Richard Simpson MSP

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Richard Simpson MSP

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  • Member for: Mid Scotland and Fife
  • Party: Scottish Labour

Richard is a member of the following Committees:

Richard is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Dr Richard Simpson (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)

Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Dr Richard Simpson (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)

And you are not self-serving?



Health and Sport Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Dr Richard Simpson (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)

I am an MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife. While I am at it, I declare interests as a fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and of the Royal College of General Practitioners, and as honorary chair of psychology at the University of Stirling.



Health and Sport Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Dr Simpson

One of the issues that concerned us originally was the fact that not all elements of the bill were being reviewed by the McManus review. Does anyone have any comments about anything that has been omitted from the bill as it now stands and that you regard as being important?



Health and Sport Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Dr Simpson

I will not go into the issues around forensic psychiatry, but I think that Dr Crichton is referring to the Noel Ruddle case, which is the first one that I got involved with in Parliament. It gave rise to the first bill that was passed by the Parliament in 1999 and concerned a gentleman who was let out of the State hospital although he had a personality disorder. Emergency legislation was rushed through to ensure that another five or six patients who were about to depart on the same basis were contained, and the provisions were then put into the 2003 act. With your permission, convener, I will come back to that later.

The other issue that I raise for general discussion is the extension of the short-term order to allow additional time for tribunals to sit. As the convener will remember, we received evidence the other week that, where there had been stress in the system, the numbers involved had been substantially reduced by improved administration. I know that some of today’s witnesses have concerns—on both sides—about the extension of the time for which the tribunal can sit beyond 28 days. Would anyone like to comment on that?



Health and Sport Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Dr Simpson

May I come in briefly? At the moment, a short-term detention certificate lasts for 28 days, with a five-day extension; I think that the proposal is for a 10-day or 14-day extension. Colin Fraser’s comment about people going up to the wire is pertinent. Would it be practical to shift the duration of the certificate back to 24 days, and then to have a longer extension? That would mean that the total period of the order would not be longer, but people would come up against the wire—as it were—earlier, and an assessment could be made early in cases in which that is possible. I do not know whether such an approach would be clinically practical.



Health and Sport Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Dr Simpson

Mr Fraser has partly made the point that I wanted to make. Is there any research on whether it is a myth that advance statements are not followed? The protective mechanism was written into the original 2003 act. The purpose was that, if someone had an advance statement, the MWC knew about it and could determine whether the treatment that the person received conformed with that statement. If it did not, the commission could ask why that was the case. It is disappointing to hear that there is a view that the statements are not worth the paper they are written on. It would be interesting to ask the MWC whether the situation has been properly analysed and how often there has been a problem.

Also, the convener raised the issue of advocacy. I will move that on a bit. There is a qualified right to independent advocacy—I think that the 2003 act refers only to that being a right if practicable. There is a view that it should be an absolute right. That might help us with the advance statement issue, too. Should we have a much firmer statement in law rather than only informing people that they have the right to advocacy if it is practicable?

11:00  

Health and Sport Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Dr Simpson

On victims, I recently received a communication from the organisation Hundred Families, which deals with the families of the victims of homicides in which mental disorder has been involved. I am not sure whether its figures are correct, but it suggests that there have in Scotland in the past 10 years been 137 homicides in which mental health issues have been involved. That is 15 per cent of all homicides in Scotland, which is a greater proportion than the figure in England, which is 10 per cent. More concerning is that of those 137 homicides, only two have involved incident reviews, whereas in England there have been 321 reviews from 576 homicides.

I just put that on the record because, although the bill deals with victim notification, the victim may not be around—we may be talking about the families, as well. I just raise the issue and ask whether anyone has any initial comments on those figures which, if they are valid, show a rather stark difference of approach between Scotland and England.



Health and Sport Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Dr Simpson

That is helpful. Thank you.



Health and Sport Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Dr Simpson

That is very helpful indeed. It gives us a much better picture than the quite narrow one that I was getting. Perhaps we should ask HIS to give us some more information, as well.



