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Summary

  1. MSPs take evidence on puppy dog tail shortening
  2. Details of the new social security payments to be delivered by the Scottish government are outlined to parliament by Social Security Secretary Angela Constance
  3. Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville gives a ministerial statement on widening access to higher education
  4. The Equalities and Human Rights Committee leads a debate on destitution, asylum and insecure immigration status in Scotland
  5. Labour MSP Jackie Baillie leads this evenings member's debate on the Vale of Leven Hospital GP out-of-hours service

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

Goodnight from Holyrood Live...

Holyrood
BBC

That brings our coverage of the Scottish Parliament for 30 May 2017.

We'll be back tomorrow morning at 10am.

Have a good night.

Minister says the parliament should unite to support NHS staff, the GPs and the consultation

Aileen Campbell
bbc

Ms Campbell says the parliament should unite to support NHS staff, the GPs and the consultation.

'Patient safety cannot be compromised'

GP
PA

Ms Campbell says there are staffing challenges and they must be worked through to ensure that there are enough GPs working in Scotland.

The public health minister says measures have been introduced to attract more GPs to the profession.

She says there is an out-of-hours review taking place in Glasgow.

"Patient safety cannot be compromised," she says.

Minister is actively seeking the consultation process to engage

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell
bbc
Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell says no decision has been made until wider consultation has been undertaken.

Ms Campbell says she expects nothing less than meaningful and robust engagement between the IJB and local communities.

She says MSPs should engage with IJBs and the health boards during this time.

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says she is encouraged by the minister's comments, but asks if the minister is concerned about the lack of consultation to date.

The minister says she is actively seeking the consultation process to engage.

Background: Blueprint needed for out-of-hours care, review concludes

Elderly patient with paramedics
NHS Scotland

An independent review published in November 2015 concluded that a blueprint for out-of-hours medical services in Scotland is required.

It highlighted the need for multi-disciplinary teams working together at urgent care resource hubs across Scotland.

The teams would include GPs, nurses, physiotherapists, community pharmacists, social care workers and other specialists.

The review was commissioned by the Scottish government.

Read more here.

Minister praises the staff response to the incident at Wishaw General

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell
bbc
Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell also praises the staff response to the incident at Wishaw General.

Ms Campbell commends the dedication of the staff who work there.

The public health minister says day time general practice and out of hours services are facing increasing demand for services.

Ms Campbell says that is why Sir Lewis Ritchie was asked by the government to review out of hours services.

She says his report received cross party support.

Investment in primary care is essential for a sustainable NHS service says Tory MSP

Brian Whittle
BBC

Tory MSP Brian Whittle says he can empathise with Jackie Baillie's stance.

Mr Whittle says that a significant change to services that will affect the community should be brought to the health secretary.

The Tory MSP says investment in primary care is essential for a sustainable NHS service.

He says GPs can build an understanding of communities and patients and that primary care must be made a more attractive career choice.

'Primary care services should be available from a GP you know and trust'

Green MSP Ross Greer
bbc
Green MSP Ross Greer

Green MSP Ross Greer says: "Primary care services should be available from a GP you know and trust."

Mr Greer says he cannot see how forcing people with a health issue to travel to Paisley from the Vale of Leven area will help their care.

The Green MSP says he hopes the cabinet secretary will consider the impact of restricting out of hours care at the Vale of Leven will have.

He says he accepts it is the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board making this proposal but the wider context must be lookede at.

NHS staff are overworked, under-resourced and underpaid

Labour MSP Anas Sarwar
BBC

Labour MSP Anas Sarwar thanks all the staff at Wishaw General Hospital for how they have coped with an evacuation following a suspected bomb threat.

Mr Sarwar says there is an ongoing concern over maternity services and he hopes the Scottish government will take the earliest opportunity to end uncertainty at the Vale.

The Labour MSP says there is a "workforce crisis" in the NHS and health boards are being asked to make £1bn worth of cuts in the next four years.

He says staff are overworked, under-resourced and underpaid.

Mr Sarwar calls for clarity for the local people and investment for hardworking NHS staff.

Tory MSP calls on the health secretary to intervene

Conservative MSP Maurice Corry
bbc
Conservative MSP Maurice Corry

Conservative MSP Maurice Corry says the Vale is a central part of life in the West of Scotland.

Mr Corry says every time a reduction in services at the Vale are threatened there is passionate protests and furious debate.

The West of Scotland MSP says the demand for out of hours GP services has not fallen but is actually higher than other areas.

He calls on the health secretary to intervene in this matter.

SNP MSP says he will consider all the recommendations coming forward

SNP MSP Stuart McMillan
BBC

SNP MSP Stuart McMillan says he agrees with a lot of Ms Baillie's contribution.

