made an assessment of this system; however we understand that Scottish institutions are currently in on-going dialogue with UCAS regarding the programme of technological developments they are undertaking across all of their systems.


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to improve the flexibility of free child care hours for parents in work.


Answered by Maree Todd (14/03/2019):

We are expanding the statutory entitlement to funded early learning and childcare (ELC) for all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds to 1140 hours a year from August 2020. Our multi-year funding package will see annual revenue investment in early learning and childcare reach around £990 million by 2022-22.

Our Funding Follows the Child approach will help increase choice and flexibility for parents and carers while ensuring children benefit from high quality provision. All ELC settings delivering the funded entitlement will have to meet our new National Standard from August 2020.

Local authorities are developing their plans for the expansion of ELC and phasing in their new offer, informed by consultation with families. This should see a range of delivery models including more local authority settings opening for longer hours, delivery through funded providers in the private and third sector, including childminders, and options that tie into the school day (or traditional morning/afternoon sessions).

This will build on previous investment to increase flexibility. For example, the Care Inspectorate report that flexibility has increased across the sector since 2014, including continued increases in the flexibility in opening times for daycare of children services.


Current Status: Answered by Maree Todd on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on what progress it is making in increasing free childcare from 600 to 1,140 hours per year by 2020, and whether it expects to meet this target on time.


Answered by Maree Todd (14/03/2019):

The ELC Joint Delivery Board, co-chaired by the Minister for Children and Young People and the COSLA Spokesperson for Children and Young People, oversees progress across all aspects of the 1140 hours expansion. The work of the Board is informed by regular submission of data and intelligence from local authorities on progress with delivery in a number of key areas.

The Board published the first Early Learning and Childcare Delivery Progress Report on 19 December 2018, which can be found at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/early-learning-and-childcare-delivery-progress-report/ . The data for the first period (1 May 2018 to 30 September 2018) shows that over 11,000 children are already benefitting from access to more than 600 hours of ELC, including 1,100 eligible two year olds; exceeding local authority projections. Local authorities are broadly meeting forecasts for delivery progress and remain on track to deliver. The next progress report for the period 1 October 2018 to 30 April 2019 is expected to be published in Summer 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Maree Todd on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to the second supplementary to question S5T-01518 by Ash Denham on 26 February 2019 (Official Report, c. 8), whether the review will consider (a) the whole fatal accident inquiry process, including the protracted timescales, structural barriers and public confidence in it and (b) removing fatal accident inquiries from the remit of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.


Answered by Ash Denham (14/03/2019):

As previously stated, the commitment given was that the issue of legal aid for families involved in fatal accident inquiries will be considered as part of wider planned reforms to legal aid legislation arising from the Independent Review of Legal Aid. The Scottish Government intends to consult on these reforms prior to the summer recess.

A comprehensive independent review of the legislation on fatal accident inquiries was undertaken by Lord Cullen, the former Lord President, and reported in November 2009. The Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Act 2016 was passed unanimously by Parliament. The main provisions were implemented in June 2017, less than 2 years ago.

There is no proposal to remove fatal accident inquiries from the remit of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. The position of the Lord Advocate as head of the system of prosecution and investigation of deaths is enshrined in the Scotland Act 1998. All sudden, unexpected and suspicious deaths in Scotland are reported to the procurator fiscal, who carries out such investigation as the circumstances require, subject to the direction of the Lord Advocate. Some death investigations result in criminal proceedings. A small minority result in a fatal accident inquiry. In some cases, there may be both a criminal prosecution and a fatal accident inquiry. The investigation of all deaths by the procurator fiscal, within the system for which the Lord Advocate is responsible, avoids duplication and ensures that all aspects of each death can be considered.

In August 2016 the independent Inspector of Prosecutions published a thematic inspection of fatal accident inquiries. The Inspector has confirmed that she will undertake and publish during the first half of 2019 a follow-up on her review of fatal accident inquiries. It will be for the Lord Advocate to consider that report when it is published.


Current Status: Answered by Ash Denham on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to the second supplementary to question S5T-01518 by Ash Denham on 26 February 2019 (Official Report, c. 8), in light of the minister's comment that "I agree that a review [of fatal accident inquiries] is required", whether it will confirm the scope, purpose and timeline of any such review.


Answered by Ash Denham (14/03/2019):

As previously stated, the commitment given was that the issue of legal aid for families involved in fatal accident inquiries will be considered as part of wider planned reforms to legal aid legislation arising from the Independent Review of Legal Aid.

Such consideration will include the current statutory tests of probable cause, reasonableness and financial eligibility.

A comprehensive independent review of the legislation on fatal accident inquiries was undertaken by Lord Cullen, the former Lord President, and reported in November 2009. The Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Act 2016 was passed unanimously by Parliament. The main provisions were implemented in June 2017, less than 2 years ago.

In August 2016, the independent Inspector of Prosecution published a thematic inspection of fatal accident inquiries. The Inspector has confirmed that she will undertake and publish during the first half of 2019 a follow-up on her review of fatal accident inquiries. It will be for the Lord Advocate to consider that report when it is published.


Current Status: Answered by Ash Denham on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has regarding how many tons of waste are recycled every month, including how much is (a) reprocessed, (b) resold and (c) redistributed.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/03/2019):

Information on Scottish waste recycling data can be found at https://www.sepa.org.uk/environment/waste/waste-data/ .

However information is not available in the requested format. Figures are published on an annual basis only.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the publication of the analysis of the responses to the consultation on the deposit return scheme for single-use drinks containers , whether it plans to hold a further consultation on the final design and, if so, what the timeline will be.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/03/2019):

The commitment to establish a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers was set out through the 2017-18 Programme for Government and a public consultation seeking views on the design of that scheme concluded in September 2018. That consultation highlighted widespread agreement that a well-run and appropriately targeted DRS could provide opportunities in relation to improving the environment, changing people’s attitudes to recycling and littering, and building the circular economy. It also provided detailed feedback on key elements of any scheme design. Ministers will take account of the views expressed as they work to finalise the design of a DRS for Scotland in the coming months.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5T-01532 by Humza Yousaf on 5 March 2019 (Official Report, c. 3), what monitoring it carries out to assess the extent of sectarian and violent behaviour associated with football.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (14/03/2019):

While Police Scotland collects data in relation to behaviour at and around football matches and the Scottish FA and the SPFL collate data on unacceptable conduct inside football grounds, the Scottish Government does not directly monitor unacceptable conduct at football.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what role the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) has in ensuring that an individual’s right to privacy about their mental health is protected, where appropriate, in the criminal justice system.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (14/03/2019):

The European Convention on Human Rights is incorporated in the law of Scotland, as in the other legal systems of the UK, by the Human Rights Act 1998. Under the terms of this legislation it is unlawful for a public authority to act in a way which is incompatible with a Convention right. "Public authorities" include a court or tribunal, and any person certain of whose functions are functions of a public nature.

Moreover the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Ministers may not act incompatibly with the Convention, under the terms of the Scotland Act 1998.

Should an individual feel that his or her rights provided by the Convention are not being protected, ultimately his or her recourse is through the courts.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what statutory protection is available to home owners to protect them from excessive charges for repairs by (a) registered social landlords and (b) factors.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (14/03/2019):

Registered social landlords (including subsidiaries) who operate as a property factor are regulated by the Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011. The Act requires all property factors to be registered and then to comply with a code of conduct (the Code) which sets out minimum standards of practice in the delivery of services to homeowners.

The Code, amongst other things, requires all registered property factors to ensure transparency in financial and charging arrangements as well as when arranging for repairs and maintenance to be undertaken. The Code also requires a property factor to provide a homeowner with a copy of its complaints procedure that should set out the steps taken by the property factor to resolve such complaints.

These measures allow a homeowner to hold their property factor to account and to challenge poor practice where this arises.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it takes to promote the use of wearable technology in care home and sheltered living settings to help prevent accidents.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (14/03/2019):

The Scottish Government set up the world leading Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Programme to improve healthy and safe living using technology, including wearables.

The upcoming shift from analogue to digital telephony systems also offers significant opportunity to re-design the existing telecare delivery model to move from an existing model that is largely reactive to one that is more predictive, using wearables and sensor technology in homes, while not compromising on the vital safety net that telecare offers.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what training is given to medical and non-medical NHS staff to identify patients who are likely to go missing.


Answered by Clare Haughey (14/03/2019):

The GMC requires that all doctors in training must develop the appropriate professional competences and demonstrate that they can (i) understand, identify and manage risk (including clinical and suicide) (ii) demonstrate and apply non-technical skills and crisis resource management.

As a requirement for registration, nursing students on undergraduate programmes are required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council to be able to recognise situations and act appropriately when a person’s choice may compromise their safety or the safety of others, and to use strategies to manage situations where a person’s wishes conflict with nursing interventions necessary for the person’s safety.

We expect NHS Boards to have processes in place to deal with absconding and missing patients and that these will include appropriate training of staff.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how its (a) social security policy position papers and (b) consultation on disability assistance take account of the EU social security coordination rules.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (14/03/2019):

The policies discussed in the consultation and associated papers are not directly relevant to the coordination rules. The rules control how differing social security systems fit together to ensure EEA nationals can access support in other member states. Each participating system remains free to decide the nature of its benefits, eligibility criteria and levels of payment.

The Scottish Government is committed to its legal responsibility to ensure that all devolved benefits offer fair and equal access to EEA nationals.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what appeal mechanisms are available to home owners when facing charges for repairs by (a) registered social landlords and (b) factors that they consider excessive.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (14/03/2019):

General information on making a complaint to a registered social landlord can be found at: https://www.scottishhousingregulator.gov.uk/publications/complaints-about-regulated-body .

Registered social landlords (including subsidiaries) who operate as a property factor are also regulated by the Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011. The Act requires all property factors to be registered and then to comply with a code of conduct (the Code) which sets out minimum standards of practice in the delivery of services to homeowners. It is a requirement of the Code for a property factor to provide a homeowner with a copy of its complaints handling procedure.

A homeowner should inform their property factor in writing of the reason why they consider their property factor to have failed to comply with the Code and/or failed to carry out its duties. If the property factor refuses or unreasonably delays in attempting to resolve the complaint, then the Act provides a route of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber which, among other things, enables owners to have their concerns about their property factor adjudicated by an independent judicial body. The First-tier Tribunal have the power to issue a legally binding property factor enforcement order if it finds in the homeowner’s favour.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many new homes were built across all sectors in (a) the Highlands, (b) Argyll and Bute, (c) the Western Isles, (d) Moray, (e) the Orkney Islands and (f) the Shetland Islands in 2018.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (14/03/2019):

The Scottish Government publishes quarterly statistics on new build housing across all sectors in each local authority area as part of the Housing Statistics for Scotland publications and web tables available at https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS/NewBuildAllSector .

These statistics are based on information collected through New Build forms (NB1 and NB2), and the Affordable Housing Supply Programme dataset. The figures include local authority, housing association, and private-led starts and completions.

The latest quarterly statistics, published on 12 March 2019, contain information on the total number of all-sector new build housing starts and completions up to end September 2018. Figures on the number of all sector new builds to end December 2018 will be published in the next Quarterly Housing Statistics update, planned for June 2019.

Published figures on the number of all-sector new build completions between January 2018 and September 2018 in (a) the Highlands, (b) Argyll and Bute, (c) the Western Isles, (d) Moray, (e) the Orkney Islands and (f) the Shetland Islands is provided in the following table.

New build housing completions between January 2018 and end September 2018, by selected local authority areas

Argyll and Bute

58

Highland

997

Moray

256

Na h-Eileanan Siar    

33

Orkney

71

Shetland

80

Data source: Scottish Government Quarterly Housing Statistics, all-sector new build housing completions, as published on 12 March 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it has taken to ensure that Fair Start Scotland services can continue, regardless of their provider.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (14/03/2019):

The Scottish Government ensures that Fair Start Scotland is delivered by contracting with a range of service providers across Scotland. Each contract is rigorously and regularly managed to ensure that the service delivered by providers effectively supports participants in their journey towards and into work.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what support it offers to home owners facing what they consider excessive charges for repairs being carried out by (a) registered social landlords and (b) factors.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (14/03/2019):

Home owners are responsible for the cost of work to repair their own homes and for their share of common works in tenements, which may include a share of costs for work determined by a majority of other owners. Local authorities have broad discretionary powers to provide assistance to home owners who have difficulty in paying for repairs, subject to local resources and priorities. Where an owner is unable or unwilling to pay for their share of common works the local authority has discretionary power to pay the missing share, make a charge against the property, and recover it in instalments. A registered social landlord can pay, and recover, a missing share, if they own property in a tenement. The Scottish Government is also currently piloting an equity loan scheme in eight local authority areas, which can be used to help home owners fund repairs.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many estates had hen harrier nest cameras installed as part of the Heads up for Harriers project in each year since 2015, also broken down by name and location, and, of these, where nests produced successful broods, how many of the successful nests were on land (a) used as driven grouse moors and (b) that formed part of estates that include driven grouse moors.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/03/2019):

The following tables detail the annual results of the Heads Up for Harriers project. The names of estates have been redacted to protect their identity, which was a condition for their participation in the project. Those used as driven grouse moors have been marked with an asterisk (*).


Year      

No. Estates

No. Nests Located

No. Nests Successful

No. Chicks Fledged

2015

5

6

3

10

2016

13

5

5

14

2017

21

11

9

37

2018

27

17

8

30

 

2015

Estate        

Nest No.    

No. young fledged

Highland

1

0

2

4

Ayrshire*

1

0

2

2

Moray*

1

0

2

4


2016

Estate

Nest No. 

No. young fledged

Highland*

1

5

Moray*

1

1

Dumfries and
Galloway*

1

2

2

2

3

4

2017

Estate             

Nest No. 

No. young fledged

Moray*

1

0

2

4

Dumfries and
Galloway*

1

6

2

4

3

6

4

4

Angus*

1

0

Highland

1

5

Highland*

1

3

Highland

1

4

Highland

1

1

2018

Estate

Nest No.  

No. young fledged

Moray*             

1

5

Dumfries and
Galloway*

1

0

2

0

3

3

4

0

Angus*

1

0

Angus*

1

0

Highland

1

4

Highland

1

0

2

4

3

0

Highland*

1

0

Highland

1

4

2

2

Highland*

1

4

2

0

Highland*

1

4

 

In addition to those listed;

-2 other estates participated in 2015 (5 in total) but no nesting attempts took place on these estates.

-10 other estates participated in 2016 (13 in total) but no nesting attempts took place on these estates.

-14 other estates participated in 2017 (21 in total) but no nesting attempts took place on these estates.

-17 other estates participated in 2018 (27 in total) but no nesting attempts took place on these estates.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many households in each local authority area (a) qualify for and (b) receive the single occupancy household discount on the water and sewerage portion of their council tax bill.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/03/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-19939 on 28 November 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 Roseanna Cunningham on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it will take to deliver the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/03/2019):

The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) is currently in the development phase. Professor Colin Moffat, Chief Scientific Advisor Marine for the Scottish Government is fully engaged in that process, specifically he:

  • contributed to the Multi-stakeholder dialogue and capacity-building partnership event at the UN in New York in January 2019;
  • is actively engaged in the production of the World Ocean Assessment 2, the underlying report which will be published in 2020;
  • is working with Professor Ed Hill from the National Oceanographic Network and UK lead to the UNESCO International Oceanographic Commission, with respect to delivering a planning workshop on 9 May 2019;
  • will attend the 1 st Global Planning Meeting which will be convened 13-15 May 2019, in Copenhagen.

Following each event, updates are provided to the Scottish Government and the wider scientific community.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on the latest average household water bill in (a) Scotland and (b) England and Wales.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/03/2019):

Scottish Water publishes its average charges, as well as a comparison table with England and Wales, on its website at https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/you-and-your-home/your-charges/2018-19-charges . This shows figures for 2018-19 at a) £363 for Scotland; and b) £405 for England & Wales.

The average charge in Scotland for 2019-20 has been already been announced and can be found at https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/you-and-your-home/your-charges/2019-2020-charges . Initial information on the average charge in England and Wales in 2019-20 is available at https://www.discoverwater.co.uk/annual-bill . Latest figures show a) £369 for Scotland; and b) £415 for England & Wales.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made by it in each of the last five years toward reaching the Scottish Food Waste Reduction Target, expressed as tonnage.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is committed to reducing food waste by 33% by 2025. Annual figures on food waste reduction by tonnage are not available at present. Zero Waste Scotland has produced a baseline estimated figure on food waste for 2013 which shows that almost 600,000 tonnes, over 50% of food waste, is generated by households. Data is available on levels of household food waste recycling.

The Scottish Household Survey 2017 shows that there has been a steady increase in the number of people using food waste recycling caddies. The proportion of households making use of local authority-provided food caddies was 55% in 2017. This represents a substantial increase from 26% in 2012. This clearly demonstrates an increased awareness of the importance of food waste recycling, which we can build on to deliver the target relating to overall food waste prevention.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 14/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what most recent estimate it has made of how many smokers there are in each local authority area.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (13/03/2019):

The latest estimates of smoking prevalence in each local authority area are available from the Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2016 report .


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it takes of (a) cycling and (b) walking in its transport projections.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

Scotland’s Transport Forecasts, published in October 2018, ( https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/43316/transport-forecasts-2018.pdf ) sets-out a number of future transport scenarios, which considers changes in population; economic growth; fuel cost and car ownership. In developing these forecasts, people’s trip making patterns are considered by all modes, including (a) cycling and (b) walking. These trip making patterns are also influenced by a range of factors including the distance to be travelled, the purpose of journey and the availability of a car to make that trip.

In addition, the development of the National Transport Strategy and the second Strategic Transport Projects Review has provided an opportunity to adopt a new Scenario Planning Process. This will include making forecasts of trip making by all main modes of travel including (a) cycling and (b) walking.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the financial implications of the Damages (Investment Returns and Periodical Payments) (Scotland) Bill and a revised discount rate for NHS compensation budgets, and whether this will be reflected in future adjustments to the NHS budget.