Meeting of the Parliament 02 October 2014 : Thursday, October 02, 2014
Dr Richard Simpson (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)

Thank you, Presiding Officer. I do not intend to compete with either you or Mr McNeil in terms of puns, but I welcome the opportunity to speak at stage 1 of the Food (Scotland) Bill.

As the minister said, the background to this bill is the 1999 act that established the Food Standards Agency as a UK body, with the Scottish ministers at that time having authority to direct the FSA in relation to its activities in Scotland. The act gave the FSA the power to develop food policy, to audit enforcement—usually carried out by enforcement authorities as part of local authorities’ duties—to carry out research, to develop policy and to give advice on food and feedstuffs.

The Scottish section of the FSA has earned considerable respect among all those for whom it has acted; it had good standing with both the Government and the public. Most recently, its independent work in relation to the food fraud and horsemeat scandal was regarded as being of particular value.

However, in 2010, when the new coalition Government decided to split the FSA as a UK body, removing parts of its responsibility for nutrition and labelling in England, there was a need for us to consider what was going to happen in Scotland. Certainly it is a matter for the Westminster Parliament to determine how it governs its affairs down there, but there was a general view that the split somewhat hindered the response to the horsemeat scandal. Some of my Labour colleagues at Westminster feel that the role of industry in respect of the functions of the previous FSA has increased, which has not always been particularly helpful.

The bill that we are considering has arisen following the review that was undertaken by Professor Jim Scudamore. His clear advice, which the Government and my party fully accept, is that food safety should not be divorced from nutrition and labelling and, moreover, that advice on food safety, nutrition and meat inspection should come from a body that is at arm’s length from the Scottish ministers. That has been fully accepted and endorsed in the bill.

My colleague Claire Baker will deal at greater length with meat inspection—one of the functions of the body that remains of considerable importance. Colleagues will remember the BSE outbreak and the damage that was done to Scottish meat exports following the outbreak. Claire Baker will also deal with concerns that we have about those who are charged with inspection, given the squeeze on their numbers and the difficulties that they are facing.

Lewis Macdonald will look at the role of the Rowett institute of nutrition and health, issues around collaborative research and the memorandum of understanding, which we have heard is being developed.

I want to dwell briefly on two of the most important challenges that face public health in Scotland. Ever since we Scots gave up eating porridge in the morning as a regular part of our diet, we have increasingly adopted an unhealthy diet. Indeed, 140 years ago, workers in my constituency went on strike because they were receiving salmon three times a week. Now, oily fish such as salmon and herring are only just beginning to regain their place as part of our diet. Our diet is still too high in saturated fats and salt, and it contains excessive amounts of sugar. As our society has grown richer, we have seen excessive portion sizes, not to mention substantial food waste. The results of that, along with smoking and alcohol, have contributed significantly to Scotland being regarded as the sick man of Europe.

Mortality from heart disease has declined, but that has been due mainly to a reduction in smoking. The FSA, along with the food industry, has done a good job in reducing salt levels, but we still have a long way to go to reach a healthy level in that aspect of our diet. [Interruption.] I am sorry, Presiding Officer—I have been having some trouble with my iPad, which has been due an upgrade for some time.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11123 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament
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NoCarried

S4M-11114.2 Kenny MacAskill: Policing—As an amendment to motion S4M-11114 in the name of Graeme Pear
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NoCarried

S4M-11114 Graeme Pearson: Policing—That the Parliament acknowledges that policing in Scotland contin
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NoCarried

S4M-11116.1.1 Patrick Harvie: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to amendment S4M-11116.1 in the name
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NoCarried

S4M-11116.1 Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-11116 in the name of Jo
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NoCarried

S4M-11116 Johann Lamont: Scotland’s Future—That the Parliament recognises the result of the independ
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NoCarried

Amendment 61 moved by Elaine Murray on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland) Bi
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YesDefeated

Amendment 62 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
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YesDefeated

Amendment 63 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
>> Show more
YesDefeated

Amendment 64 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Richard Simpson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11171: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11170: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11169: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11168: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11167: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11046: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 30/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10948: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 10/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10844: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10359: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10233: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 04/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Richard Simpson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-22800: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22793: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22790: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22791: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22780: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22781: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22777: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22776: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22779: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22778: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>