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  1. Next: Scottish Liberal Democrats debate: Privacy and the State
  2. Next: Scottish Liberal Democrats debate: Mental health
  3. Next: Members' Business: Marie Curie's 2015 Great Daffodil Appeal

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Rachael Connors

All times stated are UK

Good night

That's all from the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 5 March 2015.

holyrood at night

Remember you can catch up on all the day's business at

BBC Scotland's Democracy Live website.

Debate ends

The minister concludes by again praising and thanking the volunteers, staff and nurses of

Marie Curie.

Ms Watt says she is sure the Great Daffodil Appeal will be even more successful than last year.


Ms Watt says we have to address the taboo about discussing death and dying.

Joint agreement

Ms Watt says the government wants to achieve improvement to palliative and end of life care by working with people and via joint agreement.

Welcome and thanks

Public Health Minister Maureen Watt says she would like to add her welcome and thanks to the volunteers, staff and nurses from

Marie Curie in the gallery.

Maureen Watt

Ms Watt says the Great Daffodil Appeal is key to raising funds to allow Marie Curie to provide care.

No 'buddie' does it better

SNP MSP George Adam says when it comes to fund raising no "buddie" does it better than Paisley.

Mr Adam says his mum died of cancer complications a couple of years ago.

George Adam

He says all she wanted to do was to get home when she heard she was dying.

The work of Marie Claire is a huge help to families achieving that.

2020 Vision

Rhoda Grant calls on the government to include palliative care in its

2020 Vision for health.

Rhoda Grant


Mr McArthur thanks all the Marie Curie nurses, staff and volunteers for their "wonderful" work in helping people with terminal illness to die with dignity.

All terminal illnesses

Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says there still is a lag in understanding that Marie Curie services go beyond cancer to all terminal illnesses.

Liam McArthur

Back the appeal

Conservative MSP Jamie McGrigor calls on everyone to back the Marie Curie appeal and pays tribute to the work of the staff and volunteers.

Jamie McGrigor

The Great Daffodil Appeal

Marie Curie
Marie Curie
Marie Curie

According to the Marie Curie website, every March millions of people across the UK show their support for our work, simply

by giving a donation to wear a daffodil pin.

The website highlights

28 fantastic years of raising funds and wearing daffs - joined by some famous faces along the way.

Ms Fabiani concludes her speech by paying tribute to the staff and volunteers of Marie Curie.

Marie Curie

Ms Fabiani says a lot of people don't realise the

Marie Curie service and nurses are for every kind of terminal illness, not just cancer.

Linda Fabiani

She points to the five year strategy of Marie Curie.


Ms Fabiani says this year again in March we have the Daffodil Appeal, we are all going about with our daffodil.

She welcomes volunteers to the gallery.


The appeal has raised more than £80m across the UK.


In her motion Ms Fabiani says the appeal makes a substantial contribution toward the over £4 million raised in Scotland every year by Marie Curie to support its services across Scotland.

Ms Fabiani says that the charity supports over 7,000 terminally ill people in Scotland to get free care at home with the help of Marie Curie nurses or in the community in their Glasgow or Edinburgh hospices.

She says the volunteers play a vital role in supporting the work of the charity.

She supports the launch of the charity's new five-year strategy, which will see Marie Curie increase the number of people it supports in Scotland, and welcomes its vision of a better life for people with a terminal illness and their families.

Marie Curie

SNP MSP Linda Fabiani leads a debate on Marie Curie's 2015 Great Daffodil Appeal, which runs throughout March.

Decision time

MSPs pass the amended Lib Dem motion from the privacy and the state, with 65 MSPs backing it and 60 MSPs voting against it.

The amendment from Deputy First Minister John Swinney is passed with, 64 MSPs backing it and 61 MSPs voting against it.

The amendment from Labour is defeated with 60 MSPs backing it and 65 against.


MSPS then pass the amended Lib Dem Motion from the mental health debate, with 120 MSPs backing it and five MSPs backing it.

The amendment from Mental Health Minister Jamie Hepburn is passed with 81 MSPs backing it and 42 against.