Answered by Ash Denham (13/03/2019):

The Financial Memorandum which accompanied the Damages (Investment Returns and Periodical Payments) (Scotland) Bill set out the Scottish Government’s assessment of the financial implications of the Damages (Investment Returns and Periodical Payments) (Scotland) Bill and a revised discount rate for NHS compensation budgets for clinical negligence claims -https://www.parliament.scot/S5_Bills/Damages%20(Investment%20Returns%20and%20Periodical%20Payments)%20(Scotland)%20Bill/SPBill35FMS052018.pdf.

The Discount Rate reviews in Scotland by the Government Actuary and in England and Wales by the Lord Chancellor will be carried out later this year and until they have been completed, it will not be known if they have produced different rates.

The Scottish Government expects that the UK Government will continue to cover the costs arising from the change in the discount rate to the extent that the rate in Scotland is in line with the rate in England and Wales. The Scottish Government will continue to pass this funding to the NHS in Scotland.


Current Status: Answered by Ash Denham on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which geographic areas are given priority in relation to the Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis Fund.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (13/03/2019):

Tennis Scotland, sport scotland and the Lawn Tennis Association are working together to deliver The Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis (TSIT) Fund which will see a significant investment into Scottish tennis facilities over the course of the next 10 years, with £15m committed by this partnership, for the development regionally based indoor tennis centres in Scotland.

We understand that the application process prioritises projects which propose a minimum of 3 indoor courts and will initially focus on geographical areas where there is a gap in provision informed by Tennis Scotland’s assessment through developing its national facilities strategy. These areas include:

  • Dumfries + Galloway
  • Dundee
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Highland
  • Scottish Borders

In addition to these priority areas, there are further geographic gaps, which sport scotland would welcome applications from. These gaps have been informed by modelling work undertaken by them, based on a reasonable travel distance to the majority of the population, albeit there may not currently be a well-established tennis demand in these areas. These areas identified within the TSIT Fund are:

  • Aberdeen
  • Aberdeenshire
  • Fife
  • Moray
  • North Lanarkshire
  • Inverclyde

Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government under what circumstances a (a) registered social landlord and (b) factor can force a private home owner into bankruptcy.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (13/03/2019):

The circumstances under which an individual or company who is owed money can initiate bankruptcy proceedings will apply equally to registered social landlords and factors.

There are formal steps that must be taken to recover debts prior to petitioning for the bankruptcy of an individual in the Sheriff Court. This usually involves going to court to demonstrate that the person owes the debt. The Sheriff Court will issue a decree if satisfied that the debt is owed and this will enable the creditor to instigate formal recovery action including the issue of a Statutory Demand or Charge for Payment. On expiry of a prescribed period with debt remaining outstanding, a creditor petition can be presented to the Sheriff Court requesting that the person who owes the money be declared bankrupt. On receipt of a creditor petition, the Sheriff Court shall set a date for a hearing and the debtor will have the opportunity to challenge the bankruptcy proceedings.

The following conditions must be met before a creditor can present a petition:

  • The creditor (either an individual or company) must be owed at least £3,000 which can include fees, charges and interest which has been added to the original debt - if the debt is below £3,000 the creditor can lodge a joint petition with other creditors provided the combined debts are at least £3,000.
  • The person owing the debt must receive a copy of the statutory Debt Advice and Information Package containing information about where to get advice and what will happen if the debt is not repaid - this must have been issued at least three weeks and not more than 12 weeks before making a petition.
  • The creditor must be able to demonstrate that the person with the debt is unable to repay their debts and therefore apparently insolvent - normally in the form of an expired Charge for Payment or Statutory Demand.

Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to research by University College London, which suggests that the standard urinary tract infection (UTI) test of a midstream urine culture fails to diagnose UTIs in most people with recurring or chronic conditions.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (13/03/2019):

The research by University College London notes that further study is required in order to better understand the potential weaknesses of the midstream urine (MSU) culture as a way of diagnosing UTIs. Until an alternative test is established, those responsible for detecting UTIs should continue to consult treatment guidelines in order to determine the most appropriate solution for the patient.

Diagnosis of urinary tract infections (UTIs) should take account of the clinical presentation and a detailed history. Algorithms are used to combine the results from a number of tests, including the midstream urine culture, as well as other relevant information about a patient's condition such as their age and symptoms.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People on 28 February 2019 (Official Report, c. 50), what assessment it made prior to the statement of the cost of using agency arrangements until 2024; how much it estimates the transition will cost each year, broken down by (a) benefit and (b) the methodology used to calculate this, and what discussions it has had with the DWP regarding these costs.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (13/03/2019):

Agency agreements are a cost-effective way of ensuring that people continue to receive the right payments at the right time whilst we undertake the work required to develop our new system in a safe and steady way.

The costs under each agreement will reflect DWP’s actual delivery cost. Under HMT’s Managing Public Money guidance, DWP are prohibited from charging another government department for services delivered with a view to making a profit. This is to ensure fairness to the tax payer and provides assurance that the costs offer value for money. Agency agreements will be put in place agreed on a case-by-case basis with DWP and detailed costs will be scoped as each agency agreement is prepared. Discussions with DWP in relation to these costs are on-going and a full breakdown is not available at this time.

Agency agreements will reduce a number of overheads for Social Security Scotland, including elements like the staff that we would require to administer these benefits ourselves from the date of executive competence, and other associated costs like property: these need to be set against the cost of the agreements themselves.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the island's increased tourism and a need to accommodate more travellers, what assessment it has made of the need to redevelop Barra Airport.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

Barra Airport is operated by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL). Any redevelopment of the airport is a matter for the HIAL Board.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to publish the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment regarding the extension to the Air Discount Scheme announced on 5 March 2019.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

Given that this was a continuation of an existing scheme with a minor adjustment, a Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment was not considered necessary.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason the Scottish Growth Scheme has allocated £71 million instead of the pledged £500 million over the last three consecutive budgets, and what its response is to concerns that this represents a breach of promise.


Answered by Derek Mackay (13/03/2019):

The Scottish Growth Scheme is using Scottish Government and European funding to unlock £500m of investment for Scottish SMEs.

Since becoming operational in in June 2017, 99 companies have benefited from £110 million of total investment under the Scheme. On 13 January 2019 I announced a further package of microfinance, debt and equity products under the Growth Scheme, and expect this to unlock further investment for Scottish SMEs.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what impact reduced levels of immigration as a result of Brexit could have on Scotland’s public services.


Answered by Ben Macpherson (13/03/2019):

The UK Government proposal to end free movement will significantly reduce the number of people coming to Scotland to live, work and study. The recently published independent report of the Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population estimates a reduction in net migration to Scotland of between 30% and 50% over the coming two decades if the UK Government puts in place the measures set out in its White Paper on immigration.

Key services, such as health and social care, depend on EU workers to make up a significant proportion of their workforce. A reduction in migration to Scotland of the level suggested in the White Paper will have severe consequences for Scotland's public services. A 5% decline in Scotland's working age population, as the Expert Advisory Group estimates, will reduce the number of workers available to fill roles, affect the Scottish Government's abilities to raise revenue for public services, and therefore increase the challenge of managing the consequences of an ageing population.


Current Status: Answered by Ben Macpherson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the Cities Outlook 2019 report, which states that Dundee has the highest unemployment rate of any city in the UK.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

I recognise the economic challenges facing Dundee and in particular the effect recent job losses will have on local residents and their families. The Scottish Government is committed to doing everything in its power to help build a more resilient economy in Dundee and across the wider city region.

We have committed up to £150 million to the Tay Cities Region Deal over the next 10-15 years to transform the regional economy by delivering inclusive growth, increasing the region’s productivity and the participation of its workforce. Regional partners estimate that the deal has the potential to secure over 6,000 jobs and lever in over £400 million.

The City Region Deal is just the latest in a series of investments the Scottish Government is making to help drive long term economic growth in Dundee. We are for example investing up to £63.8 million at Dundee Waterfront, including over
‎ £37 million in the V&A Museum. The V&A alone will create over 620 jobs and give an estimated £11.6 million boost each year to the city economy.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to open a railway station at Winchburgh; what finance is available for this, and when it would expect a station to be fully operational.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

The proposed station at Winchburgh forms part of the Winchburgh Village Development, as approved by West Lothian Council, and the station design and construction costs are being fully funded by the developer.

The date of completion of construction is a matter for the developer. However, my officials are working closely with the developer and the rail industry to support progress with the station.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its strategy for the prevention and eradication of violence against women and girls.


Answered by Christina McKelvie (13/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is implementing Equally Safe, Scotland’s strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls. In November 2017, we published our Equally Safe delivery plan. It contains 118 different commitments across 4 priority areas and has a clear outcomes framework with indicators to demonstrate progress nationally and locally to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls.

In November 2018, the Scottish Government published its first Equally Safe annual progress report which highlighted key progress made to date on many of the actions contained within the delivery plan and outlined our priorities for the year ahead. We will continue to publish an annual progress report over the lifetime of the strategy and delivery plan.


Current Status: Answered by Christina McKelvie on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with universities regarding encouraging applications for PGDE programmes from mature students, particularly from those considering teaching STEM subjects.


Answered by John Swinney (13/03/2019):

The Scottish Government has regular discussions with Universities on a range of topics.

We are supporting a range of alternative routes into teaching which are aimed at attracting a broader range of people into the profession, with a particular focus on STEM subjects.

We are also providing bursaries of £20,000 for career changers wishing to undertake a Post Graduate Diploma in Education in the STEM subjects where there is greatest demand for teachers. Applications are open to all eligible individuals irrespective of age.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to research by RoSPA, which suggests that 60% of Scotland’s local authorities do not have a water safety policy in place to help prevent accidents, including drowning.


Answered by Ash Denham (13/03/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21888 on 13 March 2019. 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 Ash Denham on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to ensure that local authorities adopt a water safety policy to help prevent accidents, including drowning.


Answered by Ash Denham (13/03/2019):

The Scottish Government takes the issue of water safety very seriously and is supportive of the work of Water Safety Scotland and their National Drowning Prevention Strategy which was published in January 2018.

While it is for individual local authorities to agree and adopt their own policy on water safety, I am aware that Water Safety Scotland is working proactively to build links with both national and local partners to promote water safety and drowning prevention.

In October last year I wrote to all Community Safety Partnerships to encourage them to engage with Water Safety Scotland, so that we can all work together to promote safe enjoyment in and around water.

The Scottish Government provides annual grant funding to RoSPA, which includes undertaking work around water safety, and in October last year they published refreshed guidance on "Safety at Inland Waters". RoSPA are currently working with water safety partners and will be hosting a workshop for local authorities to outline the benefits of having a policy on water safety, and to provide support for these to be developed.


Current Status: Answered by Ash Denham on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what funding it offers to schools to increase cultural participation among children and young people.


Answered by Fiona Hyslop (13/03/2019):

The Scottish Government supports cultural participation among children and young people in many different ways.

Our long-standing investment of £118 million since 2007 in the Youth Music Initiative has made a huge impact, helping young people in all 32 local authorities access music making opportunities and helping ensure every pupil is offered a year's free music tuition by the end of primary school. In 2016-17 it provided music-making opportunities for over 244,000 young people in and out of school.

We are providing £2.5 million to Sistema Scotland, as part of a four-year funding package, helping engage over 2,500 young people every week in schools in Stirling, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.

We are also investing £22.5 million in our National Performing Companies this year whose performances and educational outreach programmes continue to be of the highest quality and retain a wide national reach across our communities. For instance, Theatre in Schools Scotland, produced by Imaginate and the National Theatre of Scotland, continues to bring world-class theatre and dance for children and young people to Scotland’s schools and nurseries in 2019.

The Scottish Government has also supported the Edinburgh Festivals with over £21m since 2008 through the EXPO fund, and last year opened the fund to Celtic Connections and Glasgow International in Glasgow. In addition between 2018 and 2023 we are investing an additional £5 million via the Platform for Excellence Programme – both will provide young people with opportunities to both attend and participate in cultural events, as well as to engage with culture in their schools.

Creative Scotland also work with a range of partners to ensure young people have the opportunity to participate in culture.


Current Status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5F-03037 by John Swinney on 7 February 2019 (Official Report, c. 9), what (a) economic modelling and (b) impact assessment it will carry out on the possible impact of workplace parking levies.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

It will be for local authorities wishing to implement a Workplace Parking Levy to carry out appropriate assessment.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what impact concerns over a no deal Brexit are having on Scotland’s rural economy.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (13/03/2019):

A ‘no deal’ outcome threatens to be catastrophic for jobs, investment and living standards across Scotland and the rest of the UK. It would have severe and disproportionate impacts on Scotland and particularly to the rural economy where key economic growth sectors such as our flagship food and drink industry are threatened with significant adverse impacts as a consequence of disruption to labour supply and access to markets.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it is supporting more people into STEM teaching roles.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (13/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is providing bursaries of £20,000 for career changers wishing to undertake a Post Graduate Diploma in Education in the STEM subjects where there is greatest demand.

We are also supporting a range of alternative routes into teaching which are aimed at attracting a broader range of people into profession, with a particular focus on STEM subjects.


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it remains its position to put forward a public sector bid when the rail franchise is next tendered, and, if so, what steps it is taking to develop a bid.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

The position of the Scottish Government remains unchanged from the the answer to question S5W-18378 on 23 August 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

We continue to develop avenues to enable a public sector body to bid. However, a key consideration is the Williams Rail Review which is likely to lead to substantial change in the franchising process across the UK.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when the Public Sector Bidder Stakeholder Reference Group will next meet to discuss Scotland's railway franchise.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

I will update the Reference Group after we have received and considered the findings from the Williams Rail Review, which is likely to lead to substantial changes in the franchising arrangements across the UK.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when the ScotRail Alliance will replace the axle counters at Craigendoran.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

Replacing axle counters at Craigendoran is a matter for Network Rail to whom this question should be addressed.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what funding was available to the ScotRail Alliance during Control Period 5.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

The ScotRail Alliance enables Abellio ScotRail and Network Rail to work together to deliver against their respective remits.

Abellio ScotRail, through their contract with Scottish Ministers have been allocated £1.5 billion in Control Period 5 (2014-2019).

Network Rail is regulated by the Office of Rail and Road and Scottish Ministers have invested £2.1bn via direct grant paid to Network Rail. They also have access to £3.3bn of public borrowing.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what impact assessment it has made of the proposed workplace parking levy policy.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21475 on 13 March 2019. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s web site, the search facility can be found at: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many train delays and cancellations have been caused by failing axle counters at Craigendoran in each year from April 2017 to date.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

The Scottish Government does not hold operational data in this detail. Axle counter reliability is the responsibility of Network Rail to whom this question should be addressed.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which projects were taken forward by the ScotRail Alliance during Control Period 5, and whether it will set out the spend and approval, start and completion dates for each.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21791 on 13 March 2019. 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 .

The funding for Network Rail is planned and regulated by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and projects included in the ORR’s final determination for CP5 can be accessed via the following links:-

Scottish projects can be found on page 343 of the Control Period 5 Determination:https://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/452/pr13-final-determination.pdf .

In addition details on Scottish projects can be found in Network Rail’s Enhancement Delivery plan: https://cdn.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/EDP-December-2018.pdf .


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether there has been "quick spend" by the ScotRail Alliance in the last six months as a result of underspends during Control Period 5, and, if so, what these projects are and their value.


Answered by Michael Matheson (13/03/2019):

Towards the end of Control Period 5 an underspend was identified by Network Rail. This has largely been re-invested in a number of projects across Scotland for the benefit of passengers, freight users and communities. Examples of expenditure in the last six months include:

  • accessible lifts and footbridges on the Shotts line, value circa £9m
  • South facing connection to the proposed Blackford freight facility, value circa £8.5m
  • car park resurfacing at various sites across the network, value circa £3.5m.
  • Boundary fencing renewals at high risk locations across the network, value circa £2m.

The full level of the underspend will not be known until the end of this financial year, which coincides with the end of Control Period 5. It will be dealt with through normal Government processes.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 13/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how Scottish agriculture would be affected by a no deal Brexit.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (12/03/2019):

A no deal Brexit is likely to be catastrophic for Scottish agriculture, and could have a particularly severe impact on trade, especially for the sheep sector. Analysis from the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute shows that in the longer term, if trade with the EU defaults to World Trade Organisation tariffs, while some sectors may see a rise in farmgate prices the price for sheep meat could fall by 30%. If the UK unilaterally reduced its tariffs, there would be substantial price falls in the longer term across all agricultural sectors – 45% for beef, 29% for sheep meat, 10-12% for dairy products, and 9-12% for pigs and poultry.

In addition, any depreciation in the exchange rate would make imports (including input costs) more expensive, although this would be beneficial for exporters.

A no deal Brexit would also have a major impact on the availability of labour within the industry - the latest estimates from Food Standards Scotland suggest that around 75% of the vets in Scotland’s abattoirs are non-UK EU nationals, while across the industry in 2017 there were over 9000 non-UK EU national seasonal migrant workers on which the horticulture industry is heavily reliant.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what impact the UK Parliament’s delay in holding the meaningful vote has had on its Brexit planning.


Answered by Michael Russell (12/03/2019):

Our planning for Brexit is well underway, but hampered by the lack of clarity surrounding the multiple scenarios that could ensue from the UK Government’s approach. As a responsible government we continue to prepare for the impact all outcomes, including a no deal exit, would have on Scotland.

The Scottish Government and Parliament are ensuring that the necessary secondary legislation is in place. We also continue to seek assurances from the UK Government that they will deliver their own legislative programme on time in order to protect Scotland’s interests. The Scottish Government Resilience Committee is meeting weekly and staff resources are increasingly being directed towards those areas with specific ‘no deal’ impacts, for example, transport and food and drink.

However, while we will do everything we can to prepare, we will not be able to mitigate all of the impacts of Brexit on Scotland as many critical issues affecting our interests are reserved and the responsibility of the UK Government; and because any exit from the EU single market, especially a chaotic one, will inevitably have a negative impact on Scottish business, jobs and prosperity.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Russell on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it last discussed scallop fishery management with the Manx Government and what the outcome was.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (12/03/2019):

Representatives from the Scottish and Isle of Man Government’s last discussed scallop management on 23 October 2018. Officials from the two administrations took part in a meeting (which included representatives from industry and other fisheries administrations) to discuss the queen scallop fishery. Trends in the fishery were debated and proposals for the seasonal closure of fishery in 2019 were developed.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which maternity units (a) do and (b) do not offer specialist bereavement (i) rooms and (ii) care.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (12/03/2019):

Information on which maternity units do and do not offer specialist bereavement rooms and care is not collected centrally. However, the main hospitals in all larger Health Boards have dedicated bereavement rooms or suites, or are in the process of opening/ refurbishing bereavement rooms or suites. Some smaller Health Boards have rooms which can be adapted for bereavement care as and when required.

