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  1. 5.05: Members' Business: The wave energy sector in Scotland

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Carol Duncan

All times stated are UK

Good night

And that's all from us on Wednesday 18 February 2015.

Holyrood at night

We'll be back tomorrow morning to cover the European and External Affairs Committee, until then have a good night.

Until then have a good night.

Debate concludes

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing brings the debate on Scotland's wave energy sector to an end.

Insufficient funding

Mr Ewing says it was not possible for the Scottish government to provide the funding to take Pelamis forward.

WES budget

Mr Ewing says it is crucial that Wave Energy Scotland is set up in the right way.

And more Pelamis

He will give details of its budget on Wednesday the 25th of February, he says.

Ministerial close

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing says there has been a welcome consensus in the debate around wave energy and its potential for Scotland.

Mr Ewing says Pelamis achieved success thanks to its employees and he pays tribute to them.

Fergus Ewing

He says there is no easy part of being made redundant and he is acutely aware of that.


In December the 16 remaining staff at

collapsed wave power company Pelamis learnt they were to be made redundant after no final offers were made for the business.

The firm went into administration in November.

Welder at Pelamis Wave Power factory in Edinburgh
Getty Images
Welder at Pelamis Wave Power factory in Edinburgh

Highlands and Islands Enterprise was selected as the preferred bidder to take over the assets of the company.

But administrators KMPG said they had been unable to sell the business as a going concern, so the remaining staff will now lose their jobs.

Renewable energy

Mr McArthur says the announcement of job losses by renewable energy firms such as Pelamis means that: "more now than ever we need to signal our support and willingness to be brave".

Liam McArthur

Mr McArthur says Wave Energy Scotland should be based in Orkney and that the decision to locate it in Inverness is short-sighted.

Wave Energy Scotland

Mr McArthur's says despite the serious setbacks the wave energy sector in Scotland has faced, it still has an important contribution to make in creating the renewable technology mix that will be necessary to decarbonise Scotland's energy system and meet its climate change targets.

He says that with massive wave resources, notably in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters, a world-leading skills base and the European Marine Energy Centre in Stromness in Orkney, the sector remains well-placed to successfully deploy wave technology on a commercial scale.

More Pelamis

The Orkney MSP says he looks forward to the role, objectives and budget of Wave Energy Scotland (WES) being clarified in the near future.

Wave energy debate

Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur is leading a debate on the wave energy sector in Scotland.

In his motion Mr McArthur says he deeply regrets the recent announcements by Pelamis and Aquamarine Power of their going into administration and significantly scaling back operations respectively.

Wave energy harnessing equipment in the sea

Mr McArthur understands that these companies were responsible for delivering a number of world firsts and world-only successes in the development of wave energy.

Decision time

MSPs are voting on motions and amendments from Scottish Labour's debate entitled "Protecting Scotland's Communities".

Business motions

MSPs are now voting on a number of business motions.

Labour health debate ends

Dr Simpson draws the debate on protecting Scotland's communities to a close.

Delayed discharges

Dr Simpson says he "very much welcomes what I think was the cabinet secretary's announcement today, not from the chief statistician," that delayed discharges will be included in the weekly statistics to be published on NHS Performs.

Ambulance at Edinburgh ERI

He calls for the government to publish a list of all the data it receives on the NHS.

Dr Simpson says the Scottish government tends to throw money at problems in the NHS, like it is playing "whack a mole".

'Government needs to listen'

Labour MSP Richard Simpson says since 2011 many elements of the NHS are going backwards.

Richard Simpson

Dr Simpson says it may not yet be quite a crisis, but it is getting there.

"It is not the staff that are the problem, but the government needs to listen and not be in denial."

'Labour not being taken seriously'

Nurse and doctor pushing trolley
Getty Images

Health Secretary Shona Robison concludes her debate saying she is very keen to find a consensus on the NHS, but that is a two way thing and Labour are not being taken seriously, not least by the staff of the NHS.

NHS Performs

Health Secretary Shona Robison says Labour have to take a long hard look at themselves over their negativity over the NHS.

Shona Robison

Ms Robison says the government will put as much information onto the NHS Performs website as possible, but it will be for the public not for politicians.