That leads to the Labour amendment falling.

MSPs unanimously approve the SSI-That the Parliament agrees that the Scotland Act 1998 (Modification of Schedules 4 and 5 and Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2015 [draft] be approved.

This will enable the transfer of powers to bring forward legislation to lower the voting age.

A number of other SSIs are approved.

Deputy first minister

Deputy First Minister John Swinney says it is beyond exaggeration to say it 16 and 17 year olds engagement in the independence referendum was one of the triumphs campaign.

John Swinney

Mr Swinney says this order is backed by everyone in the chamber and he welcomes the change of mind of the Scottish Conservatives, who now back extending the franchise for the Holyrood election to 16 and 17 year olds.


Devolution Committee convener MSP Bruce Crawford says 110,000 additional citizens of Scotland will be franchised by this order.

He says the young people of Scotland should have the right to vote.

Bruce Crawford MSP

Business motions passed

MSPs back the business motion.

Ministerial response

Parliamentary Business Minister Joe Fitzpatrick says the Audit Scotland report vindicates the actions of the Scottish government safeguarding 3,200 jobs.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Mr Fitzpatrick says Labour can use their time next week to debate the issue if they wish.


Scottish government plans to

sell Prestwick Airport back to the private sector are viable but it could take "some years" for them to be achieved, a public spending watchdog has said.

Ministers bought the struggling airport for just £1 from owners Infratil in late 2013 amid fears it could close.

They have so far committed to provide £25.2m in loan funding to the airport.

Prestwick airport
(C) British Broadcasting Corporation

Audit Scotland said it could take almost a decade before Prestwick would be able to start repaying the money.

In its report, the watchdog said that while the business case for the deal was based on "optimistic" passenger numbers, the government could still "reasonably expect a positive return" on the cash being loaned.


Labour MSP James Kelly opposes the business motion, as the government has refused a request by his party to give a statement on Prestwick Airport.

James Kelly

Business motions

MSPs are now considering business motions.


Mr McArthur says a total of 795 people died through suicide in Scotland in 2013.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for under 35s in this country, he adds.

He believes setting an ambition for zero suicide is not the same as a target - it is an aspiration.

Lib Dem closing

Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says his party prioritises mental health.

"We appear to be moving in the wrong direction", he says.

Due to lack of meeting targets the opportunity to intervene for those who need help is delayed, with potentially serious consequences.

Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur
Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur

This is not a criticism of those on the frontline, he says.


The Lib Dems say:

· For children and adolescent mental health services - the new 18 week target is not being met. When you break that down, five health boards are still failing to meet the old 26 week target and only half are meeting the new treatment target of 18 weeks.

Another man with head in hands

· Educational psychologists are at a dangerous low

· And for adult psychological services - once again the 18 week target is not being met with 15.5% of patients facing waits of 19-35 weeks, and 4.4% of patients waiting a staggering 35 weeks for treatment.

Ministerial close

Mental Health Minister Jamie Hepburn says the issue of social prescribing is very important, to promote awareness of and access to social prescribing.

Social Prescribing means linking people up to activities in the community that they might benefit from.

Jamie Hepburn

Mr Hepburn says illness is defined as physical and mental health, but he is happy to discuss the matter with Mr Hume.

The NHS Scotland Act 1978 talks about improving the physical and mental health of people, he says.


Conservative MSP Nanette Milne says there do remain very difficult challenges particularly with a lack of provision, particularly in deprived areas.

Nanette Milne

Dr Milne, a former GP, says there has quite rightly been a lot of focus on failure of health boards to meet mental health waiting targets, with only five health boards hitting the mark.

Follow up

Dr Simpson says the SNP promised a follow up to the 2003 needs assessment report to be published last year, but it hasn't been.

Dr Richard Simpson

He adds that the government must investigate referrals, with one in five rejected.

There are two boards with over 27% rejections for referrals, which he says is "extraordinary".


