Rhoda Grant : To ask the Scottish Government which hospitals were placed on red alert between 1 December 2014 and 15 January 2015 and for how long; how many beds were available during the red alert period, and how this compared with demand.
Shona Robison: While hospitals have experienced pressures this winter, none has needed to declare a major incident because of the demands that it was facing. Boards have been keeping the Scottish Government informed daily about the pressures that they face and the actions that are being taken to address them. Additional support has been provided to the boards when required. Official statistics on hospital activity and beds relating to the quarters ending December 2014 and March 2015 will be published in March 2015 and June 2015 respectively.
Highland & Islands MSP, Rhoda Grant is seeking confirmation from the Scottish Government that significant road improvement works planned to take place on the Berriedale Braes in Caithness will be exempted from landfill tax which could skyrocket project costs on the long overdue scheme.
From April 2015, landfill tax collected from landfill operators will go to Revenue Scotland and will become the Scottish Landfill Tax. Currently the UK Landfill Tax is collected by HMRC and is designed to encourage waste produces to produce less and recover as much value as possible from it.
Transport Scotland have said they anticipate “sub-soil and rock surplus may be exempt from the landfill tax as the current indications are that the material could be used for remediation/filling of an old exhausted quarry. However this is based on current knowledge and is subject to the specific arrangement that the successful contractor chooses to make.”
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, and long term campaigner for better broadband services, Rhoda Grant, has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Keith Brown, calling on him to allocate more funding to the Highlands and Islands for improved broadband services.
Mrs Grant understands the Scottish Government has further monies available for this and are currently making decisions on spending priorities.
Mrs Grant said “Scottish Labour in the Highlands and Islands has led the way on bringing about much needed improvement, and indeed, the introduction of broadband services to some parts of the Highlands and Islands.
Rhoda has given her support to the following motion in the Scottish Parliament
Penrose Inquiry Final Report
That the Parliament welcomes the announcement by the Scottish Public Inquiry into Hepatitis C/HIV acquired infection from NHS treatment in Scotland with blood and blood products (Penrose Inquiry) that it will publish its final report on 25 March 2015;
Educational Psychologists Numbers at Dangerously Low Levels in Scotland
That the Parliament recognises the report by the National Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists and the Scottish Division of Educational Psychologists, which considers that the number of trained educational psychologists in Scotland is “dangerously low” and that psychological services in Scotland are reporting a significant increase in demand; understands that up to a quarter of educational psychologists may retire in the next four years and that there are too few trainees being recruited to fill this skills gap;
That the Parliament welcomes the findings of the 2013 Scottish Health Survey, which identified that only 21% of adults in Scotland are now smokers, a decrease from 25% in the previous year; notes that the study found that there has been a significant decline in the number of smokers aged between 16 and 64, decreasing from 35% in 1995 to 24% in 2013 and further notes that the average number of cigarettes smoked per day by those in the 16 to 64 age group also fell from 16.7 in 1995 to 12.7 in 2013;