Mr McMillan says it was the Scottish government which delivered the Vision for the Vale and that under the previous Labour administration the Vale of Leven accident and emergency was removed.

The SNP MSP says he has continued to raise concerns concerning the closures at Inverclyde Royal Hospital but that he has not deployed the tactic of running to the press for a story before having all the facts.

The Greenock and Inverclyde MSP says the issue of the out-of-hours service is important to his constituents and says the Scottish government will be expected to engage with the public.

He says he will consider all the recommendations coming forward and he will advise his constituents to do the same.

'Stop the cuts and protect our local services'

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie
bbc
Labour MSP Jackie Baillie

The Labour MSP says not one SNP MSP has signed her motion, not even Stuart McMillan whose constituents in Greenock and Inverclyde will be directly affected.

She concludes saying: "The message we want to convey is clear: stop the cuts and protect our local services."

Labour MSP says the health board has started ripping up the promises in the Vale Vision

Ms Baillie says: "The provision of GP Out of Hours services was a key commitment in the Vision for the Vale agreement signed by Nicola Sturgeon when she was Health Secretary.

"I welcomed the Vale Vision back in 2009 because it offered stability and promised to retain a range of services at my local hospital.

"However in recent years the health board has started ripping up those promises."

Ms Baillie says her local GP firmly believes patients’ lives will be put at risk

Jackie Baillie
BBC

Ms Baillie says: "If the service is withdrawn permanently many people from Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, especially those without a car, will simply not be able to see a GP in an emergency."

She goes on to say her local GP firmly believes patients’ lives will be put at risk.

Labour MSP says local GPs have issued a unanimous statement condemning the proposals

GP
BBC Scotland

Ms Baillie says: "There has been no consultation on the proposed changes."

She says one of the GPs in her area found out about the proposed cuts on Facebook.

The Dumbarton MSP says local GPs responsible for the care of around 75,000 patients across the entire catchment area of the Vale of Leven Hospital have issued a unanimous statement condemning the proposals.

Local GPs believe that it is only be a matter of time before the service is removed completely

Vale of Leven Hospital
BBC

Ms Baillie says: "Since the beginning of the year we have seen services withdrawn for hours at a time at the Vale of Leven Hospital on at least eight occasions, with no notice given.

"Patients who have been sitting in the waiting room have been handed letters telling them that there is no doctor available to see them and they need to go to Paisley."

The Labour MSP says: "Local GPs believe that it is only be a matter of time before the service is removed completely."

Concerns over cuts to GP out of hours services

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie
BBC
Labour MSP Jackie Baillie

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says: "This is a NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde-wide plan to cut back access to GP out of hours services.

Ms Baillie says according to the recommendations in a paper sent to all Health and Social Care partnerships in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the services at the Vale of Leven Hospital, Greenock Health Centre and the Inverclyde Royal Hospital will be closed between Mondays and Fridays in the evenings and overnight.

She says: "This will leave just five GP Out of Hours Centres covering the whole of Greater Glasgow and Clyde during the week, putting even more pressure on NHS staff and causing concern for patients."

'Vision for the Vale'

Ms Baillie believes that the report identifies a reduction in services at the Vale of Leven Hospital as the preferred option, despite the NHS board's own figures revealing higher attendances at GP out-of-hours services among Dumbarton and Alexandria residents than residents in Paisley.

Blood pressure begin taken
PA

The Labour MSP considers that such services are a vital component of any local hospital, and calls on the health secretary to intervene to ensure that the commitment in the Vision for the Vale agreement to maintaining these services is respected.

Concerns about the future provision of GP out-of-hours services at the Vale of Leven Hospital

GP
bbc

Ms Baillie uses her motion to express concern about the future provision of GP out-of-hours services at the Vale of Leven Hospital.

The Labour MSP says a report produced by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde recommends the withdrawal of the service between Mondays and Fridays due to financial and staffing pressures.

The MSP for Dumbarton says the publication of the report follows months of temporary closures at the hospital during weekends as the NHS board is unable to recruit enough medical staff to cover the service.

Ms Baillie says it is unacceptable to force people in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond to travel to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley to access emergency primary care services.

Here is the motion for the debate

The motion for the debate
Scottish Parliament

'Vale of Leven Hospital GP Out-of-hours Services' debate

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie will now lead a member's debate entitled 'Vale of Leven Hospital GP Out-of-hours Services'.

The motion on behalf of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee is agreed to unanimously

The motion on behalf of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee is agreed to unanimously.