Scottish Government has funded Sands £94,000 to lead and develop the National Bereavement Care Pathway with other baby loss charities and Royal Colleges to improve the quality of bereavement care when a baby dies.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many specialist bereavement midwives are employed by each NHS board.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (12/03/2019):

Information on the number of specialist bereavement midwives employed by each Health Board is not collected centrally. However, we know that some Health Boards have specialist bereavement midwives; other Health Boards have individuals or teams trained in, and delivering, bereavement care. All Health Boards have at least one midwife who has an interest in bereavement and offers maternity bereavement care as part of their role.

Scottish Government has funded Sands £94,000 to lead and develop the National Bereavement Care Pathway with other baby loss charities and Royal Colleges to improve the quality of bereavement care when a baby dies.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government on what date the Eurasian beaver will be given protected species status, and, once this is place, (a) whether its release into the wild will be treated as wildlife crime, (b) how farmers and land managers will be able to control destructive activity by the species, and what compensation will be made available to them to cover any losses and (c) whether it will facilitate its introduction to all parts of the country.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (12/03/2019):

A Scottish Statutory Instrument, granting Eurasian beavers European Protected Species status, was laid before the Scottish Parliament on Friday 22 February 2019. The legislation will come into force on 1 May 2019.

a) The release of beavers into the wild is already a wildlife crime under Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

b) A comprehensive management system which includes licensing options has been developed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) in consultation with the Scottish Beaver Forum (a forum comprising 12 key partners including farming, fisheries and other land management interests). Many measures, including management and removal of most types of dams and excluding or deterring beavers through use of electric fencing, will not require a licence.

The focus of the management approach is to prevent beaver damage and the Scottish Government is supporting the provision of expert beaver advice and management by SNH and specialist contractors.

SNH has also established a project to work with farmers and other land managers to continue to develop practical solutions to ensure that beavers do not block field drainage systems and to help ensure that flood defences are protected.

c) The Scottish Government has no plans to facilitate beaver introductions to all parts of the country. Scottish Ministers announced in November 2016 that beaver populations in the Knapdale and Tayside areas could remain and be allowed to expand their range naturally, but made it clear that further unauthorised releases of beavers would be illegal.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what training in specialised bereavement care for parents who have lost a baby in late pregnancy or the neonatal period is offered to NHS staff, broken down by training provider.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (12/03/2019):

The NHS Education for Scotland website ‘Support Around Death’ provides health professionals across Scotland with a range of resources on bereavement care after pregnancy loss, stillbirth or neonatal death, including short animated educational films. An e-learning resource on bereavement following pregnancy loss and the death of a baby is available on the Knowledge Network and provides in-depth education for maternity care professionals.

Midwifery students are offered modules in bereavement and loss.

Scottish Government has funded Sands £94,000 to lead and develop the National Bereavement Care Pathway with other baby loss charities and Royal Colleges to improve the quality of bereavement care when a baby dies. The development of an online training kit for Health Boards is expected as part of the National Bereavement Care Pathway.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assistance it will provide to farmers and landowners to access maps until the new land-parcel identification system becomes fully operational and accessible.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (12/03/2019):

Map information currently being maintained in the new LPIS is already being loaded into the existing on-line mapping ‘viewer’ in Rural Payments and Services (RPS).

These map details will also be available in the on-line SAF application 2019.

This is a system farmer and crofters will be familiar with as it has been utilised for the last 3 years to aid completion of SAF forms.

As in any year producers submitting a SAF should ensure they review their map information and this should be done by using the on-line ‘viewer’ in RPS, a hard copy map is available on request via e-mail using FIS_TEAM@gov.scot or requesting assistance from A.O. staff.

When reviewing map information should a producer identify any change (field boundaries, ineligible areas), they should submit an Land Maintenance Form (LMF) to their local Area Office.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government by what date the new land-parcel identification system will be fully operational and accessible.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (12/03/2019):

It is anticipated that the full functionality of the new LPIS will be in production during the summer of 2019. Many key elements such as the transfer of data to the new LPIS, functionality to review land information and make changes such as revised boundaries and ineligible features is already in use with updated maps issued in hard copy. These changes are also made available to view in Rural Payments and Services (RP&S). To date we have updated in excess of 3500 holdings using the new system.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the availability and affordability of shared housing for people for who are entitled only to the shared accommodation rate of local housing allowance.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (12/03/2019):

Chapter 3.1 of the paper Housing and Social Security: follow-up paper on Welfare Reform, contains an analysis of the impact of the UK Government’s freeze to local housing allowance (LHA) rates, and is available on the Scottish Government’s website at the following location: https://www.gov.scot/publications/annual-report-welfare-reform-follow-up-paper-housing-social-security/pages/4/ .

It contains tables which set out the portion of the actual rental market in each area that each LHA rate (including the shared accommodation rate) can access and the difference in cash terms (per week) between the LHA rate and a property at the thirtieth percentile of the rate.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many farm businesses in (a) the Highlands, (b) Aberdeenshire and (c) each parliamentary region are waiting to receive 2016-17 CAP basic payments.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (12/03/2019):

Nationally, for 2016 we have paid 99.65% of BPS payments and for 2017 99.28%

A) 0 payments due in the Highlands for the 2016 scheme year.

8 are due a payment for the 2017 scheme year and a further 6 farm businesses are currently under assessment for 2017 and could become eligible for a payment in future.

B) 1 payment due in Aberdeenshire for the 2016 scheme year.

2 are due a payment for the 2017 scheme year and a further 3 farm businesses are currently under eligibility assessment for 2017

C) 1 Basic payment due for the 2016 scheme year in the North East Scotland Region

19 businesses are due a Basic payment for the 2017 scheme year

Parliamentary RegionNumber of Farm Businesses
due 2017 BPS
Highland and Islands10
South Scotland5
Mid Scotland and Fife1
North East Scotland3

16 businesses are under assessment for the 2017 scheme year

Parliamentary Region

Number of Farm
Businesses due 2017 BPS

Highland and Islands

6

South Scotland

5

Mid Scotland and Fife

1

North East Scotland

4


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it estimates has been spent on preventative health in each year since 1999.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (12/03/2019):

There is a large range of actions and activities delivered across a large number of organisations which contribute, directly and indirectly, to preventative health. As we noted in our response to the Health and Sports Committee's recent report on preventative action and public health, the Scottish Government does not seek to dictate a single concept of prevention and does not require accounts based on that. Our approach is across a significant number of strategies and policies which – from minimum unit pricing for alcohol to proposals to restrict the marketing and promotion of high fat, salt and sugar foods right through to the reporting of Integration Authorities – are clearly about maximising quality and sustainability in current care arrangements and preventing future harm. It is not, therefore, possible to estimate spend on preventative health.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason the Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill stipulates that a family member or close friend must present "evidence that would convince a reasonable person", and what consideration it has given to using the wording provided in the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013, which states that the third party need only provide "knowledge" of the deceased’s wishes that would convince a reasonable person.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (12/03/2019):

The Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill includes safeguards which aim to ensure that evidence of a potential donor’s views about donation can be provided in order to ascertain whether or not donation is authorised.

The provisions, including the Duty to Inquire provisions, are designed to provide a clear mechanism for inquiries to be made of the relevant people and for those people to be able to bring evidence forward, if necessary. The Bill does not require the evidence to be in any particular form and the provisions are designed to be flexible to allow the Specialist Nurses for Organ Donation (SNODs) and Tissue Donor Co-ordinators to take into account different types of evidence provided and to reach a conclusion as to whether the evidence represents the potential donor’s views.

In developing the Bill, the approach taken in the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013 (the 2013 Act) on this issue was examined. In implementation, the application of the ‘reasonable person’ test in the 2013 Act, supported by Human Tissue Authority guidance which refers to ‘evidence’ of a potential donor’s views, provide for the same practice as will be developed in Scotland. The Bill is flexible as it allows any kind of evidence provided by relatives, friends or others with relevant information to be taken into account and does not require that person to “know” the most recent views of the potential donor.

The guidance, supporting the 2013 Act, assists SNODs in assessing the evidence presented to reach a decision as to whether a reasonable person would be satisfied that it represents the potential donor’s views. The intention is to provide similar guidance to support the implementation of the Bill.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the findings of the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls in its paper, 2018 First Report and Recommendations.


Answered by Christina McKelvie (12/03/2019):

The Scottish Government welcomes publication of the First Minister's National Advisory Council on Women and Girl's (NACWG) first end of year report on 25 January 2019. We will give the NACWG's recommendations full and careful consideration before publishing a substantive response in late Spring 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Christina McKelvie on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether any members of the national implementation group for the loneliness strategy have a learning disability, and, if not, whether it will ensure that such a person is appointed to the group.


Answered by Christina McKelvie (12/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is not aware of whether or not any member of the implementation group has a learning disability.

Our work to address social isolation and loneliness will consider the needs of a range of groups including people with learning disabilities. The recently published national strategy for tackling social isolation and loneliness A Connected Scotland links to the updated Keys to Life strategy for people with learning disabilities, which is driving forward work to ensure that they live healthier lives, have choice and control over the services they use, and are supported to be independent and active citizens.

Our implementation group includes a range of third sector and public bodies as well as COSLA who will be looking closely at the issues and seeking to drive forward progress in an inclusive fashion. We are committed to engaging with a wide range of stakeholders – including learning disability organisations such as LDAS - who have an interest in this work, and we will work closely with the implementation group to develop our plans in this area.


Current Status: Answered by Christina McKelvie on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment (a) it and (b) Scottish Natural Heritage has produced regarding the conservation status of mountain hares, and whether it will publish this.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (12/03/2019):

The Scottish Government has not carried out an assessment of the conservation status of mountain hares.

Under Directive 92/43/EEC (the Habitats Directive), the UK is required to report every six years on whether species of EU interest are being maintained at favourable conservation status.

The next report is due to be submitted in 2019 and will cover the period 2013 – 2018. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has provided the Joint Nature Conservation Committee with an assessment of the conservation status of mountain hares in Scotland to contribute to the UK report. The report will be published by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee in the summer.

The SNH assessment is based on all available data, including published papers and data available from long-term recording schemes.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it last reported to the European Commission on the conservation status of mountain hares; when this report will be published, and on what data it was based.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (12/03/2019):

The Scottish Government does not report directly to the European Commission on the conservation status of mountain hares as reporting is achieved at a UK level.

Under Directive 92/43/EEC (the Habitats Directive), the UK is required to report every six years on whether species of EU interest are being maintained at favourable conservation status.

Scottish Natural Heritage is responsible for reporting on the conservation status of mountain hares in Scotland to the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, who prepare the UK report. The most recent report submitted to the European Commission was in 2013 and covered the period 2007 – 2012.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making in providing all primary school pupils with an opportunity to visit a farm to increase awareness about how food is produced; what resources it will allocate over each of the next three years to meet this objective, and what milestones have been set.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (12/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is making good progress in its plans to meet its Programme for Government commitment and increase farm visits for school children in Scotland. Discussions have taken place with potential providers and proposals are being developed. We hope to be able to announce details of our plans shortly.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made on increasing the level of forestry co-product harvesting, and what the resultant increase in bioresource feedstock has been.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (12/03/2019):

Forest Research undertakes research on the impacts of forestry co-product harvesting, such as brash removal and has published guidance to aid site selection for suitable operations. This guidance can be found at the following website: https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/biomass-energy-resources/fuel/woodfuel-production-and-supply/woodfuel-production/producing-biomass-fuels-from-forestry/ .

The Scottish Government relies on data produced by The Forest Research Agency, which is responsible for collecting definitive data for the GB forestry sector. This data does not currently include data on forestry co-product harvesting.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what technical measures have been put in place to prevent incorrect letters from being issued again to participants in the Beef Efficiency Scheme.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (12/03/2019):

Officials will work closely with ScotEID to ensure that the content of the reports is being interpreted correctly. We are also in constructive talks with ScotEID to review and simplify the weights reports so that they only show data relevant to the current scheme year. This combined with robust management checks should prevent further administrative errors from occurring.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 12/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will organise and fund a social care recruitment campaign.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (11/03/2019):

Part 2 of the original iteration of the National Health & Social Care Workforce Plan included a recommendation that a national recruitment campaign for the social care sector should be undertaken, promoting the sector as a positive career destination. Preparatory work for the campaign is underway at the moment, with a view to launching in the autumn of this year.

 


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 11/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what arrangements it has made with the UK Government to ensure the distribution of recombinant clotting factor therapies for the treatment of inherited bleeding disorders if there is a no deal Brexit.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (11/03/2019):

The UK Government has overall responsibility for EU exit contingency planning and for entry and any customs control at the UK Border.

Since August 2018, the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has been leading on UK-wide contingency plans to secure supplies of medicines in the event of a ‘no-deal’ exit from the EU. DHSC have been asking pharmaceutical companies to increase their stockpiles of medicines, including recombinant clotting factor therapies, which it is considered may be impacted by delays at the UK Border, with the aim of ensuring that the UK has an additional six weeks supply on top of normal stocks. The Scottish Government has been liaising with the UK Government regularly on this.

Alongside the stockpiling arrangements, DHSC is looking at alternative transportation arrangements which can be used where necessary to bring medicines into the UK, such as additional ferry capacity and also the potential to airfreight medicines that need to be refrigerated during transportation.

In addition, we have checked with the five Scottish haemophilia centres and none have indicated any concerns about supplies of drugs for their patients; they are content that the minimum three months' supply should be sufficient.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 11/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many patients have received the drug, Orkambi, through the Peer Approved Clinical System (PACS) since the announcement in December 2018 that the drug would be appraised by the Scottish Medicines Consortium.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (11/03/2019):

NHS Scotland Boards provide the Scottish Government with PACS Tier Two data on a quarterly basis. Next month we expect to receive the requested Orkambi figures, covering January-March 2019. My officials will provide the member with those details as soon as they become available.

 


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 11/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on what the average number of patients per GP has been in each practice in each year since 1999.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (11/03/2019):

Tables on the numbers of GPs in post and registered patients from 2004 onwards have been placed in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre - Bib reference number 60497. Statistics prior to 2004 are not comparable due to the GMS contract and data methodology in place at the time.

 


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 11/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the status of endoscopy and colonoscopy services at NHS Western Isles.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (11/03/2019):

The new decontamination equipment has been installed and tested in NHS Western Isles and endoscopy services, including colonoscopy, will resume in Stornoway from March. The equipment which allows the sterile transfer of instruments between the Decontamination unit in Stornoway and other hospitals still requires testing and validation and this will be completed to allow full restoration of services from April.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 11/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it will work with Tradebe Healthcare to ensure the effective delivery of clinical waste management services.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (11/03/2019):

The new framework agreement commenced on 1 February 2019, and will provide services related to the collection, treatment and disposal of healthcare waste.

As part of the contract there is an implementation period of 26 weeks which is standard and advised for contracts of this type and size. This period between contract signing and commencement of services allows the contractor to make the investment needed and as part of the tender specification was needed to encourage viable bids.

The implementation period will commence immediately and will cover areas including:

  • Site arrangements – lease agreements; SEPA operating permits; testing and commissioning; office fit-out, etc
  • Equipment – bins / storage containers, transport, IT and office equipment, etc
  • Staff – appoint key roles (project / site managers); recruitment and training of new staff; etc
  • Contracts with NHS Boards – individual Call Of Contracts

National Services Scotland continues to work closely with NHS Boards, contractors, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Scottish Government to ensure effective delivery of clinical waste management services throughout this implementation period.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 11/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason NHS Tayside did not meet targets for appropriate care established by the Scottish Stroke Care Audit 2018, with the number of deaths from strokes having only decreased by 26%.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (11/03/2019):

The Scottish Stroke Care Standards, in the Scottish Stroke Care Audit (SSCA) are used to assess the performance of stroke services. The standards are set at a level which aims to be both challenging but achievable by hospitals. It may therefore be the case that some stroke services may not meet all standards. However, setting challenging standards encourages continuous improvements in performance. Figures from Information and Statistics Division (ISD) for unadjusted mortality rates from cerebrovascular disease indicate a fall across Scotland of 30% in the last decade and the figure for NHS Tayside is identical.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 11/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of reports that a charity-funded cardiac paediatric nurse treated more than 350 patients in the first year and a half that she was in post, for what reason NHS Grampian has not funded and recruited such nurses.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (11/03/2019):

The paediatric cardiac nurse in NHS Grampian currently has a caseload of 180 patients and has made contact with more than 350 patients since taking up post. Each patient has a variety of clinical needs and therefore in some instances no more than one contact is required.

Paediatric cardiac surgery is a highly specialised service and NHS Grampian patients, along with those from across Scotland, are referred to the National Paediatric Cardiac Service based at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow. In addition, Scottish patients are treated at the cardiology centre at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. Therefore the required infrastructure to support paediatric cardiac patients is concentrated at these two specialist centres.

Outreach services are provided by cardiologists from Glasgow and Edinburgh to NHS Boards, including NHS Grampian. NHS Grampian patients requiring paediatric cardiology services are also seen in Aberdeen by a paediatric cardiologist from Edinburgh and supported by two general paediatricians with a special interest in cardiology.

NHS Grampian is currently developing a business case which if approved will ensure paediatric cardiac nurse support to the children of the Grampian region.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 11/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure that everyone referred for cataract surgery is managed to final and appropriate diagnosis.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (11/03/2019):

The Scottish Government National Eyecare Workstream is working closely with Health Boards across Scotland to ensure that patients referred for cataract surgery get the appropriate treatment they need.

