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To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to recent reports regarding the remit of the short-life working group into complications from mesh procedures.

Answered by Jeane Freeman (13/06/2019):

The short-life working group was established after the meeting I had with women at the Scottish Parliament in March.

As has been set out in response to parliamentary questions (S5W-22523 on 1 May 2019 and S5W-23623 on 6 June 2019) the remit of the Accountable Officer short life working group, examining the present course of care for women who experience mesh complications, is to consider what additional steps could be taken to offer choice to women who want – and are clinically suitable for – removal of mesh.

The membership of this group comprises health board accountable officers, senior clinicians, and other relevant individuals. The group has held two meetings to date, and will meet for a third time tomorrow (Friday 14 June).

A recent report in the press suggested this group was formed to reinstate transvaginal mesh implants in Scotland. These reports and claims are wholly false and without foundation. I know this false report has created unnecessary distress to women who are already enduring the suffering caused by mesh complications.

I have been very clear that the complete halt to transvaginal mesh procedures, which I announced last September, would only be lifted if a high vigilance, restricted use protocol is developed to my satisfaction. At this stage I do not think there is a prospect of the halt being lifted, and I have not asked that any planning take place to consider the lifting of the halt.

The short-life working group is expected to publish its initial findings in the autumn. However, we are currently giving consideration to whether there are any improvements that can be made in the short term. I expect to be able to make a further update on this shortly.

All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at .

Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Jeane Freeman on 13/06/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the recent analysis recording a fall in serious violent crime over the last decade.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 12/06/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on plans for the contactSCOTLAND-BSL service provided to deaf and deafblind British Sign Language (BSL) users.

Answered by Clare Haughey (31/05/2019):

contactSCOTLAND-BSL is a vital service provided to the deaf and deafblind British Sign Language (BSL) community. It allows deaf and deafblind users to make calls through an on-line interpreter. The Scottish Government will be providing additional funding for contactSCOTLAND-BSL so that from 1 June the service will expand to include calls to private numbers, in addition to public and third sector, and the service hours will increase to 24/7 throughout 365 days a year.

Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Clare Haughey on 31/05/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what support it provides to ensure the occupational safety of fishermen.

Answered by Fergus Ewing (06/06/2019):

There is no doubt that commercial sea fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and over the years too many lives have been lost at sea. We need to do all we can, to make it as safe as we can.

Between 2014 and 2020 through EU and Scottish Government funding, approximately £1.2 million has been invested directly in projects aimed at improving safety at sea for Scottish vessels and their crews. This has included grants for refresher safety training and individually issued personal floatation devices.

I have also recently set up the Scottish Fishing Safety Group to support industry efforts to reduce accidents and fatalities across the Scottish fishing fleet - the goal is towards zero deaths annually.

Active fishermen and experts in this field have been invited to put themselves forward to join this group and contribute their knowledge and experience. I expect to announce its membership shortly.

Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 06/06/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it will be in a position to announce the chairs of the independent reviews of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003 and the delivery of forensic mental health services in Scotland, which were announced in March 2019.

Answered by Clare Haughey (20/05/2019):

I am delighted to have secured the services of John Scott QC as Chairperson for the review of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. Mr Scott brings extensive experience within the areas of legislation and human rights and will also provide strong leadership in the delivery of an independent, evidence led review.

I am also pleased to announce today the appointment of Derek Barron, Director of Care, Erskine as Chairperson for the review into the delivery of forensic mental health services in Scotland. Mr Barron brings to the role of Chair long-standing experience in mental health nursing across a number of NHS Boards. His experience in providing visible, transformational leadership across services will be instrumental in ensuring delivery of this review that will encompass hospitals, prisons, courts, and the community.

While it will be for the Chairs to determine how the reviews are best taken forward I have been clear that both reviews will be stakeholder driven and evidence led. We want to gather views from as wide a range of people as possible including the voices of those with lived experience so that they can help shape the future direction of our legislation and the services that are provided to those with mental illness.

Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Clare Haughey on 20/05/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it supports communities in celebrating their heritage.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 22/05/2019

To ask Scottish Government when the first payments from the Advance Payment Scheme for survivors of childhood abuse in care will be made.

Answered by John Swinney (14/05/2019):

The Advance Payment Scheme opened on 25 April 2019 for those abused in care in Scotland who are either aged 70 or above, or who are terminally ill. Applicants are eligible to apply for a flat rate payment of £10,000, providing tangible recognition of the harm done to them as children

I am pleased to confirm that the first 5 payments have already been processed. Subject to the required appraisal checks, we hope to be able to approve a further 8 applications this week with a further 36 applications currently being considered.

Around 150 calls were taken in the first two weeks of the Advance Payment phone line opening and more than 100 application packs have been sent out. We have put in place a simple, yet robust application process and are focused on helping survivors and their families through the process.

Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by John Swinney on 14/05/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position on the work of Society Zero, which is a Glasgow-based social enterprise that provides zero waste and plastic-free food, produce and products, and how it supports the establishment of such start-ups.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 09/05/2019

To ask the First Minister how the new domestic abuse act will help reduce violence against women.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 04/04/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on the most recent figures for the number of (a) court staff and (b) prosecutors per 100,000 people in (i) Scotland and (ii) England and Wales.

Answered by Humza Yousaf (02/04/2019):

The information requested is available online in the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) report. CEPEJ evaluates every two years the functioning of the judicial systems in 47 Council of Europe's Member States. The latest available information, which is for 2016, can be found on the interactive overview page by selecting 'UK - Scotland' and 'UK - England & Wales'. The relevant questions providing this information are Q52 and Q55.

The overview page can be accessed via this link:!/vizhome/CEPEJ-Overviewv3_0/Overview

The full report can be accessed via this link:

CEPEJ will be collecting 2018 data throughout this year for publication in 2020.

Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 02/04/2019
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