Motion
Scottish Parliament

Lib Dem MSP says there is concern a two tier system is being created affecting integration

Equalities and Human Rights Committee convener Alex Cole-Hamilton
bbc
Equalities and Human Rights Committee convener Alex Cole-Hamilton

The Equalities and Human Rights Committee convener says people arriving in Northern Ireland do not have to travel to Croydon to make a claim and it is wrong that destitute asylum seekers in Scotland have to.

Mr Cole-Hamilton says 31 councils have taken part in the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme.

The Lib Dem MSP says this contradicts the UK government's excuse on the Dubs amendment that local authorities could not take asylum seekers.

He says there is concern a two tier system is being created affecting integration.

Mr Cole-Hamilton says young people, particularly victims of human trafficking, should be given the same status as in care children.

'A co-ordinated national approach is required'

Equalities and Human Rights Committee deputy convener Alex Cole-Hamilton says "a co-ordinated national approach is required."

Mr Cole-Hamilton says he would like to see asylum seekers being allowed to work in the UK as the Irish Supreme Court has ruled they can in Ireland.

He says newly arrived asylum seekers are vulnerable to destitution and that the committee heard that it is built into the asylum process.

SNP MSP Gail Ross intervenes to ask if he thinks it is disappointing that no member of the UK government could come to give evidence to the committee.

Mr Cole-Hamilton says "it is" disappointing.

Lib Dem MSP says this is a humanitarian issue

Equalities and Human Rights Committee deputy convener Alex Cole-Hamilton
bbc
Equalities and Human Rights Committee deputy convener Alex Cole-Hamilton

The Equalities and Human Rights Committee deputy convener Alex Cole-Hamilton says the committee worked very well examining the evidence.

Mr Cole-Hamilton says it talked to those on the front-line and to those who needed support.

The Lib Dem MSP says this is a humanitarian issue which has led to heart rending stories totday.

He says destitute people have no access to money in the UK, one of the world's richest countries in the world.

10,000 children have went missing over the past 10 years says Ms Constance

Angela Constance
BBC

Ms Constance says the situation will only get worse when support is cut further still.

The equalities secretary says the government will look at all the recommendations sympathetically with a can-do approach.

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie intervenes to say today the Irish Supreme Court ruled that it is illegal to refuse to let asylum seekers work.

Ms Constance says "hear, hear to the Irish Supreme Court".

She says asylum seekers want to make a contribution and they shouldn't be stopped from doing so.

Ms Constance highlights the UK government's u-turn on the Dubs amendment and says that 10,000 children have gone missing over the past 10 years.

Minister says the Scottish government wishes to prevent destitution in the first plac

Social Security Secretary Angela Constance says the Scottish government will continue to do what it can to support those facing destitution.

Ms Constance says she heard the glib remark that if the Scottish government wishes to mitigate it can.

She says it does but the Scottish government wishes to prevent destitution in the first place and have a system where asylum seekers do not end up penniless on the street.

The minister says people pay their taxes to the UK government and there is a right to expect that fairness, dignity and respect will be at the centre of the system, as well as prevention.

'The asylum system needs wholesale change'

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance
BBC

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance says she agrees that, first and foremost, this is a humanitarian issue.

Ms Constance says she also agrees that destitution is built into the asylum and immigration system.

The equalities secretary says Tory MSP Jeremy Balfour said we can't take a simplistic approach and she agrees because "the asylum system needs wholesale change."

She says it cannot always be the Scottish government that are doing the chasing for replies.

Calls for a suitable strategy to deal with mental and public health

Conservative MSP Donald Cameron
bbc
Conservative MSP Donald Cameron

Conservative MSP Donald Cameron welcomes the fact his colleague Annie Wells has written to the UK government to ask if claims could be made in Scotland.

Mr Cameron says it is clear this is an uncertain world and the UK and Scotland will continue to be a beacon of hope.

He calls for a suitable strategy to deal with mental and public health.

Tory MSP says destitution has an impact on mental health

Mr Cameron says the proposal for an independent advocacy is to be welcomed.

The Tory MSP says some people who come to the UK come with disease which causes risks to that individual.

He says destitution has an impact on mental health.

Mr Cameron says if the Scottish government takes forward the anti destitution strategy then the stigma attached to diseases should be looked at.

Tory MSP welcomes the proposal for an independent advocacy service

Conservative MSP Donald Cameron
bbc
Conservative MSP Donald Cameron

Conservative MSP Donald Cameron says there is a shared commitment to support the most vulnerable.

Mr Cameron says his party will back the committee's motion at decision time.

He says it is quite right to think of people not statistics.

Mr Cameron says the proposal for a new advocacy service is close to his heart, as he represented asylum seekers in the past.