Processes are in place to ensure that only those patients for whom surgery is appropriate and who are willing to be considered for surgery, are referred for such treatment. Existing patient information leaflets are being updated to ensure that comprehensive information is available so that patients can make informed decisions about surgery. Additional consultations with an optometrist in primary care are also available to allow patient to discuss further and reflect on whether they wish to be referred for cataract surgery.

All patients referred for surgery are triaged and, if appropriate, are pre-assessed by the multi-disciplinary team in hospital eye services and once patients have undergone diagnostic tests, the decision to proceed to surgery is undertaken in collaboration with the ophthalmologist.

Ensuring that only those patients who need and are willing to undergo cataract surgery are referred for such procedures prevents avoidable referrals and patients travelling unnecessary to hospital.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 11/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the outcome was of its call for views on the review of the Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities, which concluded in September 2017.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (11/03/2019):

The review included engagement with key stakeholders including the Patient Advice and Support Service, Scottish Human Rights Commission, Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance and Mental Welfare Commission, and with around 2,500 individuals and groups across Scotland through the Scottish Health Council’s area office network.

An analysis of responses highlighted that the Charter should be revised to include changes in legislation and the publication of new standards since its publication. The review also highlighted that the revised Charter should be effectively promoted so that people are better informed about their rights and responsibilities in relation to health care and health services. As a result the Ministers agreed that the Charter should be revised.

Scottish Government officials have subsequently consulted key stakeholders on the revision of the Charter and are now fact-checking the content and working with NHS Inform to prepare effective promotion of the Charter. Further engagement with external stakeholders and service users to seek their views on the revised document is planned in April and May.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 11/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason NHS Grampian reportedly relies on charitable organisations to provide a cardiac paediatric nurse.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (11/03/2019):

As specialist cardiac services are based in central Scotland, NHS Grampian have advised that before the existing cardiac paediatric nurse was appointed there was limited local infrastructure and expertise to support a locally based cardiac paediatric nurse.

NHS Grampian is currently developing a business case, which if approved, will ensure that children with cardiac care needs in NHS Grampian receive the necessary care and support of a community paediatric cardiac nurse.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 11/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of recent ISD Scotland statistics on emergency waiting times, for what reason NHS Grampian has a weekly average of 86.9% admittance within four hours, which is short of the 100% target.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (11/03/2019):

One of the key priorities for the Scottish Government is that all NHS Health Boards across Scotland must sustainably deliver against the emergency access standard. This means 95% of all patients attending accident and emergency should be seen, treated, admitted or discharged within four hours.

During the week ending 10 February 2019 NHS Grampian reported a weekly average performance of 86.9% as you have highlighted. In the most recent published week (week ending 24 February) performance in NHS Grampian remains similar. We recognise this falls short of the 95% target and are working closely with the health board to support sustainable improvements.

The winter period puts additional pressure on all NHS staff, the hospital system and is a particularly demanding time for Health Boards across Scotland therefore we can expect some variability in performance. Nationally the level of attendances in corresponding week were almost 11% higher when compared to the average of the equivalent weeks over the last three years; NHS Grampian experienced a 18.7% increase in attendances and 8.0% in the latest published week.

The most recently published monthly figures for January 2019 for NHS Grampian, published on 5 March 2019 do show that NHS Grampians core performance was 90.4% and 92.7% for the year to January 2019.

We are determined no-one should wait longer than necessary, and we are working closely with hospitals who need it to help deliver improved performance. The Scottish Government is working with hospitals across Scotland to deliver enhance working practices to ensure optimal care through the six essential actions improvement programme.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 11/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether (a) care homes and (b) hospices will be subject to the proposed workplace parking levy.


Answered by Michael Matheson (08/03/2019):

The Workplace Parking Levy will be a discretionary power for local authorities to implement, should they wish to do so, within the provisions set by the Transport (Scotland) Bill and any subsequent Regulations. The detail on the framework for how such levies will operate, including further exemptions, will the subject of consideration at Stage Two of the Transport (Scotland) Bill.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide the detailed equality impact assessment of the proposal to reduce funding to the Citizens Advice Direct service.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (08/03/2019):

The Scottish Government recognises the work Citizens Advice Direct plays in the offering of advice and information to people across the country through the provision of telephone and online services. No equality impact assessment was undertaken as the agreement with Citizens Advice Direct is that there will be no reduction in staffing or service levels.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-21273 by Michael Matheson on 19 February 2019, on what date the mandatory standstill commenced; how long it proceeded before a bidder raised queries; what its intended duration was, and for what reason the successful bidder was not named publicly at the commencement of the standstill period, in light of it naming successful bidders in other similar contracts.


Answered by Michael Matheson (08/03/2019):

As confirmed in my answer to question S5W-21273 on 19 February 2019, on conclusion of the procurement competition for the contract to construct the A77 Maybole Bypass, bidders were informed of our intention to award the contract. This marked the commencement of the mandatory minimum 10 day standstill period.

During this period queries were raised by one of the bidders and we are currently progressing to resolve these queries before the contract is awarded and the successful bidder announced.

In line with the legislation governing procurement of public contracts, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this time on any matters relating to the queries raised to avoid prejudicing the outcome of their resolution.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what estimate it has made of the income lost within each local authority area as a result of unclaimed benefits, broken down by benefit.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/03/2019):

Measuring take-up accurately is not straightforward as it requires us to estimate the number of people who have not applied but may be eligible.

DWP produces estimates of the take-up of benefits at GB level for a range of means-tested benefits based on the Family Resources Survey data. However, Scottish breakdowns cannot currently be provided due to the limited Scottish sample size. The problem is amplified at local authority level. There is no published data on take-up rates for disability or carers benefits at UK level or Scottish level.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which health and social care organisations it has met to discuss the proposed workplace parking levy.


Answered by Michael Matheson (08/03/2019):

The Scottish Government has not held any meetings with health and social care organisations to discuss the specific matter of Workplace Parking Levies.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it has given to the impact of second generation rodenticides on wildlife.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (08/03/2019):

Rodenticide active substances are authorised for use in the European Union under the Biocides Regulation 528/2012 (EU BPR). Pest control products that contain these substances require to be used in accordance with their authorisation conditions. Whilst the use of second generation anticoagulant rodenticides is necessary to protect public health, Scottish Government recognises the risks associated with their use and supports the ‘Think Wildlife – Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use’.

Scottish Government also supports the principles that guide the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Scheme, which aims to reduce these risks and promote good practice, and in particular the intention to reduce exposure to non-target wildlife. Scottish Government officials are members of the stewardship scheme’s government oversight group and are content with its development and implementation at present.

However, we recognise that the regime is in its infancy and its performance will be fully evaluated after five years of operation. In addition to our involvement in UK stewardship, the Scottish Government conducts other monitoring activities to consider the impact of rodenticides on Scottish wildlife.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5F-03037 by John Swinney on 7 February 2019 (Official Report, c. 9), how many public transport timetable changes would be required in travel-to-work areas to ensure that (a) 50, (b) 60, (c) 70, (d) 80, (e) 90 and (f)100% of employees could travel to work without use of a private car in less than (i) one hour, (ii) two hours and (iii) three hours.


Answered by Michael Matheson (08/03/2019):

The Workplace Parking Levy will be a discretionary power for local authorities and it would depend on how the scheme is introduced at a local level by a local authority should it choose to use these discretionary powers.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, S5F-03037 by John Swinney on 7 February 2019 (Official Report, c. 9), what analysis it has carried out of the potential modal shift that could be achieved through workplace parking levies.


Answered by Michael Matheson (08/03/2019):

The Workplace Parking Levy will be a discretionary power for local authorities and would depend on how the scheme is introduced at a local level by a local authority should it choose to use these discretionary powers.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5F-03037 by John Swinney on 7 February 2019 (Official Report, c. 9), which organisations are the 10 largest private employers in each parliamentary region, also broken down by which it has met to discuss (a) employee travel to work and (b) workplace parking levies.


Answered by Michael Matheson (08/03/2019):

The Scottish Government met with a number of organisations to discuss the principle of a Workplace Parking Levy following the commitment given at the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee to explore Local Authorities’ appetite for these powers. These meetings were with COSLA on 8 and 23 January 2019 and 19 February; with Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs) on 9 January; with the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) on 10 January and with City of Edinburgh Council on 5 February. The Scottish Government met with the Federation of Small Business on 19 February. In addition, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, the Economy and Fair Work and the Minister for Public Finance and the Digital Economy met the main business representative organisations (Scottish Chambers of Commerce, CBI Scotland, FSB Scotland, IoD Scotland, SCDI and Scottish Financial Enterprise) to discuss the budget on 5 February ,where Workplace Parking Levies was one of the topics discussed.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to allow Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) to support the work of Social Security Scotland, and whether it will provide CAS with funding to allow it to offer assistance with (a) the roll-out of devolved benefits, (b) helping people make a claim and (c) helping claimants with personal budgeting support.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/03/2019):

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is playing an active and valuable role in supporting the work of Social Security Scotland. This includes feeding into our various stakeholder groups and helping in the development of services and training for staff. We are also working with CAS to raise awareness of Social Security Scotland’s benefits to increase uptake. We plan for this partnership working to continue as Social Security Scotland progresses in the development and delivery of its services.

In 2018-19 the Scottish Government is providing £1.46 million of funding for Welfare Mitigation to CAS and the Citizens Advice Bureaux network to enable it to provide independent advice to the people of Scotland on reserved and devolved benefit matters. In addition, CAS is also receiving funding of £3.3 million for two years from 2018 to 2020 to deliver the Financial Health Check Service. Financial Health Checks provide personalised advice to people on money matters from reducing household energy costs to claiming Social Security Scotland benefits such as the Best Start Grant.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20184 by Michael Matheson on 13 December 2018, when it will provide the information that was requested.


Answered by Michael Matheson (08/03/2019):

In the first year of the ScotRail Franchise no Committed Obligation Payment Adjustments were incurred. The second year Transport Scotland received £875,219.14, reducing to £466,941.84 in the third year. The Committed Obligation Payment Adjustments in the current year to date is £1,002,770.84.

Committed Obligation Payment Adjustments in relation to the late delivery of Class 385 trains are not contained in these figures due to ongoing commercial sensitivities with ScotRail and their supply chain which is still subject to on-going contractual disputes.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how Social Security Scotland plans to create the "genuine, new career opportunities" referred to in its interim corporate plan.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/03/2019):

The Agency is committed to investing in the development of its staff and part of that is developing interesting and attractive jobs which can provide longer term development opportunities for those interested in building a career in public service.

By 18 th March 2019 will have employed 153 new Client Advisors across a number of grades. These new jobs were advertised internally to existing Civil Servants but also externally to the general public and cumulatively received over 1,100 applications.

In addition 100 jobs in Local Delivery are being advertised in the spring across Scotland. To deliver a national service, jobs will be located in places that are traditionally considered difficult to reach areas of the county. This will create career opportunities for individuals who aren’t able to access civil service jobs based in the central belt.

The Agency already has a small number of Placement and Internship programmes in place and Modern Apprentices, including direct school leavers.

Moving forward, the Agency will be developing partnerships with Further Education establishments in Dundee and Glasgow and across the rest of Scotland to develop professional qualifications, talent development programmes and other development options to ensure equality of access to development for all team members.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it collects on fishing net entanglements, and how many there have been since 2015 involving (a) humpback whales, (b) minke whales, (c) porpoises and (d) dolphins.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (08/03/2019):

The Scottish Government funds the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme (SMASS) which investigates and collects records of strandings, including entanglements.

Between 2015 and 2018, there were seven cases reported by SMASS as being consistent with entanglement, of which two were confirmed as being witnessed as entangled prior to stranding. Those seven reports consisted of: one northern bottlenose whale, one humpback whale, four minke whales and one killer whale. In addition there were two cases of bycatch of harbour porpoise.

SMASS are leading on the “Scottish Entanglement Alliance” project. This three year project aims to work closely with the Scottish inshore fishing industry to provide a co-ordinated, comprehensive monitoring and entanglement programme to better understand the scale and impact of marine mammal entanglement.

The Scottish Government supports work to reduce the risk of entanglement of wildlife at sea. In 2017 the Scottish Government signed up to the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, to tackle ghost gear in our shared seas and oceans, and we encourage responsible disposal of fishing gear by our fleets through our work with KIMO, and our work with the other administrations of the British Irish Council to improve end of life gear recycling.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-12975 by Roseanna Cunningham on 30 November 2017, whether it will (a) amend the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 or (b) introduce new measures to ensure that the recognition of the sentience of all wild animals is reflected in its legislation after the UK leaves the EU.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (08/03/2019):

Animal sentience has been implicitly recognised in Scottish legislation for over a century, most recently in the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 which ensures the welfare of all vertebrate animals kept by man. This recognition included wild animals in the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill passed by the Scottish Parliament on 21 March 2018.

The Scottish Government is aware of the Animal Welfare (Sentencing and the Recognition of Sentience) Bill in the UK Parliament intended to require Ministers of the Crown to have regard to the welfare needs of animals as sentient beings when formulating and implementing Government policy. The Scottish Government is considering the extension of the duty to have regard to the welfare needs of all sentient animals when formulating and implementing policy to Scottish Ministers as regards matters devolved to the Scottish Government.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it will ensure that lenders’ confidence in the (a) social housing and (b) other sectors will continue following Brexit, and what contingency measures are planned to mitigate any adverse outcomes.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (08/03/2019):

In the face of the UK Government’s continuing reckless approach, a no deal exit increasingly appears to be the most likely outcome and therefore as a responsible government we have stepped up our no deal preparations. Ministers and senior government officials are in regular contact with banks operating in Scotland to discuss the implications of Brexit and wider economic issues. The Scottish Housing Regulator, who is accountable to Scottish Ministers, is responsible for the regulation of social housing and one of its key functions is to monitor and assess the financial well-being of Registered Social Landlords. It has an explicit objective to help to maintain lender, investor and public funder confidence in social housing. In December 2018, UK Finance, the representative body for private lenders and investors in social housing noted that : “Funders to Scottish RSLs take great comfort from the current approach of the Scottish Housing Regulator, which is risk-based and proportionate.”

A £30 million deal between Swedish lender Handelsbanken and Southside Housing Association in Glasgow to finance new build properties and improvements announced on 5 March demonstrates lenders continuing confidence. This is the banks debut in Scotland’s social housing market.

The Scottish Government is absolutely committed to safeguarding, as far as we are able to do so, the interests of all sectors and businesses in Scotland at this uncertain time. Our focus is about mitigating any drop in economic activity, ensuring access to finance remains open so we can seek to keep businesses operating and removing constraints for businesses to trade. In February the Scottish Government launched a public information website to provide important advice around issues such as transport, food, medicines and citizens’ rights. It is available at www.mygov.scot/euexit . This will be regularly reviewed and updated, in order to ensure that the latest information is made available.

As part of our support for business, the multi-agency Prepare for Brexit website www.prepareforbrexit.scot offers practical advice which can help to safeguard, as much as possible in these circumstances, a company’s own growth, and that of the Scottish economy. Businesses can access advice, online self-assessment toolkits, book onto learning events, and apply for a £4000 readiness preparation grant.

While we are doing everything we can to prepare, we will not be able to mitigate all of the impacts following Brexit. It is therefore vital that all sectors, including the housing sector, make the necessary preparations and are as resilient as they can be.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action will be taken following the debate on 5 March 2019 concerning transvaginal mesh removal.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (08/03/2019):

Having listened carefully to the views of women who have been affected by complications, as well as those of fellow MSPs, I can confirm officials will undertake further work with Accountable Officers, who are responsible for ensuring high vigilance measures are followed in stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse surgery. Officials will expedite a meeting of the Accountable Officers and other relevant specialists to look again at the course of care for patients suffering complications. In particular and where reasonable, I want them to ensure women have some choice regarding the place of treatment and the clinicians involved. I also ask that they:

  • sharing experience, techniques and learning with colleagues in Europe and USA. For this to be successful it is important that surgeons and clinical teams engage with counterparts of proven merit and who are regarded by the professionals as leaders and innovators in their field;
  • examine the complex education and training requirements we must have to ensure a sustainable and resilient high quality service;
  • review the course and organisation of care for patients suffering complications in Scotland with a broader UK perspective; and
  • identify the resource requirements to provide the service our patients need.

Senior medical managers in Health Boards in Scotland, academic and other advisers, and advocates for affected women will be asked to contribute to this work. The first meeting will be held as soon as is practicable and I will write to campaigners within a month to set out the probable timescales.

Further, a meeting with a representative group of campaigners will be arranged in order to seek their views on service development.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Jeane Freeman on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the publication of its Gender Pay Gap Action Plan.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (08/03/2019):

Later today, the Scottish Government will publish A Fairer Scotland for Women: Gender Pay Gap Action Plan.

Our action plan outlines the cross Government approach and sets out the steps we will take in partnership with our stakeholders, to tackle the causes of the gender pay gap in Scotland. It is part of our approach to delivering Fair Work and builds on many existing Scottish Government strategies.

We have developed the actions with a Working Group with representatives from Close the Gap, the STUC, Engender, Equate, and academia. It allows us to ensure that gender issues are considered within policy design and services that advance women’s equality, particularly in relation to tackling poverty, promoting access to and progression within good jobs, and supporting business growth.

Actions within the plan for addressing gender stereotyping, sexual harassment and labour market inequalities include:

  • improving the collection of data to help inform policy development;
  • working with enterprise and skills agencies and employers, for example, through Letters of Guidance, procurement and financial levers;
  • promoting gender equality within early years and child care, schools, colleges, universities, employability programmes and social security support;
  • encouraging employers in the public, private and third sectors to tackle the causes of the gender pay gap in their own organisations;
  • expanding the Workplace Equality Fund;
  • funding £5m three year women returners programme; and
  • funding a feasibility study for a ‘Centre for Flexible Work’ for Scotland.

The Gender Pay Gap Action Plan can be viewed at www.gov.scot/publications/fairer-scotland-women-gender-pay-gap-action-plan/ .


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to ensure that those patients who require forensic mental health services receive the appropriate care and treatment to aid their rehabilitation.