NHS Performs will be more accessible to the public.

'Smell of sulphur'

Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw says the Labour motion is "dispiriting, wholly unhelpful and deeply destructive".

Jackson Carlaw

Mr Carlaw says to characterise the government's position as a conspiracy to hide health statistics is wrong, there is more information available now than ever before.

He says the Labour "fireworks leave, after the spectacle, only the smell of sulphur".

If we cannot arise at a consensus on the NHS soon, we will find ourselves in a crisis says the Tory MSP.

'Tangible results' crucial

Scottish Liberal Democrat Jim Hume says "the Scottish government has some tough questions to tackle in creating a more effective A&E".

Jim Hume

Mr Hume says his party has been calling for more regular publication of A&E waiting times for a long time and says the government needs to manage the publication of weekly stats to provide "real, tangible results" to improve the NHS whether in terms of staffing or resourcing.


A group of nurses has collected thousands of signatures on a petition calling for more parking at a new hospital.

The petition urges the health board and city council to "resolve significant car parking and travel problems" for the new South Glasgow Hospitals campus.

The £842m site is due to open in the coming months.

The petition has been signed by 7,000 people and was presented at a health board meeting on Tuesday.

Protestors handed over a petition calling for more parking at the new South Glasgow Hospitals campus
Protestors handed over a petition calling for more parking at the new South Glasgow Hospitals campus

The South Glasgow University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children are expected to be fully operational by the middle of June.

If nurses and others can't get to work in time for their shifts because parking and public transport are inadequate, the care the hospital offers will be undermined

The facility on the site of the Southern General will be home to several specialist services and up to 10,000 NHS staff will be based there when it is up and running.

Weekly hospital figures

Scottish Labour's Anne McTaggart asks why the shortage of parking spaces at the Southern Glasgow Campus has arisen given that the same issue arose with Larbert hospital a few years ago.

Anne McTaggart

Ms McTaggart says the Scottish government is letting down A&E patients, giving the example of the Western Infirmary in Glasgow where 31% of patients have had to wait more than four hours.

She calls on the Scottish government to publish weekly figures by hospital, not just by health board.


SNP MSP Christian Allard says the way Labour have handled the motion for this debate, under a "misleading title Protecting Scotland's Communities", is a shame.

SNP MSP Christian Allard
SNP MSP Christian Allard

The title has nothing to do with Labour's motion, the only explanation is they are "weaponising the NHS" again, says Mr Allard.


Opposition parties have said emergency care in Scotland is "in crisis" after ministers intervened at a hospital that failed to meet waiting times targets.

A support team has been sent to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley where, last month, 84% of patients were treated within a four-hour timeframe.

The national target is 95%.

Royal Alexandra Hospital
Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said intervening was a "responsible move".

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have claimed the problem is widespread.

'New found transparency'

Mr Hume says it is critically important that this new found transparency is combined with real action to help the NHS to do its job.

Out of focus nurse and pile of patients notes
Science Photo Library

The weekly information on NHS Performs will allow the performance of A&Es to be seen by the public and allow resources to be allocated where necessary.

The health secretary must not be allowed to hide behind a wall of figures, weekly figures will help prevent that.

Bending to pressure

Scottish Liberal Democrat Jim Hume welcomes the Scottish government "bending to opposition pressure" to publish health stats each week.

Jim Hume

Mr Hume says his party doesn't want the health secretary to be able to hide behind monthly stats to avoid another incident as that seen in the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley where the government sent in a team of specialists to tackle A&E waiting times.

'Increasingly demoralised'

Dr Milne says pays tribute to the "coal face organisations" like the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing.

The former GP calls for effective planning of primary and social care in order to remove pressure from hospital emergency departments.

Science Photo Library

The Conservative motion regrets attempts to misuse the debate on the future of the NHS for political ends.

Dr Milne says NHS staff are increasingly demoralised by the bickering of their political leaders.

NHS pressures

Scottish Conservative Nanette Milne says it is "utterly abhorrent" that the NHS is used as a political tool in the lead-up to any election.