Dr Richard Simpson's motion states that while welcoming the HEAT waiting time targets for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), notes that both the 26-week targets for 90% of referrals for March 2013 and the 18-week target for December 2014 were not met for Scotland overall and not met by a number of NHS boards.

It calls on the Scottish government to publish the 10-year follow-up to the 2003 Scottish Needs Assessment Programme report, which was promised for 2014 and further calls on the Scottish government to carry out an independent review of the referrals rejected by CAHMS and explain the substantial variation in these rejections.

Dr Simpson invites the Scottish government to report to the parliament on resumption of progress in eliminating the admission of children and adolescents to non-specialist settings, and notes that the target for adult patients refer.


Mr Hepburn says it is already the case in legislation terms there is already parity between mental and physical health.

'Improving people's mental health'

Mr Hepburn says he believes that every suicide represents a tragedy and his motion notes the 11 commitments in the Suicide Prevention Strategy 2013-16 to continue the downward trend, which has seen a 19% reduction in suicides in Scotland over 10 years.

The minister says that there must be, and that legislation already reflects, no distinction of importance between physical and mental health.

Jamie Hepburn

The Scottish government must ensure transparent reporting of progress in meeting the challenges of improving people's mental health, including on the Mental Health Strategy for Scotland 2012-15.

Government amendment

Mental Health Minister Jamie Hepburn's amendment further notes the progress made in improving access to child and adolescent mental health services, with a 57% increase in the number of children and young people starting treatment, but is concerned that the waiting times standards are still to be achieved consistently across Scotland.

Man with head in hands

It welcomes the reduction in stigma and the increase in young people who now feel more confident about seeking help for self-harm.

It commits to supporting further efforts to meet the targets for referral to child and adult mental health services and psychological therapies.


Mental Health Minister Jamie Hepburn says this is the third debate on mental health in this calendar year, which he welcomes as this issue needs to be brought to the fore.


Mr Hume says there not sufficient resources according to the charities and organisations involved in mental health services.

Jim Hume

He says mental health funding has been reduced from £4m in 2009/10 to £860,000 this year.


Mr Hume says the government has removed funding for Education Psychology courses and meanwhile the number of cases requiring support has increased.

Ministers have sidelined mental health issues, he says.


The number of children admitted to hospital for

self-harm has doubled in parts of Scotland over a five-year period, according to data obtained by the BBC.

A twofold increase in cases were reported by NHS Ayrshire and Arran, and NHS Highland, during that time.

Last year, 563 under-18s were admitted for self-harm in Scotland.

The majority of admissions for self-harm in Scottish hospitals involved females and 15-years-olds
The majority of admissions for self-harm in Scottish hospitals involved females and 15-years-olds

But one mental health charity said these "very concerning" figures were just the tip of the iceberg.

Nigel Henderson, the chief executive of Penumbra, said self-harm was often a private coping strategy, and many more young people fear stigmatisation, deliberately avoid contacting services, or do not know who to turn to for help.

Many young people tend to self-harm as a way of coping and managing unresolved feelings, tensions and distress in their lives.

'Let down'

Mr Hume says mental health has become the "Cinderella service" of the NHS.

He says young and vulnerable people are being repeatedly let down by this government.

Young patients have to be sent to England for treatment in some cases, he says, adding to problems by unsettling them.

Zero suicide ambition

Mr Hume calls on the Scottish government to report to the Parliament on progress on its 36 commitments in the Mental Health Strategy for Scotland 2012-15, to ensure that parity is enshrined in law for the treatment of mental and physical ill-health.

He also wants to see to committment to a zero suicide ambition and to adequately resource mental health services, and expresses its support for Scotland's dedicated and committed NHS staff working in this critical area of health.


Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume's motion states that the parliament notes that one in four people will experience a mental health problem during their lifetime and considers that providing appropriate treatment and support is critical to improving people's wellbeing.

It says the recent worrying figures that show that targets for child and adolescent mental health services and for adult patients referred for psychological therapies continue to be missed and notes that children and adolescent self-harm has doubled in some parts of Scotland.

Another woman with head in hands

It also says that 795 people died by suicide in 2013 in Scotland.