Answered by Clare Haughey (08/03/2019):

In recent years there has been a significant adjustment in the delivery of forensic mental health services. My recent annual ministerial review of the State Hospital examined a number of issues, not least how the board responds to a decline in the number of patients detained in high security, and the development of medium secure services elsewhere. We have also seen the introduction of excessive security appeals for patients detained in medium security and a continuing move towards community services.

In order to enable forensic mental health services to be delivered as effectively as possible I am instigating a review more widely into the delivery of these services in recognition of these changes and new developments.

The review will consider;

  • The demand for forensic mental health services, including bed availability and use in hospitals across the levels of security;
  • Forensic mental health services in the community across Scotland;
  • The delivery of forensic mental health services in prison;
  • The governance and delivery of high secure forensic services in hospital, given the decline in the number of patients at the State Hospital;
  • The capacity of medium secure services to deliver forensic mental health services for all patients who require such services;
  • The impact of excessive security appeals across the forensic mental health system;
  • The availability of specialist open i.e. unlocked forensic rehabilitation services; and
  • The movement of patients from low or medium security into the community

We will set out further details on this operation and remit of the review, including its chair, in due course.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Clare Haughey on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what further information it can provide regarding the First Minister’s recent visit to North America.


Answered by Fiona Hyslop (07/03/2019):

The First Minister travelled to the US and Canada from 3 to 8 February. The programme focussed on key areas including trade and investment as well as promotion of key Scottish Government policies including climate change/ green energy, human rights, gender equality and social enterprise. In addition the First Minister addressed ongoing issues related to Brexit and reiterated Scotland’s strengths as a place to invest, live, work and study.

The relationships between Scotland, the US and Canada are extremely important, reflected by strong economic, cultural and policy links. The US is Scotland’s top export partner with Scottish exports to the US estimated to be worth £5.545 billion in 2017 (17.1% of all international exports). Over the same time period Scottish exports to Canada were estimated to be worth £580 million.

The First Minister’s visit covered five key cities over five days.

In Washington DC, the First Minister met with Verdant Power, Marriott International, and American technology company Leidos – all businesses with key investment and employer interests in Scotland. The First Minister also delivered a speech at Georgetown University that focussed on Scotland’s place in the world. The First Minister met with members of Global WIN, an organisation focussed on promoting progression towards gender equality in enterprise.

In Trenton, New Jersey, the First Minister met with Governor Phil Murphy where a document of joint working in climate change was signed between Scotland and New Jersey focussing on three key pillars: to share experience and best practices on tackling climate change; to work with like-minded countries, states and regions to increase ambition on climate change; and to promote business and economic opportunities created by the transition to a low carbon economy. The conversation also covered shared values around social policy, including the living wage and access to education. There has already been immediate follow up with the New Jersey Government at official level to build on the relationship and take forward shared working.

In New York City, building on her visit from 2017 the First Minister met with UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngucuka, where she was appointed the inaugural #HeForShe Global Advocate by UN Women, with the Scottish Government becoming signatories to the UN Women’s global solidarity movement for gender equality. The First Minister also announced that a Scottish Government funded partnership with UN Women, through the International Development Fund, is providing £113,000 in 2018-19 so that young women and girls in Malawi can participate in an innovative new pilot project that aims to reduce rates of early and child marriage in rural areas.

From there the First Minister participated in a roundtable discussion at the UN with Andrew Gilmour, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights focussing on Scotland’s Human Rights agenda.

She attended a Scotland Is Now investor lunch, hosted by IBM, where she addressed an audience of around 50 senior business people about Scotland’s strengths and assets as an investment location and trading partner. The First Minister met with Conway, Inc. and was a signatory confirming that Scotland will host the FDI World forum in 2022.

The First Minister also visited Morgan Stanley’s Fusion Center which helps firms improve their cybersecurity resilience and met senior members of their technology innovation and cyber-resilience teams. She discussed current and future collaborative projects at Morgan Stanley’s Centre of Excellence in Scotland. The company employs 1,550 people in Scotland and is a key part of Scotland’s financial services industry.

The First Minister then visited Canada’s capital city Ottawa where she undertook a social enterprise roundtable with the members from the social enterprise world forum and representatives from both provincial and federal governments.

In the evening the First Minister hosted a Scotland is Now reception to officially open the Scottish Government’s new Ottawa office and to launch the global marketing campaign to a Canadian audience for the first time. The new Ottawa office is headed up by Catriona Little, who moved out to Ottawa in mid-September 2018. Catriona joined the Scottish Government from the Department for International Trade (DIT), where she worked for two industry sector teams, initially leading on trade and investment and high value campaigns for the education sector in the Middle East and North Africa and most recently as Chief Operating Officer for the UK Life Sciences Organisation in DIT.

The launch reception also celebrated the wide range of Scottish produce in Canada, and the First Minister was joined by Scotland’s national chef Gary Maclean and GlobalScot chef John Higgins who cooked a range of dishes to showcase Scottish food and drink. In her comments at the reception, the First Minister took the opportunity to promote cultural links between Scotland and Canada, announcing the Scottish Government’s £80,000 support for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival in their ‘Canada – Scotland: Coast to Coast’ international programme.

Toronto was the destination for the final day of the First Minister’s North America programme and began with a meeting with the CEO and senior management team of the Toronto Region Board of Trade and World Trade Center, Toronto to discuss and promote trade opportunities, particularly in the digital, data and fintech sectors.

After opening the Toronto Stock Exchange with Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise and Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab, the First Minister visited the MaRS Center and the Vector Institute in Toronto’s Discovery District, where she met MaRS CEO and senior team to discuss opportunities in data science and artificial intelligence.

The First Minister had bilateral calls with Canada’s federal Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna MP and Canada’s federal Minister of Science and Sport, Kirsty Duncan MP - helping open the door to establishing a more formalised partnership between Scotland and Canada in these policy areas.

The First Minister finished her time in Canada at a community organisation in downtown Toronto where she announced a three-year international agreement to grow and sustain social enterprises in Scotland and Canada, alongside Scotland’s Social Enterprise Academy and their local partner.

In addition to the above engagements, the First Minister also undertook a series of interviews including The Washington Post Editorial Board, Amanpour and Co., PBS News hour, CBC, BNN Bloomberg and the National Post.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has reached a decision on when it will publish its principles of charging and objectives for the water industry’s 2021 to 2027 price control period, and whether it will alter the single person discount for water charges.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (07/03/2019):

I have carefully considered the feedback received from customers and stakeholders during the recent consultation process as well as the comments received from representatives subsequently. I have also considered the impact of amending discounts during the transition to Universal Credit, the consequential impact on the effectiveness of Water Direct and the continued scrutiny of local taxation following the Barclay Review.

I will publish the final Principles of Charging and Ministerial Objectives as soon as they are complete and no later than June 2020, the date set out in the industry timetable. As I continue to refine that document I can confirm that I have concluded that the single person discount should not be amended for the period 2021-27. My officials will continue to work with industry stakeholders to determine how the Scottish Government can continue to keep customer charges as low as practicable and provide support for those members of society that are least able to afford those payments. I have further concluded that vacant domestic properties will, subject to further detailed implementation details being agreed, fall into charge in the period. I will continue to consider other changes including developer charging arrangements, improving rural supplies and supporting innovation to best drive sustainable economic growth.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the percentage change has been in the number of pupils presenting for National 5 qualifications in (a) Gaelic (learners) and (b) Gàidhlig in each year since 2012.


Answered by John Swinney (07/03/2019):

National 5 qualifications were introduced in 2014. The number of National 5 entries in Gaelic (Learners) and Gidhlig since 2014 are included in Table 1.

Table 2 includes the number of entries in Gaelic (Learners) and Gidhlig at SCQF Level 3-5 in order to provide the percentage change since 2012, due to being unable to separate Standard Grade entries from 2012 into different levels.

Table 1 - Number of candidates entering into Gaelic (Learners) and Gidhlig National 5 qualification, by centre type, 2012 to 2018

Subject

Centre
type

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Percentage change 2012
to 2018

Gaelic (Learners)

School

n/a

n/a

163

109

141

112

104

n/a

 

Other 1

n/a

n/a

0

0

4

3

3

n/a

 

All candidates

n/a

n/a

163

109

145

115

107

n/a

          

Gidhlig

School

n/a

n/a

175

167

158

151

183

n/a

 

Other 1

n/a

n/a

0

0

0

0

0

n/a

 

All candidates

n/a

n/a

175

167

158

151

183

n/a

Source: SQA (December post-review data)

1. Other includes: Further Education Colleges, and Other (which covers candidates outwith school or college, for example workplace candidates).

Table 2 - Number of candidates entering into Gaelic (Learners) and Gidhlig SCQF Level 3-5 qualifications 1 , by centre type, 2012 to 2018

Subject

Centre
type

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Percentage change 2012
to 2018

Gaelic (Learners)

School

369

370

294

155

207

152

156

-57.7

 

Other 2

6

1

0

4

4

4

3

-50.0

 

All candiates

375

371

294

159

211

156

159

-57.6

          

Gaidhlig

School

232

237

222

195

187

166

197

-15.1

 

Other 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

-

 

All candidates

232

237

222

195

187

166

197

-15.1

Source: SQA (December post-review data)

1. SCQF Level 3-5 includes: Standard Grades, Intermediate 1 and 2, National 3, National 4 and National 5

2. Other includes: Further Education Colleges, and Other (which covers candidates outwith school or college, for example workplace candidates).


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what impact a no deal Brexit could have on Scotland’s economy.


Answered by Derek Mackay (07/03/2019):

The Scottish Government’s Chief Economist published analysis on 21 February indicating that a No Deal Brexit could be expected to push the Scottish economy into recession during 2019. The analysis indicated that there is the potential for the economy to contract by between 2.5%-7% depending on the way in which a No Deal Brexit evolves.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has carried out on the cost implications for local authorities of amendment 45 of the Planning (Scotland) Bill.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (07/03/2019):

Amendment 45, now section 11B of the Planning (Scotland) Bill as amended, would require an application for planning permission to be made in all cases where a house or flat changes use from being a sole or main residence to being used for short-term holiday lets, except where it is also the landlord’s sole or main residence. Drawing on the number of new “self-catering units” entered each year on the Scottish Assessor’s Valuation Roll for non-domestic rates, and estimates of the number of new “entire home” lettings on AirBnB and similar websites, we consider that, at least in the short term, between 1,521 and 11,500 properties might require planning applications each year.

The fee for a planning application for change of use is currently £401, which would give a total cost to landlords of between £610,000 and £4.6 million per year. Figures published by the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2015 ( Progressing performance: Investing in Scotland’s Planning Service (Thomas Fleming)http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/1496196/performance_and_resources_-_final_-_october_2015.pdf indicate that planning fees cover only 63% of the cost of processing applications, on average. It may therefore be assumed that, at least in the short term, the cost to planning authorities of these additional applications will be between £358,000 and £2.71m per year.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government on what date funds from the Saltire Fund will be distributed.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (07/03/2019):

The Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund is open for applications until 06 December 2019 or until the fund is exhausted. A total of up to £10 million is available through the fund.

Individual applications are invited for funding of up to £5 million which must be match funded and successful projects must be deployed in Scottish Waters and funding drawn down no later than March 2020.

Further information on the fund is available at https://www.gov.scot/news/saltire-tidal-energy-challenge-fund/


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much the Scottish Government has spent on the Saltire Prize in each year since it was launched, broken down by the costs for its (a) launch, (b) events, (c) administration, (d) rebranding, (e) rescoping, (f) staffing, (g) expenses and (h) other functions.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (07/03/2019):

Whilst our aim is to provide the information requested whenever possible, unfortunately in this instance the Scottish Government does not have all of the information you have requested. This is because the Scottish Government Enterprise Accounting System (SEAS) only has details of payments from 2012/13 onwards.

I refer the member to the Freedom of Information request FoI/18/01056 from last year. This provides a breakdown of all payments from 12 April 2012 until 15 March 2018. https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-18-01056/

There have been no staff working exclusively on the Saltire Prize and Scottish Government resourcing of the prize has been done alongside our work across the marine energy sector.

Since the 15 March 2018 the Scottish Government have spent a further £56 on the Saltire prize in relation to the domain renewal for the Saltire Prize Website.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason the home page of the Saltire Prize website continues to state that “the competition guidelines are currently under review”.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (07/03/2019):

The Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund was launched on 10 February 2019 and so the website could not be updated before this date. The Saltire Prize website was subsequently updated on 12 February 2019 to provide details of the new fund.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5F-03037 by John Swinney on 7 February 2019 (Official Report, c. 9), how many workplace parking spaces there are on its estate, broken down by local authority area; what the impact would be on its employees who use these spaces if a workplace parking levy similar to that used in Nottingham was introduced, and what information it has regarding the number of parking spaces in the estates of other public bodies and the impact on their employees.


Answered by Michael Matheson (07/03/2019):

The breakdown of workplace parking spaces in the main buildings of the Scottish Government estate is as follows:

Local Authority
Area

Parking spaces

Parking spaces less disabled
parking, visitor parking etc.

Aberdeen City Council

128

119

City of Edinburgh Council

1,121

934

Glasgow City
Council

65

54

Total

1,314

1,107

The Workplace Parking Levy will be a discretionary power for local authorities. Any impact on employees would depend on how a scheme is introduced at a local level by local authorities using these discretionary powers. The Scottish Government does not hold information on the parking spaces in the estates of other public bodies.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5F-03042 by John Swinney on 7 February 2019 (Official Report, c. 22), what its response is to the call by the EIS for schools to be exempt from workplace parking levies.


Answered by Michael Matheson (07/03/2019):

The Workplace Parking Levy will be a discretionary power for local authorities to implement should they wish to do so within the provisions set by the Transport (Scotland) Bill and Regulations. The detail on the framework for how Workplace Parking Levies will operate, including further exemption, will be the subject of consideration at Stage Two of the Transport (Scotland) Bill.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5F-03042 by John Swinney on 7 February 2019 (Official Report, c. 22), for what reason it considers that all NHS workplaces should be exempt from workplace parking levies.


Answered by Michael Matheson (07/03/2019):

The Workplace Parking Levy will be a discretionary power for local authorities. The exemption reflects the particular significance and circumstances of the NHS .


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5F-03037 by John Swinney on 7 February 2019 (Official Report, c. 9), how much each local authority could raise in the first full year of a workplace parking levy if a model similar to that used in Nottingham was introduced.


Answered by Michael Matheson (07/03/2019):

The Workplace Parking Levy will be a discretionary power for local authorities. Any local authority revenue would depend on how the scheme is introduced at a local level by a local authority should it choose to use these discretionary powers.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how the reduction to its funding for the Scottish Legal Aid Board programme, Making Advice Work, supports its commitment to reducing child poverty.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (07/03/2019):

The Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan was published in March 2018 and sets out cross-government action to contribute towards reductions in child poverty levels. The Plan, covering the period 2018-22, is backed by a multi-million pound package of investment, including a new £50 million Tackling Child Poverty Fund.

As part of our action to eradicate child poverty, on 2 November 2018 the Scottish Government launched the Financial Health Check service for low income families and older people. The service offers free personalised advice to ensure people can maximise their income and avoid paying the ‘poverty premium’, where the least well-off often pay more for basic goods and services. This new service is delivered by the Citizens Advice network in Scotland and backed by funding of £3.3 million over two years.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5F-03037 by John Swinney on 7 February 2019 (Official Report, c. 9), which organisations it has met to discuss workplace parking levies, and on what dates.


Answered by Michael Matheson (07/03/2019):

The Scottish Government met with a number of organisations to discuss the principle of a Workplace Parking Levy following the commitment given at the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee to explore Local Authorities’ appetite for these powers. These meetings were with COSLA on 8 and 23 January and 19 February; with Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs) on 9 January; with the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) on 6 January and with City of Edinburgh Council on 5 February. The Scottish Government met with the Federation of Small Business on 19 February. In addition, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, the Economy and Fair Work and the Minister for Public Finance and the Digital Economy met the main business representative organisations (Scottish Chambers of Commerce, CBI Scotland, FSB Scotland, IoD Scotland, SCDI and Scottish Financial Enterprise) to discuss the budget on 5 February where Workplace Parking Levies was one of the topics discussed.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what percentage of scheduled departures were (a) delayed and (b) cancelled in each of the last three years on (i) Western Isles and (ii) Northern Isles ferry service routes.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (07/03/2019):

Information on recent and historic passenger carryings for CalMac Ferries Ltd. and Serco NorthLink Ferries is published in the Scottish Government’s Scottish Transport Statistics publication. Table 9.17 on page 169 contains the requested information.

This information can be found following the following link:

https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/44025/scottish-transport-statistics-no-37-2018-edition.pdf

In addition, CalMac Ferries Ltd and Serco NorthLink Ferries publish passenger carryings on their respective websites and is available by following the links:

https://www.calmac.co.uk/corporate/carrying-statistics

https://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/information/publications/statistics/


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what measures are in place to mitigate any conflict of interest in the tendering process for the Northern Isles Ferry Service.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (07/03/2019):

We endeavour to make every effort to observe good practice in all procurement work undertaken by Transport Scotland. With this in mind, strict protocols are in place to mitigate any potential conflict of interest during this tendering processes. This includes clear protocols which create an “ethical wall” between Transport Scotland’s procurement team and other staff involved with ferries policy. As with other procurements, all procurement related information is treated as commercially sensitive and is not shared beyond those directly involved with the procurement.

As is standard in procurements of this nature, in order to participate in the process, bidders too will need to declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it considers that the current pay claim by lecturers is in keeping with the current public sector pay policy and, if not, how it differs.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (07/03/2019):

Negotiations are ongoing. The Scottish Government are not at the negotiating table.

Both sides will meet again on 7 March 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress is being made in delivering the Scottish national investment bank.


Answered by Derek Mackay (07/03/2019):

A Bill to underpin the establishment and capitalisation of the Scottish National Investment Bank was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 27 February 2019. The Bill will place a duty on Scottish Ministers to establish the Bank as a public limited company and give the necessary powers to capitalise it. The Scottish Government has committed to investing £2 billion over 10 years to capitalise the Bank, making it a cornerstone of Scotland’s economy. Ministers will also be given the power to set the strategic direction of the Bank by the setting of Missions that will address socio-economic challenges.

The Bill and its accompanying documents are published on the Scottish Parliament website .