The Tory MSP says the rule and regulations are fairly formidable and difficult to navigate.

We have a poor record in the way that we detain people'

Pauline McNeill
BBC

Ms McNeill says the right to make an application in Scotland is important as is the right to take up paid or unpaid work.

The Labour MSP says "we have a poor record in the way that we detain people".

She says she has written to Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell about the conditions that people who are detained have to live in and she is awaiting a reply.

'Registering in Scotland is a basic human requirement'

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill when a person is destitute they are much harder to find and they are at significant risk of exploitation.

Ms McNeill says there is a moral obligation to young vulnerable women who arrive here and go into a twighlight world.

She asks how do they find the funds to travel to Croydon or even find Croydon.

The Labour MSP says: "Registering in Scotland is a basic human requirement."

Ms McNeill says Britain can take many more child refugees.

The system 'lacks humanity'

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill
BBC

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill says she wholeheartedly welcomes the committee's report and that this will make a significant contribution to the work of the parliament.

Ms McNeill says the report is timely and there are many reasons that people flee their own country.

The Labour MSP says there must be a lot of darkness in a person's life if they are prepared to risk it to get to another country.

She says the system lacks a human approach, "it lacks humanity."

SNP MSP welcomes recommendation that people should not have to go down to England

SNP MSP Sandra White
bbc
SNP MSP Sandra White

SNP MSP Sandra White says she cannot take the hypocrisy from the Tory side of the chamber.

Ms White says the UK government drove around with a white van telling refugees to go home.

The SNP MSP says the committee's report is a fantastic report and this debate has been excellent apart from the Tories.

She says she welcomes the recommendation that people should not have to go down to Croydon and Liverpool.

Background: Noreen, a single mum in Glasgow, was destitute and an asylum seeker during her pregnancy

Pregnant woman
THINKSTOCK

After fleeing persecution in her homeland, Noreen's claim for asylum in the UK was initially refused.

Alone and with no right to work or receive government support, she told BBC Scotland enduring her pregnancy was "a living nightmare".

"I was so down that when I was seven months pregnant I told the doctor I didn't want the baby - but it was already too late."

"I was crying saying, 'I am so hungry, I don't even have any food'," she said.

Noreen said she did not receive government support until she was nine months pregnant.

Until then, she was forced to rely on charities and friends to survive.

But Noreen revealed that before her pregnancy, the asylum process had already driven her into a severe depression.

"I was admitted to hospital twice, after trying to cut my veins," she told BBC Scotland.

"I didn't want to live - there was no hope for me," she added.

Today, Noreen has been granted refugee status and lives with her two children in Glasgow.

Names have been changed.

'These are desperate people asking for nothing more than safety and security'

Green MSP Ross Greer
BBC

Green MSP Ross Greer says the Westminster government make it as difficult as possible to gain asylum here.

Mr Greer says: "These are desperate people asking for nothing more than safety and security."

He says the asylum and immigration policy is heartless and immoral.

The Green MSP asks what kind of society can tolerate this type of treatment of people and says there are things the Scottish government can take a lead on now.

Background: Destitution 'built in' to asylum process

Asylum seeker Mehdi: 'I just want to be somewhere safe'

The Equalities and Human Rights Committee said "destitution" is built into the process.

MSPs said that, too often, vulnerable people fell victim to homelessness, ill health and misery.

The committee called for a range of measures to tackle the problem.

But Conservative members of the committee refused to back the full report saying it was "politicised".

The committee investigated asylum and destitution, where people are left without adequate accommodation or the ability to meet essential living needs.

Read more here.

Labour MSP says immigration system fails to treat people as human beings

Labour MSP Mary Fee
bbc
Labour MSP Mary Fee

Labour MSP Mary Fee says individuals who have fled from conflict and human rights abuse.

Ms Fee says the current immigration system fails to treat people with compassion or even treat them as human beings.

She says the system increases the chances of asylum seekers becoming destitute.

The Labour MSP calls for the Scottish government, local authorities and the third sector to work together to tackle destitution.

She says the Conservative defence of the current UK immigration system is unsustainable.

Background: More asylum seekers are being 'left destitute' in Scotland

asylum seekers
bbc

Hundreds more migrants are being left destitute in Scotland, according to the British Red Cross (BRC).

The charity said the number of destitute refugees and asylum seekers it had helped in Glasgow had increased from 326 in 2014 to 820 in 2016.

It accused the UK government of making the asylum process "increasingly difficult" - a claim the Home Office has disputed.

The Scottish government said the situation was "unacceptable".

According to the charity, the new figures to "some extent" reflected an overall increase in the number of people claiming protection in Scotland, including asylum seekers from Syria.