Conservative MSP Nanette Milne
Conservative MSP Nanette Milne

Ms Milne says that an ageing population is placing escalating demands on the health service but welcomes detailed scrutiny of the service through published statistics.

Delayed discharge published

The health secretary says delayed discharge figures will be published on the NHS Performs website, after Jenny Marra pressed her on the issue.

Treatment time guarantee

Shona Robison says the NHS as a whole is performing better than when under Labour.

The health secretary says that since the introduction of the 12-week treatment time guarantee for inpatients, Glasgow has met it in 99.9% of cases.

Patient in bed and doctor

Scottish Labour's Richard Simpson then accuses Ms Robison of hiding delayed discharge statistics.

'Fiddling of the figures'

Ms Robinson says her government is committed to a preventative programme in the NHS.

She says she wants to try to reach consensus on what the NHS should look like, hoping for broad agreement by Autumn.

The health secretary says she was disappointed that Labour "wilfully and deliberately misinterpreted data on the NHS" and again calls on Ms Marra to apologise to NHS staff.

"It was a desperate attempt to talk down our NHS" says the minister accusing Labour of "fiddling the figures".

Welcome weekly stats

Shona Robison says Scotland will lead the way on transparency and welcomes the chief statistician's decision to bring in weekly A&E statistics which will also contain more detail on the length of waits.

'Fantastic timing'

Health Secretary Shona Robison jokes about the "fantastic timing" of this debate and thanks Ms Marra and Labour.

Shona Robison

Ms Robison says the NHS currently produces a large volume of data and makes that data available on the ISD website.

She says a new NHS Performs website is being created to allow quick and easy access to medical statistics.


Scottish Labour's health spokesperson Jenny Marra says the test will be on how open, transparent and up to date the government's information on the NHS will be.

Ms Marra says she sincerely hopes the government will grasp this opportunity.

The way the government and first minister arrived at publishing weekly statistics was disappointing.

Greater expectations

Ms Marra says that to have the most transparent health service in the world will take more than publishing figures on a weekly basis, as public expectation will also increase with patients wanting to know what their whole journey time will be from when they first make contact with the health service until discharge.


Scotland's Health Secretary Shona Robison has

demanded an .

The MP said the rate of operations cancelled in the Glasgow area was significantly higher than in England.

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy

But Ms Robison insisted Mr Murphy had "vastly inflated" the number of procedures that had not gone ahead.

Scottish Labour said it was forced to use Freedom of Information (FOI) laws to obtain its figures.

It believed the real issue was about a lack of "transparency".

Call for apology

SNP MSP Bruce Crawford calls on Ms Marra to apologise for her party leader Jim Murphy who he claims "fiddled statistics" on the NHS>

'Not in control'

Ms Marra says the health secretary is not in control of decision in health, citing the u-turn on health statistic publishing, saying the first minister has to clean up the mess in health.


Waiting time figures for the

Accident and Emergency departments of Scotland's hospitals are to be published weekly, the Scottish government has announced.

The move follows criticism that Scotland's quarterly reporting of A&E waiting times did not allow action to be taken to quickly address problems.

The Scottish government had previously announced it would move to monthly stats but would now report weekly.

Nurse and doctor pushing trolley
Getty Images

Opposition MSPs said the health secretary had been slow to act.

The Scottish government's chief statistician said the weekly publication, from 3 March, would include the total number of attendances at each core emergency site and a breakdown of waiting times.

Health stats

Jenny Marra begins by thanking the staff of NHS Scotland saying it is "our most important public service" and that is why Labour's motion was intended to "lift the veil of secrecy" around public institutions.

Health Secretary Shona Robison says it is the chief statistician who decided to publish health stats on a weekly basis and the decision is not political interference.

'Veil of secrecy'

Ms Marra's motion says there are serious problems across the country in Scotland's health service.

Labour MSP Jenny Marra
Labour MSP Jenny Marra

The Labour MSP says she regrets that there is a "veil of secrecy" over important statistics on the operation of NHS Scotland, and calls for a culture of transparency and openness with regular publication of statistics and reports.

Protecting Scotland's Communities debate

Labour's health spokesperson Jenny Marra leads the debate entitled "Protecting Scotland's Communities".