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a breakdown of its employees by (a) nationality, (b) age and (c) gender.


Answered by Derek Mackay (07/03/2019):

A breakdown of employee age and gender is regularly provided in our workforce information publication which is available here https://www.gov.scot/publications/workforce-information/ .

We are unable to provide a breakdown of employee nationality as this information is not held. While nationality is collected to satisfy Civil Service nationality rules regarding eligibility for employment https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-rules

it is subsequently destroyed in line with Data Protection Legislation as it is no longer required.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress it has made in developing a rural economy action plan.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (07/03/2019):

The Rural Economy Action Plan is incorporated in and fully integrated with the Economic Action Plan published in October 2018.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to ensure that Scottish suppliers have access to public procurement contracts for food.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (07/03/2019):

We remain committed to getting more local produce served in our schools, hospitals and prisons and facilitate this through a range of measures such as the Supplier Accreditation Programme, Regional Showcasing, and the expansion of the Food For Life programme. Through this work we have seen most recently Downies of Whitehill securing the contract for fish across schools in Scotland, McWilliams butchers in Aberdeen supplying the NHS Contract for meat in Grampian and Stoats introducing a healthy bar for use within the NHS.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to support and expand housing co-operatives.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (07/03/2019):

Housing co-operatives form a distinct and valued part of the social housing sector in Scotland. The Scottish Government and the Scottish Housing Regulator provide a legal, regulatory and financial framework within which housing co-operatives can operate and grow. The Scottish Government do not promote any particular constitutional model over another, this is a matter for each individual organisation. The role of promotion is one better undertaken by the co-operative movement itself.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath in 2020.


Answered by Fiona Hyslop (07/03/2019):

The National Records of Scotland have convened interested parties all working to put together events to mark the 700 th of the Declaration of Arbroath in 2020, these include Historic Environment Scotland, VisitScotland, the National Library of Scotland, National Trust for Scotland and Angus Council.


Current Status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with (a) Colleges Scotland and (b) EIS-FELA on current pay talks for college lecturers.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (07/03/2019):

National Bargaining is a voluntary arrangement between both sides. The Scottish Government are not at the negotiating table and industrial relations in the college sector are a matter for the Employers and the Unions to resolve voluntarily.

I will continue to urge both sides to resolve this dispute urgently as it's continuation is in no-one's interest, least of all our students.


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether the current pay claim from lecturers is the same as that already agreed for non-lecturing staff in colleges.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (07/03/2019):

Negotiations are ongoing. The Scottish Government are not at the negotiating table.

Both sides will meet again on 7 March 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its commitment in the Scottish Energy Strategy, by what date it will make its first annual energy statement.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (07/03/2019):

The Scottish Government plans to publish its first Annual Energy Statement before the summer recess, subject to agreement by the parliamentary business.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much grant-in-aid has been paid in each year since 2008-09 to (a) Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd and (b) local authorities for pier and harbour projects.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (07/03/2019):

The Scottish Government provides financial support to local authorities for piers and harbours as part of the annual local government finance settlement. Since the concordat with local government was established, there has been no separately identifiable ring-fenced funding allocation within the block grant and it is the responsibility of each individual local authority to allocate the resources available to them to individual services including support for piers and harbours.

In addition, the Scottish Government provides direct grants to owners of ports serving lifeline ferry services in support of major capital projects and, since 2014, through the Ferries Accessibility Fund.

The following table details the amount of grant paid to Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) and to local authorities for pier and harbour projects from 2008-09 until 2017-2018. We are currently in discussion with a number of local authorities regarding the funding of a number of proposed pier and harbour projects which support lifeline ferry services in Scotland.

 

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd

Argyll and Bute Council

The Highland Council

Orkney Islands Council (Orkney Ferries Ltd)

Shetland Islands Council

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

2008
-09

4,200,000

3,106,625

246,630

562,499

  

2009
-10

1,817,154

     

2010
-11

17,782,373

182,084

    

2011
-12

9,481,818

22,500

    

2012
-13

879,679

336,336

    

2013
-14

3,974,179

     

2014
-15

2,075,929

  

*14,500

  

2015
-16

4,469,967

  

*9,215

  

2016
-17

15,966,085

  

*10,895

*11,000

*4,527

2017
-18

6,069,610

   

*39,000

 

*Grant provided via the Accessibility Fund.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on Police Scotland staff pay negotiations, and whether it expects a deal to be agreed prior to the beginning of the financial year.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (07/03/2019):

Trade Union members have recently voted in favour of a pay and reward harmonisation package for police staff, which will be implemented from 1 April. This will benefit more than 70% of police staff.

We expect unions will now work towards making a pay claim for the coming year, with negotiations with the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland likely to take place beyond the start of the new financial year.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what meetings it had with businesses and sectoral interests to discuss trade promotion opportunities in relation to the First Minister’s recent visit to North America.


Answered by Ivan McKee (07/03/2019):

The First Minister engaged in a number meetings with businesses to discuss trade promotion during her visit to North America. Opportunities across a range of key sectors were discussed, including Technology, Financial Services, Tourism, Renewable Energy and Food & Drink.

In New York, at a Scotland is Now investor lunch, hosted by IBM, First Minister reinforced Scotland’s strengths and assets as a trading partner and investment location to around 50 leading business people. In Ottawa, First Minister hosted an 85 person event to launch the Scotland is Now campaign promoting food and drink exports, promoting Scotland as a great place to work, study, invest, visit and live.


Current Status: Answered by Ivan McKee on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-17457 by John Swinney on 17 July 2018, whether it will provide the same information for 2017-18.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (07/03/2019):

The number of Scottish domiciled enrolments at Scottish Higher Education Institutions studying various health professional courses in 2017-18 is as follows.

Scottish domiciled enrolments at Scottish HEIs, 2017-18

Subject areas

2017-18

Pre-clinical medicine

1,150

Clinical medicine

2,100

Nursing

15,030

Subjects allied to medicine
(excluding Nursing)

8,370

Source: HESA student data

Figures have been rounded to the nearest 5.

Enrolments cover all years of study.

Subjects are based on JACS codes and numbers are full person equivalents.

Allied health professional courses have been classified as 'subjects allied to medicine' courses excluding nursing.

https://www.hesa.ac.uk/support/documentation/jacs/jacs3-principal


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 07/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what measures it is taking to increase the number of dermatologists working in the NHS, and what it is doing to encourage doctors to specialise in dermatology.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (06/03/2019):

Under this government, the number of Consultants in NHS Scotland have increased by 51.3% to record high levels, with a 35% increase in dermatology consultants over the same period (Sep-06 to Sep-18) .

To promote long term sustainability within this specialty, Scottish Government Officials are working with stakeholders on the future development of clinical training pathways, including proactively considering specialty training numbers.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will consider changing legislation to ensure that smoking will become prohibited around children’s playgrounds, outdoor sports facilities and play parks.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (06/03/2019):

Our Action Plan in 2018 stated that we will monitor the implementation of smoking bans in Wales and the implementation of guidance produced by COSLA and NHS Health Scotland on creating smoke-free areas to assess whether legislation is warranted in Scotland.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the British Horseracing Authority regarding the deaths of four horses at Musselburgh Racecourse at a meeting on 3 December 2018, and what action it can take to encourage the authority to publish the full findings of the inquiry that it carried out regarding the incident.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (06/03/2019):

The Scottish Government has not held any discussions with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in regard to the deaths of four horses at Musselburgh Racecourse at a meeting on 3 December 2018.

The BHA ensures racehorse welfare in Scotland, including compliance with all aspects of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) 2006 Act, through its Rules of Racing, the licensing and inspection of participants, education, training and monitoring.

The Scottish Government is aware that the BHA is carrying out a full investigation of the incident at Musselburgh and will consider the findings of the BHA investigation when they are published.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what engagement it has had with children’s health charities and other organisations regarding the effects of passive smoking around children’s playgrounds, outdoor sports facilities and play parks.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (06/03/2019):

Smoke-free local authority implementation guidance was published in 2017 to support local authorities implement their policies at publicly owned sites. This focusses on implementing smoke-free buildings and grounds and outlines the responsibilities of partner organisations. The guidance covers: schools, playgrounds, nurseries and day centres, parks, local authority premises and grounds.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether its proposal to introduce and reform the licensing of animal activities, including their use in public displays or performances, will apply to (a) horse and (b) greyhound racing.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (06/03/2019):

In the 2018-19 Programme for Government, the Scottish Government committed to continue work to introduce and reform licensing of animal activities including animal sanctuaries, rehoming centres, breeding and the use of animals in public display or performance. There is no specific mention of horse racing or greyhound racing in the Programme for Government, however the scope of reforms to licensing of animal activities, including their use in public displays or performances, will be considered in due course after discussion with stakeholders.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to the third supplementary to question S5F-03014 by Nicola Sturgeon on 31 January 2019 (Official Report, c. 16), whether it held any discussions with Talk Talk when it announced the planned closure of the call centre and, if so, what the outcome was.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (06/03/2019):

The Scottish Government and our economic development agency, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), are in continuous contact with HIE and TalkTalk with a view to mitigating against job loss, and exploring what support we can offer staff affected.

I have written to the CEO of TalkTalk seeking a meeting to discuss their decision to close the call centre. HIE have met with TalkTalk on two occasions and on the 14 th of February the Deputy First Minister met with them to discuss the ongoing situation.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which universities offer degree courses in audiology, and what plans there are for other institutions to offer these.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (06/03/2019):

Glasgow Caledonian University offer an integrated BSc in Clinical Physiology made up of four specialities, including Audiology. This course is unique, developed to provide a high quality honours degree which can meet the needs of the profession and of the NHS in Scotland. Individuals are employed by their NHS board and released for the educational component, specialising within their profession. Additionally, Queen Margaret University offers a 2 year Diploma in Higher Education in Hearing Aid Audiology. It is a matter for universities, as autonomous institutions, to make decisions over course provision.


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it carries out of the user experience reported by deaf and hearing impaired people who do not use BSL when accessing NHS services, including those who use systems such as Minicom, Next Generation and Text Relay, and how it assures the quality of the services provided.


Answered by Clare Haughey (06/03/2019):

Ensuring that the views of people who use healthcare services are heard and can influence the design and delivery of healthcare services is a priority for the Scottish Government.

We have introduced a range of ways for people to tell us what they think about their NHS Service:

  • We support NHS Boards to engage with the independent website Care Opinion, where people can share their stories of care in Scotland - whether good or bad - anonymously online and engage in constructive dialogue with healthcare service providers about how those services could be improved.
  • We have funded and supported the Our Voice Citizens' Panel, which has enabled the voices of people to be heard on a range of important issues including how to make communication between health and care services and those that use them more inclusive.
  • The Scottish Care Experience Survey Programme is a suite of national surveys which aims to provide local and national information on the quality of health and care services from the perspective of those using them. Surveys within this programme ask a series of demographic questions to allow further analysis of responses by different groups of people, including a question on long-term conditions, such as deafness and severe hearing impairment. However, these surveys do not capture data on whether individuals who report being deaf / having a severe hearing impairment do or do not use BSL as it is likely that the sample size for this specific sub-group would make the value of any analysis very limited.

Each NHS Board is committed to improving the services it provides, and we expect NHS Boards to listen to, and take account of, feedback from people about their experience of care.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many police officers are working in administrative roles, and whether it will provide an update on Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland's (HMICS) independent oversight of the removal of officers from corporate support functions.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (06/03/2019):

The requested data on police officers working in administrative roles is not held centrally by the Scottish Government. HMICS continues to work with the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland to provide independent assurance on the measurement and delivery of increased operational policing capacity.

It is a matter for the Chief Constable, with oversight from the Scottish Police Authority, to consider the size and shape of the policing workforce, taking into account the needs of our communities and in light of changing demands.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to introduce the screening of adolescents for scoliosis.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (06/03/2019):

The Scottish Government works closely with the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC). This independent expert advisory group advises Ministers and the NHS in the four UK countries about all aspects of screening policy using the international research evidence base and establishing pilot programmes where appropriate to collect additional evidence.

The UK NSC last reviewed screening for Scoliosis in 2016 and did not recommend introducing a national screening programme. This is because there is no agreed cut off for the Adam Forward Bend Test where doctors would agree that treatment is necessary. The further test is an x-ray examination and this would expose people to radiation which is harmful. It is also unclear whether treating people found through screening is better than waiting for symptoms to develop.

Although the UK NSC does not currently recommend a national screening programme for Scoliosis, all policies are reviewed regularly and screening for scoliosis will be reviewed again in 2019-20. Any change to the recommendation will be carefully considered by the Scottish Government.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the Standard Commission's recent survey, which recorded almost a quarter of NHS board members reporting that they have experienced "disrespectful conduct".


Answered by Jeane Freeman (06/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is clear that that disrespectful conduct in our NHS is unacceptable under any circumstances. We expect board members to act in line with the values and behaviours expected of everyone in NHS Scotland.

All NHS Boards have in place a Code of Conduct which board members are required to adhere to. Complaints or allegations about breaches of the Code are investigated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland and then acted upon by the Standards Commission for Scotland.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the findings of The Queen's Nursing Institute of Scotland's project, Three Bridges-Promoting Blood Borne Virus (BBV) wellness within Police Custody Suites, what its position is on (a) including BBV-testing as part of a package of care and (b) implementing an opt-out testing model to help to reduce some of the stigma and inequalities surrounding hepatitis C care and treatment.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (06/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is committed to eliminating hepatitis C as a public health concern, and is supporting work to improve opt-out testing in prisons as we recognise that this population is at particular risk. We are providing funding of over £2m between 2018 and 2021 to organisations tackling poor sexual health and blood borne viruses, including to Hepatitis Scotland and Waverley Care for their work to support people living with or at risk of hepatitis C and HIV.

The Scottish Government supports the integration of blood borne virus (BBV) testing into treatment as part of the care available to those in police custody. As part of nationwide efforts to increase testing for BBV, a number of NHS Boards have elected to develop BBV testing in police custody for those populations most at risk. Lessons learned from these service developments are being shared with services across Scotland to support our commitment to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health concern.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-19321 by Joe Fitzpatrick on 6 November 2018, whether the information has now been collated and assessed and, if so, (a) by what date it will be published and (b) whether it will show how many (i) sessions and (ii) hours each profession in a team provides to the pain service each week.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (06/03/2019):

Further to the answer provided to question S5W-19321, the collated information is undergoing quality assurance checks. We anticipate that the National Advisory Committee for Chronic Pain (NACCP) will consider the draft findings at its next meeting on 18 March and information will then be published alongside minutes of its meeting in due course. The information disclosed will be in accordance with the data protection laws. Where practitioner groups at NHS Board or national level refer to fewer than 10 individuals this will not be disclosed, as it is considered not sufficiently anonymised by the Office of National Statistics and will be treated as if it is personal data.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20262 by Clare Haughey on 11 December 2018, when the Autism Strategy Review Group was established; who its members are; on what dates it has met; which (a) NHS boards and (b) local authorities it has met, broken down by date, and how it will review and monitor progress towards achieving the priorities and outcomes set out in the strategy.


Answered by Clare Haughey (06/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is committed to improving the lives of autistic people through the implementation of the Scottish Strategy for Autism.

The Scottish Strategy for Autism Review Group was established in 2018 following the publication of the Scottish Strategy for Autism: outcomes and priorities 2018-2021 document in March 2018.

The Scottish Government reviews the progress of the strategy through quarterly meetings with the Autism Review Group. This group provides service expertise, strategic leadership and challenges the delivery of the strategy’s outcomes - aimed at improving outcomes for individuals and families living with autism.

The members are key representatives from Scottish Government, Third Sector, NHS, COSLA, Autistic People’s Organisations, parent/carers and Autism Network Scotland.

The group has met twice since it was formed, the first public meeting was hosted by the Borders Health and Social Care Partnership on 6 December. A closed meeting was held on 25 January 2019 in Edinburgh. The next public meeting of the group is currently being planned for NHS Highland in April/May.

The strategy’s progress is highlighted at the annual autism conference, this year’s event will take place on 26 March.

The strategy’s progress is also being monitored by the Autism Cross Party Group. Policy officials attended the last meeting on 26 February to give a strategy update.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what proportion of the components in the home screening kit for bowel cancer kit are recyclable.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (06/03/2019):

The bowel cancer screening kit comprises of an outer envelope, a letter with instructions, an information booklet, a return postage-paid envelope and a test kit.

The outer envelope, the letter with instructions, and the information booklet are all paper and can be recycled. Until 11th February 2019, the programme used a foil return envelope which was not recyclable, however the programme now uses a different type of envelope which is recyclable.

After being analysed at the lab the used test kits are disposed of in clinical waste bags (i.e. treated in the same way as blood tubes), and are not recycled.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it takes to (a) minimise waste and (b) maximise recycling in healthcare.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (06/03/2019):

NHS Boards are required to develop and implement plans to reduce waste and increase recycling to meet the targets set out in the NHSScotland Waste Management Action Plan 2016–2020.

The key waste regulatory requirements are outlined in the following table:

Year

Requirement

Source

2017

Reduce waste arisings
by 7% against a 2011 baseline

Making Things Last strategy

2020

Landfill ban on biodegradable
municipal waste

Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012

2025

Maximum 5% of waste
to landfill

Making Things Last strategy

2025

Reduce waste arisings by
15% against a 2011 baseline

Making Things Last strategy

2025

70% recycling rate

Making Things Last strategy

2025

Reduce food waste arisings
by 33% against a 2011 baseline

Making Things Last strategy

Each Board, in partnership with NHS National Procurement, must develop a single overarching plan covering the prevention and re-use of waste that details the specific opportunities that will be taken forward in order to achieve the waste prevention targets.

In addition, each NHS Board is required to work with their domestic waste management contractor to develop a single overarching plan covering the recycling and recovery of domestic waste in order to achieve recycling targets.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the commitment in its suicide prevention action plan, what action has been taken regarding its aim to create and implement refreshed mental health and suicide prevention training by May 2019.


