What has been happening?

As I have not been riled by anything this past week I have decided to do a wee list of positive things. Things have been happening politically in Scotland that are either ignored by the press or reported in wee dark corners. Seem that only David Cameron has been worth reporting on this week as he sneaks around Europe trying to get support so he can call a referendum on Europe and wipe out any coverage on the Scottish elections.

These are just bites of what is happening. Full information links at end of each topic.

Funding for Macmillan advice services.

Cancer patients and their families will receive help to apply for benefits and access debt and money saving advice through a £450,000 investment.

Funding for the Macmillan Benefits Services is supporting cancer patients, their families and carers to access benefits, claim grants, free white goods and deal with debt.

The £450,000 for Macmillan is part of the £2.5 million package of support for advice services confirmed in the 2016-17 draft budget.

Macmillan’s Head of Services Janice Preston said:

“Money worries are a real issue for many people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Some people will need to give up work and this can come at the same time as they face increased costs like travelling to hospital for treatment, or higher heating bills as many cancer patients feel the cold more.

“Services like this are vitally important in helping patients access the money they need and Scottish Government support and funding make these services possible.”


Future vision for health and social care

Health Secretary Shona Robison has set out the blueprint for health and social care in Scotland over the next 10 to 15 years.

Ms Robison, along with senior clinicians, has launched the National Clinical Strategy, which outlines plans to deliver a range of improvements and reforms to modernise the way care is provided.

The National Clinical Strategy outlines:

  • The need to provide more care where people need it, with as much care as possible delivered locally
  • The transformational change taking place within primary care, which will be delivered by multi-disciplinary teams with strong links with local authority social services
  • That to give patients the best possible outcomes, complex treatments may be delivered in specialist centres, with follow up treatment available locally
  • The importance of supporting patients to fully understand and manage their health needs, with a focus on rehabilitation and independence

The National Clinical Strategy is available online at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/02/8699


Plans for a bold, creative and ambitious BBC for Scotland.

The Scottish Government today outlined a comprehensive and detailed vision for the future of publicly-funded, public service broadcasting in Scotland.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop outlined the opportunities in a new policy paper calling for the BBC to evolve to deliver better, more representative content for Scottish audiences and strengthen its support for Scotland’s creative sector.

The policy paper is available at: www.gov.scot/isbn/9781786520210


Childhood obesity falls

The proportion of Primary 1 children classed as healthy weight has increased from 76.4 per cent in 2013/14 to 77.1 per cent in 2014/15.

The proportion of children at risk of being overweight has fallen from 12.5 per cent to 12.0 per cent over the same period, and the proportion at risk of obesity has dropped from 10.1 per cent to 9.8 per cent.

Maureen Watt, Minister for Public Health, said:

“It’s encouraging to see that the percentage of healthy weight children has increased since last year, and those at risk of being overweight has decreased. We will continue to take action on a range of fronts to continue this trend and reduce childhood obesity further.

Primary 1 Body Mass Index (BMI) statistics Scotland – School Year 2014/15 can be read in full at www.isdscotland.org.


Moray looks to the future

A new group of business leaders in Moray will be created as part of the ongoing drive of developing Scotland’s young workforce and getting young people into work.

Regional groups are being created across the country to lead and support the development of Scotland’s young potential.

Announcing the new group the Minister for Youth and Women’s employment Annabelle Ewing, said:

I am very pleased that Moray is the latest region to launch its Developing the Young Workforce regional group. While there is a considerable amount of good work happening in the area, I share the group’s recognition that much more can be done to support young women and men towards sustainable and rewarding jobs.”

Willie Wood, HR Director at Johnstons of Elgin and Chair of the new DYW regional group said:

“As chair of the Moray DYW group I am delighted that funding has been approved. As a group we will be actively pushing initiatives so as industry and education, can, together, develop the young workforce of Moray for the future.”

Further detail on Developing Young Workforce can be found here:http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Education/edandtrainingforyoungple/ScottishGovernmentResponse.


HGV Opening Hours Extended on Forth Road Bridge

Transport Minister Derek Mackay said:

“Work to restore the bridge to its full capacity is continuing at pace and this is another step towards that goal.

“The HGV trial has been running for more than a week now and our careful monitoring shows that we can now allow more vehicles across the bridge.

“It means that more than ninety per cent of traffic has access to the bridge while the strengthening work is carried-out by our expert team. All indications are that we are on track for the full re-opening soon and we will continue to explore options to allow as many HGVs as possible to use the crossing in the meantime.”

Chartered Engineer and Amey’s Account Director for the Forth Road Bridge, Mark Arndt, said:

“The HGV trial has gone better than we expected, with many drivers taking advantage of the overnight relaxation on a daily basis. We hope that more will benefit from the extended hours.

“We appreciate that the restrictions are frustrating but they are necessary. Our teams continue to work night and day to complete repair works and get the bridge re-opened as quickly as we can.”