Answered by Clare Haughey (06/03/2019):

The Scottish Government continue to work with NHS Health Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland to refresh Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Training. An online universal product will be available from 31 May 2019. Further products will be developed tailored to the needs of staff groups after this. This will complement existing resources.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions there have been in each year since 2001 for illegally releasing beavers into the wild.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (06/03/2019):

There were no prosecutions/convictions for illegally releasing beavers into the wild.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the average waiting time is from positive diagnosis of cataract to corrective surgical intervention.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (06/03/2019):

This information on specific procedures are not held centrally.

The following tables provide the median for speciality ophthalmology waiting times for the quarters ending September and December 2018 (inpatient and day case from referral date) and new inpatients. This data also includes cataract operations.

Table 1: Inpatient and Day Case median wait time (days) from referral date for the specialty Ophthalmology

   

Quarter End Date

NHS Health
Board

Specialty

Indicator

30 Sep 2018

31 Dec 2018

NHSScotland*

Ophthalmology

Median wait (days)

70

74

Source: ISD waiting times warehouse

* excluding NHS Ayrshire & Arran due to data quality issues

Table 2: New outpatient median wait time (days) from referral date for the specialty Ophthalmology

   

Quarter End Date

NHS Health
Board

Specialty

Indicator

30 Sep 2018

31 Dec 2018

NHSScotland**

Ophthalmology

Median wait (days)

46

42

Source: ISD waiting times warehouse

** excluding NHS Ayrshire & Arran and NHS Tayside due to data quality


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5O-02853 by John Swinney on 6 February 2019 (Official Report, c. 19), regarding the support for local authorities to access mental health first aid training, what positions "key staff" hold, and whether these include teaching assistants and additional support needs staff.


Answered by John Swinney (06/03/2019):

Mental Health First Aid Training can be delivered to all staff within school settings which could include teaching assistants and additional support needs staff. Local authorities and schools are encouraged to identify members of the school community who are best placed to identify pupils who may be struggling with mental health issues.

This approach empowers local authorities and schools to target the support to the communities within the school that need it most.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body what biometric details will be held by it following the introduction of the two-factor authentication fingerprint system.


Answered by Jackson Carlaw (06/03/2019):

No biometric details are held by the Parliament in relation to the introduction of the two-factor authentication system.  

The two-factor authentication system works by scanning a person’s finger measuring and collecting unique reference points. This data is extracted, transferred and stored on to the photographic ID card. The information is securely encrypted and details are not held by the Parliament or any other body. It is not possible to recreate a fingerprint using the information held on the card. As a result, if the card is lost or misplaced, the personal data cannot be recovered, and the cardholder will have to re-enrol before being provided with a replacement card.


Current Status: Answered by Jackson Carlaw on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body how much it has spent on organising the Festival of Politics in each of the last three years, also broken down by what financial assistance it has received from the Scottish Government.


Answered by Liam McArthur (06/03/2019):

The Festival of Politics is in its 15th year and continues to be one of the Scottish Parliament’s major public engagement events with over 5,000 people attending last year’s Festival.  

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body allocates an annual budget to support the development and delivery of the Festival of Politics.  This covers Festival development; advertising; promotion; programme design and production; panellist travel, accommodation and expenses; audio-visual costs; Festival Assistants; and the free Festival Café Bar programme of music, exhibitions, dance and comedy.  The overall costs are offset by ticket sales, sponsorship and gifts in-kind.  

The costs vary slightly year-to-year depending on the numbers of days the Festival runs; the number of events staged; the number of participating panellists; and the number of tickets sold.  The direct costs to the SPCB after ticket sales and other revenue have been taken into account for the last three years were as follows: 2016 (£54k); 2017 (£49k); and 2018 (£60k).  

The Festival receives no financial assistance from the Scottish Government.


Current Status: Answered by Liam McArthur on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the average waiting time has been for accessing residential rehabilitation for drug or alcohol misuse in each year since 1999, broken down by NHS board.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (06/03/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21594 on 6 March 2019. 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 Joe FitzPatrick on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5O-02865 by John Swinney on 6 February (Official Report, c. 29), how many children and young people have died by suicide in each of the last five years, broken down by local authority area, and what information it has regarding how many were not enrolled at school.


Answered by Clare Haughey (06/03/2019):

Further to the answer to question S50-02865 by John Swinney - the data requested is only partially held. It is not possible to identify which individuals are not enrolled at school at the time of their death. Furthermore, it has not been possible to provide information on local authority of residence due to the potential risk of disclosure.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many people have been referred to residential rehabilitation for drug or alcohol misuse in each year since 1999, and how much these referrals cost.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (06/03/2019):

The Scottish Government does not hold a breakdown of information on how many people have been referred to residential rehabilitation projects for alcohol and drug addiction since 1999, how much these referrals cost, or the average waiting time information by NHS Board. Service decisions are made by each local area and it would be for individual Health Boards or Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADPs) to provide a complete breakdown of this information.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to increase cultural participation among children and young people.


Answered by Fiona Hyslop (06/03/2019):

Through the Youth Music Initiative, Cashback for Creativity programme and funding for Sistema Scotland we are enabling young people all over Scotland to take part in culture. The Cultural Youth Experience Fund will also help more young people to engage with culture.

Creative Scotland continue to work with a range of partners to ensure young people have the opportunity to engage in cultural activity. The National Collections and National Performing Companies also undertake significant education programmes which support cultural engagement in schools, this includes free entry for school groups to National Museums sites and free guided tours for school groups at the National Galleries of Scotland.


Current Status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to reduce colonoscopy waiting times in the Borders, in light of reports that the region’s waiting times are the longest in Scotland.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (06/03/2019):

For the Quarter ending December 2018 there were 41 patients waiting over 6 weeks for an appointment for a scope investigation in NHS Borders. Of these, 32 of were waiting for a colonoscopy.

I recognise that performance across a range of diagnostic tests is lower than I want to see. That is why I launched the Waiting Times Improvement Plan in October 2018 which is supported by £850 million and will significantly and substantially improve NHS performance by the Spring of 2021.

The Waiting Times Improvement Plan has allowed NHS Borders to extend capacity, to share good practice, such as waiting list validation and pre-assessment, and to future proof activity including the training of nurse endoscopists. In addition we will shortly be publishing an Endoscopy Action Plan that will support the actions needed to reduce patients waiting over six weeks for these key tests, through the provision of additional clinics, implementing key improvement programmes such as the use of qFIT to support primary care referral, and use of endoscopy management systems to aid booking and scheduling of patients.

My officials are also working directly with the NHS Borders to support them to deliver extra colonoscopy appointments at weekends throughout the period of March to June this year. As part of its sustainability plan, the Board is developing a new service which will be delivered a community setting and will increase clinic and endoscopy capacity.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in response to figures that show that, since 2015-16, Tayside schools lost 395,330 hours of teacher and support staff days as a result of mental health issues, and that teachers in Dundee accrued 3,615 days in stress-related sickness absence in the year to January 2019.


Answered by John Swinney (06/03/2019):

Teacher absences and the causes of these absences are matters for individual local authorities as employers. Each authority is responsible for supporting its employees' health and wellbeing at work and will have locally agreed systems in place for managing this.

The Scottish Government takes the issue of mental health seriously and in March 2017 we published our 10 year Mental Health Strategy for tackling mental health. Our vision, set out in the Mental Health Strategy is of a Scotland where people can get the right help at the right time and to work on achieving parity between mental and physical health.

We have undertaken a range of actions to reduce teacher workload, acting to clarify and simplify the curriculum framework and to remove unnecessary bureaucracy while our work on empowering schools will also create new opportunities for teachers to develop their careers.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much Scottish Enterprise has invested in video games companies in each year since 2008.


Answered by Fiona Hyslop (06/03/2019):

Over the past six years (2011-12 to 2017-18), Scottish Enterprise has invested over £13 million (£13.4 million) in games companies. Just under half of this investment (£6.5 million) was through the Scottish Investment Bank and the remainder split between Innovation Grants and Regional Selective Assistance.


Current Status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it will take to ensure that the recommendations in its report, Coming Home, are implemented.


Answered by Clare Haughey (06/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is committed to improving the lives of people with learning disabilities, their families and carers and welcomes the findings of Dr Anne MacDonald's report: Coming Home.

The Scottish Government will be funding a post to support Health and Social Care Partnerships as they consider and take forward the recommendations of the report, including considering different models of care for people with learning disabilities and complex needs.

The Scottish Government will also be commissioning further work with Glasgow University to develop front line training resources around 'Positive Behavioural Support,' one of the forms of support, identified in the Coming Home report, that can be effective and appropriate for those with additional and complex needs.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made on the implementation of the learning disability strategy, The keys to life.


Answered by Clare Haughey (06/03/2019):

Many actions included in the strategy when it was published in 2011 have been delivered and others continue to be delivered through the work of the Scottish Commission for Learning Disabilities and the Learning Disabilities Observatory.

I am delighted to announce that the new framework to support the strategy 'The keys to life: unlocking futures for people with learning disabilities " will be published on ‎ 13 March by the Scottish Government and COSLA.

The new framework sets out some of our achievements over the last few years and highlights our key priorities for the remaining period of the strategy. The framework takes a whole life approach with an emphasis on supporting people from childhood to adulthood and covers a range of priorities across the themes of living, learning, working and wellbeing. The framework consolidates our work and also reflects the feedback we received from a wide range of stakeholders and people with learning disabilities on what matters to them.

The Scottish Government firmly believes that people with learning disabilities can and do play a full part in our communities and looks forward to working with COSLA, Local Authorities, Health and Social Care Partnerships and the Third Sector on the next phase of our work.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to draft a new learning disability strategy to follow the current strategy, The keys to life, which ends in 2021.


Answered by Clare Haughey (06/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is committed to improving the lives of people with learning disabilities, their families and carers.

The Scottish Government is pleased to announce that a new learning disability framework, 'The keys to life: unlocking futures for people with learning disabilities" will be published by the Scottish Government and COSLA on 13 March 2019. This framework will support the existing strategy.

The framework was produced following consultation and collaboration with people with learning disabilities and stakeholders. It identifies our key priorities and the commitment of the Scottish Government and COSLA to collaborate with public and third sector partners to deliver real change in the lives of people with learning disabilities.

This collaborative approach will also inform our actions beyond the life of the existing strategy.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 06/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason fishing protection orders remain in place on fresh waters.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (05/03/2019):

Fishery protection orders are made by Scottish Ministers on an application to them by one or more owners or occupiers of a relevant fishery. Orders may be made on such an application where Ministers are satisfied that the measures proposed would improve and increase the availability of fishing for freshwater fish in inland waters. Protection orders are made under powers set out in section 48 of and schedule 3 to the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003.

There are currently 14 protection orders in place, dating from 1988 to 2004. None of those have a specified end date. Ministers have not received any recent applications to vary or revoke an order and we do not have any current plans to review or revoke the existing orders.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it will provide scientific evidence to support its continuation of fishing protection orders on fresh waters.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (05/03/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21894 on 5 March 2019. 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 Roseanna Cunningham on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it will remove fishing protection orders from fresh waters.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (05/03/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21894 on 5 March 2019. 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 Roseanna Cunningham on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether a decision has been made on the Chairs of the independent review of Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (05/03/2019):

I am pleased to announce that Dr Brian Montgomery, former Medical Director and interim Chief Executive of NHS Fife and Dr Andrew Fraser, Director of Public Health Science, NHS Health Scotland have confirmed that they will act as co-chairs of the Independent Review.

As I have previously outlined, the Review will look at the building’s design, commissioning and construction, handover and ongoing maintenance, how these matters contribute to effective infection control and any other areas considered necessary by those carrying out the review.

It is essential that all relevant information is available to the Review to ensure that a robust, evidence-based assessment can be provided. It is expected that individuals involved in the design, construction, commissioning and maintenance of the hospital, along those providing healthcare (staff) and relevant expertise will input into the Review. Patients and families will also have an opportunity to have their views heard. It will be for the chairs of the Review to establish where and how the required information is collected.

The review will fully address and investigate all matters it considers relevant. We must all understand what the issues are, why they have arisen and the recommendations will be taken forward and learning applied across NHS Scotland to ensure our healthcare facilities – existing and future – are fit for purpose and support the delivery of world class health care.

I will provide a further update to Parliament outlining the Review’s remit and timescales once Dr Fraser and Dr Montgomery have considered their approach, which I would like to reiterate will follow the principles outlined in Professor Alison Britton’s report.

Once the Review has completed its work the recommendations will be made public and the Scottish Government will inform Parliament of its response to the Review recommendations.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Jeane Freeman on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will ensure that developers prioritise full fibre broadband rollout and promote consumer choice by consulting more than one broadband provider, and whether such changes could be built into the Planning (Scotland) Bill by way of secondary legislation or guidance for local authorities.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (05/03/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21656 on 5 March 2019. 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

The choice of broadband providers available to occupants of new build housing will be influenced by factors beyond the scope of the planning system to control. Whilst the Scottish Government is not considering such a requirement in the Planning (Scotland) Bill, where powers are available to us we have already taken action to facilitate improved investment in digital infrastructure. This includes setting out planning policy in relation to telecoms in both Scottish Planning policy (paragraphs 292-300) and in the National Planning Framework (chapter 5).


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what rules (a) ministers and (b) officials must follow regarding the (i) release of and (ii) commentary on statistics to the media prior to their official release.


Answered by Derek Mackay (05/03/2019):

Access to official statistics prior to their release is governed by the Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008. This piece of legislation sets out the rules and principles that must be followed, and describes who may receive pre-release access to official statistics, the circumstances in which access may be given, and the duties of the people giving and receiving pre-release access.

It gives authority to Scotland’s Chief Statistician to grant pre-release access, in certain circumstances and subject to a number of conditions, which Ministers and officials must follow.

A Minister or official who has been given pre-release access must not disclose any of the statistics, nor give any broad indication of their content or what they may show, to any individual who has not similarly been given access, as per Condition 5(3) of the 2008 Order.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what consideration has been given to including provisions in the Planning (Scotland) Bill to ensure that new (a) housing developments are built with future-proofed broadband connections, and (b) home buyers have a choice in broadband networks when moving into a new housing development.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (05/03/2019):

Through the Reaching 100% Programme, the Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that each and every premises in Scotland has access to superfast broadband. We would, however, expect new housing developments to be served commercially without the need for public funding and through effective partnership working between planning authorities, developers and telecoms companies, for example, Openreach routinely offers fibre to the premises (FTTP) – for free – on developments of at least 30 properties, with a tariff proposal for smaller developments.

Whilst the Scottish Government is not considering such a requirement in the Planning (Scotland) Bill, where powers are available to us we have already taken action to facilitate improved investment in digital infrastructure. This includes setting out planning policy in relation to telecoms in both Scottish Planning policy (paragraphs 292-300) and in the National Planning Framework (chapter 5).

From January 2017, amendments to the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 set a standard for in-building physical infrastructure for high-speed electronic communications networks. This enables easier installation of fibre at any time (on or after completion) and applies to new homes and other buildings.

Telecoms is, however, reserved to the UK Government and, as such, they have recently consulted on introducing new legislation to address issues with new build developments. The Scottish Government will look to ensure Scottish interests are reflected in the development of any legislation, and to understand the implications for any devolved areas.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many service users have appealed a Best Start Grant award in the Social Security Chamber First Tier Tribunal, and how many of these appeals were upheld.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (05/03/2019):

This question relates to operational matters that are the responsibility of the Scottish Court and Tribunals Service (SCTS) corporate body. The question has been passed to the Chief Executive of the SCTS who will reply in writing within 20 days.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what work has been carried out by (a) Social Security Scotland and (b) its Social Security Directorate to examine the introduction of a job grant for people over 50.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (05/03/2019):

As job search and support is mostly a reserved matter, the Scottish Government has not examined the introduction of Job Grant for people over 50. It would not be within devolved competence to provide a job grant for the over 50 age group.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much of the £1 million committed to research on children experiencing food insecurity in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan has been spent, and whether it will provide details of the nature of this research.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (05/03/2019):

Every Child Every Chance included a commitment to invest “£1 million on new practical support for children experiencing food insecurity during school holidays.” and also stated that “new research will also help us understand what further action is needed at a national level to address this problem.” The £1 million commitment therefore was not directly for research but for new practical support. The commitment was in relation to spend over two financial years; 2018-19 and 2019-20.

The Government is on track to meet this commitment. This financial year £492,745 has been allocated to projects directly related to the provision of food and activities for children during the school holidays. Final spend figures will not be available until after the end of the financial year at 31 March 2019.

For 2019-20, the commitment to reducing food insecurity during school holidays has been increased to £2 million, taking the total commitment for the 2 year period to £2.5m. A robust evaluation of the impact of this funding will be undertaken to inform the Scottish Government’s longer term approach.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it is aware of reports that paediatricians are not using the Peer Approved Clinical System (PACS) to apply for the drug, Orkambi, and what action it will take to rectify this.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (05/03/2019):

The Scottish Government’s Chief Medical Officer met with a number of cystic fibrosis clinicians on 27 November 2018, following concerns being raised, to talk through the PACS Tier Two process and to reaffirm that the cost of medicines should not be a decision-making criterion. On 7 January 2019, the Principal Pharmaceutical Officer wrote to all NHS Scotland Medical Directors and Directors of Pharmacy to advise that applications through PACS Tier Two could be accepted for all licensed indications of Orkambi with immediate effect, and that Vertex had agreed to offer a confidential discount to support any such applications.

We strongly encourage clinicians to make use of this system where they judge a medicine, such as Orkambi, to be appropriate for their individual patient’s needs and we expect NHS Boards to process applications appropriately as is set out in the national guidance.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it is aware of any delays in the processing of Peer Approved Clinical System (PACS) applications for the drug, Orkambi, in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (05/03/2019):

We are aware of the concerns that have been raised by patients and their families relating to some PACS Tier Two applications. Scottish Government health officials are actively working to investigate and resolve any issues.

We have been advised that a number of applications were returned to clinicians requesting additional clinical evidence relevant to individual patients. This is a valid request for local Boards to ask of applicants.

We are currently undertaking a 6-month review of PACS Tier Two, and the concerns expressed by patients and their families are feeding into that process.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it has undertaken of the potential impact of Brexit on science sector jobs.


Answered by Derek Mackay (05/03/2019):

The Scottish Government has undertaken an analysis of the long term impact that Brexit could have on different sectors of the Scottish economy. A summary of this modelling work was published in the latest State of the Economy report, released on 13 February 2019. A link to the impact analysis, which illustrates the potential long run impact of a modelled Free Trade Agreement scenario, can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/state-economy-february-2019/ .

Furthermore, on 21 February 2019, the Scottish Government’s Chief Economist published an economic analysis of the implications of a No Deal Brexit on Scotland. The report considers sectoral exposure to a No Deal Brexit. The report can be accessed from ttps://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781787816138.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on when the responses to its consultation on a female genital mutilation (FGM) bill will be published.


Answered by Christina McKelvie (05/03/2019):

The consultation closed on 18 January 2019 and we have received 75 responses.

These responses are currently in the process of being analysed and we will publish the results in due course.


Current Status: Answered by Christina McKelvie on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, where a core path has been routed across a residential garden area, whether the landowner can request that it be re-routed; who is responsible for determining such a decision, and who is responsible for meeting the costs of a re-routed path.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (05/03/2019):

Where a core path has been routed across a residential garden area, the landowner can submit a request to the relevant ‘access authority’ - the local authority or, within a national park, the National Park Authority - that the core path be re-routed.

Responsibility for determining such a decision lies initially with the access authority. The process is set out in section 20 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 (LRSA). Alternatively, if the request relates to a planning matter, the relevant planning authority has powers under section 208 and Schedule 16 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.

There are no duties placed on any bodies for meeting the costs of a re-routed path, unless an obligation is conferred for example within a path agreement (section 21 of the LRSA), or relating to a path order (section 22 of the LRSA), planning consent, or duty of care.

Core paths networks may comprise a range of surfaces, including natural grass, beaten earth, farm and forestry tracks, quiet minor roads and pavements, and other artificial surfaces. The access authorities have powers to undertake works and are responsible for determining their local priorities and the allocation of their resources. Other funding sources are also available, for example through Sustrans Community Links.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, where a core path is to be re-routed, whether the local authority is responsible for the creation or construction of a re-routed path or diversion.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (05/03/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21818 on 5 March 2019. 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 Roseanna Cunningham on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what impact Brexit may have on European bird census data gathering and sharing.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (05/03/2019):

As membership of the European Bird Census (EBC) is not limited to EU members, the Scottish Government does not envisage Brexit having any impact on the European Bird Census (EBC) data gathering and sharing.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has an agreement with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee to continue to contribute to the funding of bird censuses in Scotland until at least 2021. This data will form part of the European Bird Census.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress is being made in allowing juvenile raptors to be taken from Special Protection Areas to be reared under protective conditions for subsequent release.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (05/03/2019):

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is currently considering a licence application from the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project.

No other applications to allow juvenile raptors to be taken from Special Protection Areas intended for release have been received by SNH.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when the Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities was last updated.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (05/03/2019):

The Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities was published in September 2012 and reviewed in September 2017. As a result and in response to views expressed by participants, Ministers agreed that further revision of the Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities is necessary. This work is currently underway and involves engagement with key stakeholders and service users.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions the NHS has had regarding the reclaiming of excess prescribing costs for the drug, Pregabalin.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (05/03/2019):

This issue is being considered by the Scottish Government in conjunction with NHS Boards.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which three reviews were approved by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in the week beginning 18 February 2019 in relation to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Children.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (05/03/2019):

In a paper submitted to the board of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC), the Health Board set out the three main elements of the work that they are undertaking to assess the overall position at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) and the Royal Hospital for Children (RHC):

  • NHS GGC Workstreams – a GGC commissioned review of the facilities and environmental issues in respect of the QEUH and RHC.
  • A review of capacity and flow to assess the position now, against the original model and planning assumptions.
  • A review of clinical outcomes over the period to provide assurance.

Further detail on the reviews is included in the board paper which has been published online at: https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/media/252955/item-9-paper-19_03-board-paper-qeuhrhc-evsg.pdf

This local board’s work will feed into the Independent Expert Lead Review I have commissioned but it will of course, and rightly, be for the Chair(s) of the Independent Review to determine the degree to which the outcome of this Board led work meets their requirements and to take further steps to secure additional information and evidence if they wish to do so.

It is essential that all relevant information is available to the Independent Review to ensure that a robust, evidence-based assessment can be provided. It is expected that individuals involved in the design, construction, commissioning and maintenance of the hospital, along those providing healthcare (staff) and relevant expertise will input into the review. Patients and families will also have an opportunity to have their views heard. It will be for those undertaking the review to establish where and how the required information is collected.

The Review will fully address and investigate all matters it considers relevant. The review’s recommendations will be made public and the Scottish Government will inform Parliament of its response to the review recommendations. We must all understand what the issues are, why they have arisen and the recommendations will be taken forward and learning applied across NHS Scotland to ensure our healthcare facilities – existing and future – are fit for purpose and support the delivery of world class health care.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many cardiac paediatric nurses the NHS employs, broken down by NHS board.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (05/03/2019):

The exact information requested is not centrally available.

Information on the headcount and whole time equivalent of nursing and midwifery staff by specialty, including paediatrics, broken down by NHS Board can be found on the workforce statistics site at: https://www.isdscotland.org/health-topics/Workforce/publications/2018-12-04/Nursing-and-Midwifery.asp

Information about clinical nurse specialists is incomplete and only available for Paediatric and Cardiology but not both combined. A breakdown by NHS Board can be found on the workforce statistics site at: https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Workforce/Publications/2018-12-04/Clinical_Nurse_Specialists_S2018.xls


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what monitoring of beaver control is currently in place, and how many beavers are known to have been killed in (a) 2018 and (b) 2019.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (05/03/2019):

There is currently no monitoring of beaver control in place.

The Scottish Government does not hold data on how many beavers were killed during 2018 and 2019 as land managers were not obliged to record this information.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what measures are in place to monitor usage of the Citizens Advice Direct service with regard to (a) caseload and topics and (b) monitoring unmet need, before and after the reduction in funding of the service.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (05/03/2019):

The Scottish Government will put in place a quarterly reporting system to monitor progress on, caseload and topics and unmet need. From the 1st of April, Citizens Advice Direct plan to introduce real time monitoring system and Scottish Government will be given access to the data.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what additional resource is being provided to encourage eligible citizens to claim pensioner credit, in light of reports that at least one third of those eligible are not in receipt of their entitlement.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (05/03/2019):

The Scottish Government launched a new Financial Health Check in November 2018 backed by £3.3 million investment over two years. The service is delivered through the Citizens Advice Network in Scotland and offers personalised advice on 17 different elements to increase household incomes, reduce costs and tackle the ‘poverty premium’, where low income households pay more for basic goods and services. Ensuring that clients are in receipt of all the benefits they are entitled to is a key component of this Service.

In the first three months of delivery, the Service supported 1,740 clients and financial gain of over £1 million has been recorded for 366 clients. This means that, on average, each client is better off by £2,700.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what steps are being taken to raise awareness of the changes to pensioner credit for mixed age couples that are effective from May 2019.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (05/03/2019):

The Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People wrote to Guy Opperman MP, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion on 19 February to outline the Scottish Government’s opposition to this policy change. We have asked that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) share with the Scottish Government details of the impact assessment for this policy, and to clarify the repercussions for Scottish citizens.

We currently await a response from the UK Government on this matter.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much of the £500,000 committed to testing the Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland programme in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan has been spent, and whether it will provide details of the nature of this research.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (05/03/2019):

' Every Child, Every Chance ' set out that £2 million funding would be provided over the period of the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan (2018-22) to expand the innovative Children's Neighbourhoods Scotland programme. This programme is already being piloted in the Bridgeton and Dalmarnock areas of Glasgow, and more information can be found at www.childrensneighbourhoodsscotland.com .

A grant of up to £250,000 has been awarded in 2018-19 to support development of this work.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on what additional resources are being sought by each local authority to support mixed age couples register for the pensioner credit to which they are entitled.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (05/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is not aware of any additional resources being sought by local authorities or COSLA to support mixed aged couples to register for pension credit.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to prevent the killing of beavers in the period up until they are made a European Protected Species, in light of reports that a shot beaver was found dead on a wildlife reserve in Tayside.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (05/03/2019):

The Scottish Government is not seeking to prevent all lethal control of beavers in the period until European Protected Species status applies. The Scottish Government does however urge land managers and other to take note of SNH advice on the prevention and mitigation of adverse beaver impacts in this period, including taking note of the advice that killing of beavers should be a last resort.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when beavers will be given legal protection in accordance with the EU Habitats Directive, as announced by the Scottish Government on 24 November 2016.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (05/03/2019):

A Scottish Statutory Instrument, granting beavers European Protected Species status, was laid before the Scottish Parliament on Friday 22 February 2019. The legislation will come into force on 1 May 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it collects and records regarding pupils who have been placed on part-time timetables.


Answered by John Swinney (05/03/2019):

Information on pupils that are subject to reduced or part-time timetable is not collected centrally by the Scottish Government.

Work is underway to start collecting this information from local authorities and we anticipate data to start becoming available following the September 2019 collection.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to a recent Healthcare Improvement Scotland report, which states that “to improve care, NHS Grampian must ensure that older people who are admitted to hospital are accurately assessed within the national standard recommended timescales".


Answered by Jeane Freeman (05/03/2019):

In response to a Press and Journal article of 21 February 2019 regarding the Older People in Acute Hospitals inspection report at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: We welcome the positive progress NHS Grampian has demonstrated in this area. It is vitally important that our elderly and most vulnerable patients receive the best care available .

These inspections, together with the staffing legislation we will introduce, aim to directly support and continue to improve the treatment of older people in our services. The national standards describe what NHS Boards should do to ensure care is person-centred, safe and effective.

We are investing in the development of a care improvement and assurance, framework, Excellence in Care, to support nurses to understand the quality of care they are providing and to take any necessary action to ensure patient care is of the highest standard.”

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS), on behalf of the Scottish Government, carry out a programme of unannounced inspections. They measure NHS boards against a range of standards, best practice statements and other national documents relevant to the care of older people in acute hospitals, including the Care of Older People in Hospital Standards. One of the areas assessed is screening and initial assessment.

As a result of the inspection at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, HIS received an improvement action plan from NHS Grampian which is In line with HIS processes. HIS will check progress against the plan after 16 weeks and will continue to monitor action with the board, and if required, carry out a follow up inspection.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many households in North Ayrshire were in receipt of mitigation for the so-called bedroom tax in the last year for which figures were available, and how much funding was allocated.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (05/03/2019):

The Scottish Government does not hold information on the number of households in receipt of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) for mitigation of the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy. Information on the funding allocated to local authorities is available in Table 1 of “Discretionary Housing Payments in Scotland: as at 30 September 2018” published at: https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare/dhp/30Sep2018 .


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it will take in light of reports that the UK Government is reviewing the participation of Persimmon Homes in its help-to-buy scheme following allegations of reported poor standards and hidden charges.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (05/03/2019):

All home builders participating in the Help to Buy (Scotland) schemes are required to enter into a contract with Scottish Ministers, known as a participation agreement. This contains the terms and conditions which must be met in relation to their participation in the scheme. The participation of all registered builders is kept under regular review by ensuring the terms and conditions of the participation agreement are adhered to.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to publish an updated version of the Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (05/03/2019):

The Scottish Government will lay an updated version of the Charter before Parliament once the current revision is complete. This work is expected to be completed by Summer 2019. Plans for the publication and effective promotion of the Charter are being developed with NHS Inform meantime.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-15037 by John Swinney on 15 March 2018, whether it will provide the information for 2017-18.


Answered by John Swinney (05/03/2019):

Data detailing spending on additional support for learning is collected
from local authorities via the Local Financial Returns (LFR).

Data from 2017-18 is provided in the following tables.

As highlighted in the answer to questions S5W-08627 on 24 April 2017
and S5W-08983 on 8 May 2017, there are issues around the quality of
this data. This means that accurate comparisons between local authorities
and between years cannot be made. A lack of consistency in how local
authorities have broken down the information to primary, secondary and
special categories means that this data does not consistently represent
the levels of spending in different categories of schools in local authorities.

We recognise the challenge facing authorities and that decisions about
prioritisation and budgets, including those for the provision of services for
pupils with additional support needs, are a matter for individual councils,
balancing their need to meet a wide range of statutory duties, local priorities
and local circumstances.

Table 1 shows gross revenue expenditure on additional support for learning
education from 2017-18 split by Pre Primary, Primary, Secondary and Special Education.

Table 1

Additional Support for Learning Expenditure 2017-18 (£000s)

   
 

Pre-Primary Education

Primary Education

Secondary Education

Special Education

Total

Scotland

6,504

70,094

48,867

502,475

627,940

Aberdeen City

-

7,814

3,175

11,640

22,629

Aberdeenshire

-

-

-

33,317

33,317

Angus

-

-

-

9,083

9,083

Argyll & Bute

502

2,976

3,393

2,338

9,209

Clackmannanshire

-

-

-

8,932

8,932

Dumfries & Galloway

-

7,040

2,279

8,811

18,130

Dundee City

375

3,419

1,618

7,017

12,429

East Ayrshire

-

-

-

12,201

12,201

East Dunbartonshire  

112

1,608

1,494

10,372

13,586

East Lothian

-

2,786

1,990

8,763

13,539

East Renfrewshire

543

1,977

1,394

7,327

11,241

Edinburgh, City of

-

3

1

34,554

34,558

Eilean Siar

-

-

-

4,786

4,786

Falkirk

-

-

-

19,032

19,032

Fife

-

-

-

33,715

33,715

Glasgow City

2,744

14,100

11,303

62,268

90,415

Highland

-

-

-

39,729

39,729

Inverclyde

165

-

-

9,034

9,199

Midlothian

57

3,071

2,000

10,540

15,668

Moray

-

-

-

12,400

12,400

North Ayrshire

-

-

-

13,389

13,389

North Lanarkshire

495

7,767

3,649

28,318

40,229

Orkney Islands

35

1,230

928

1,572

3,765

Perth & Kinross

236

1,924

1,150

11,766

15,076

Renfrewshire

433

3,091

2,303

16,052

21,879

Scottish Borders

-

-

-

10,496

10,496

Shetland Islands

-

-

-

5,719

5,719

South Ayrshire

-

-

-

15,726

15,726

South Lanarkshire

429

7,787

8,126

17,705

34,047

Stirling

-

734

1,486

5,495

7,715

West Dunbartonshire

378

2,767

2,578

11,381

17,104

West Lothian

-

-

-

18,997

18,997

Source: Local Financial Returns – Education (LFR 1) statistical return provided by local
authorities to the Scottish Government.

Table 2 shows the percentage of total gross revenue expenditure on education by local
authorities which is accounted for by spending on additional support for learning in
2017-18.

Table 2

Percentage of total education spending on additional support for Learning 2017-18

All Local Authorities

12%

Aberdeen City

12%

Aberdeenshire

12%

Angus

8%

Argyll & Bute

9%

Clackmannanshire

16%

Dumfries & Galloway

12%

Dundee City

9%

East Ayrshire

10%

East Dunbartonshire

11%

East Lothian

14%

East Renfrewshire

10%

Edinburgh, City of

10%

Eilean Siar

11%

Falkirk

12%

Fife

10%

Glasgow City

17%

Highland

15%

Inverclyde

11%

Midlothian

16%

Moray

14%

North Ayrshire

9%

North Lanarkshire

11%

Orkney Islands

12%

Perth & Kinross

10%

Renfrewshire

14%

Scottish Borders

9%

Shetland Islands

12%

South Ayrshire

14%

South Lanarkshire

11%

Stirling

7%

West Dunbartonshire

17%

West Lothian

10%

 

Source: Local Financial Returns – Education (LFR 1) statistical return provided by local
authorities to the Scottish Government.

Table 3 shows the average per-pupil spending on additional support for learning by local
authority. This data shows gross revenue expenditure on additional support for learning
in primary, secondary and special education from the local financial returns, divided by
the number of pupils identified as having additional support needs recorded in the 2017
Pupil Census

Table 3

Additional support for learning spending per pupil recorded as having additional support need (£s)

Aberdeen City

3,268

Aberdeenshire

2,326

Angus

4,431

Argyll & Bute

3,710

Clackmannanshire

4,614

Dumfries & Galloway

3,024

Dundee City

3,267

East Ayrshire

2,934

East Dunbartonshire

3,998

East Lothian

4,171

East Renfrewshire

2,940

Edinburgh City

2,697

Na h-Eileanan Siar

4,571

Falkirk

3,474

Fife

3,078

Glasgow City

4,157

Highland

3,312

Inverclyde

3,414

Midlothian

4,854

Moray

3,138

North Ayrshire

2,691

North Lanarkshire

4,879

Orkney Islands

4,440

Perth & Kinross

2,440

Renfrewshire

5,221

Scottish Borders

2,391

Shetland Islands

6,052

South Ayrshire

5,024

South Lanarkshire

3,191

Stirling

2,291

West Dunbartonshire

3,620

West Lothian

2,650

Sources:

1. Local Financial Returns – Education (LFR 1) statistical return provided by local
authorities to the Scottish Government.

2. Pupil Census – published annually - for further details go to;
http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/School-Education/dspupcensus


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform to the Member of 18 February 2019, whether the Scottish Government will set out a timeline, including an expected deadline, for the phasing out of lead shot used by Scottish Natural Heritage.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (05/03/2019):

The Scottish Government does not intend to set out a timeline, including an expected deadline, for the phasing out of lead shot used by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

As confirmed in the letter of 18 February, SNH does not use lead shot in wetland areas and is continuing to reduce the use of lead shot in other areas; for example 95% of the culling of red deer on land owned or managed by SNH uses non-lead ammunition.

SNH continues to seek out and trial non-lead ammunition in the limited circumstances where it is still being used and will change to alternatives when operational requirements can be met and after ensuring that any animal welfare concerns have been fully addressed.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it ensures that the system used to reduce the number of missed NHS appointments is accessible to deaf and hearing impaired people who do not use BSL.


Answered by Clare Haughey (05/03/2019):

Approaches to reduce the number of missed NHS appointments for deaf and hearing impaired people who do not use BSL would be s