John Pentland MSP

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John Pentland MSP

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Parliamentary Activities

Appointed Member of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body
Deputy Convener of the Scottish Commission for Public Audit

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Meeting of the Parliament 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
4. John Pentland (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)

To ask the Scottish Government when the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities last met North Lanarkshire Council and what was discussed. (S4O-03914)



Meeting of the Parliament 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
John Pentland

Given that Ravenscraig is now a major national priority, will the cabinet secretary consider what more support the Scottish Government can give in order to attract investment? For example, could the growth accelerator model unlock more funding than the tax incremental financing approach? Will he agree to meet me and other interested parties in the near future?



Meeting of the Parliament 14 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 14, 2015
17. John Pentland (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)

To ask the Scottish Government what measures it is taking to protect national health service staff in light of recent reports of high levels of injuries at work and sick leave due to stress. (S4O-03897)



Meeting of the Parliament 14 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 14, 2015
John Pentland

I am sure that everyone will agree that injuries and sickness in the NHS are a serious problem, whatever the cause. Does the cabinet secretary agree that it would be useful if health boards made available regular updates on the nature and incidence of such problems and the action that they are taking to address them?



Meeting of the Parliament 14 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 14, 2015
John Pentland (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)

NHS Lanarkshire did unbelievably well with the Scottish Government’s treatment time guarantee, with just eight breaches. That came as something of a surprise in the light of reports that I have had from constituents. People can wait for a long time to see a consultant and then wait for many more weeks for tests. There can be another long wait for an appointment to get a diagnosis and to discuss treatment. The guarantee kicks in only then. If tests have to be repeated, other tests have to be done or appointments are at unsuitable times, that all adds to the time. Referring a patient back to their GP resets the clock. Therefore, a year or so can pass before a person goes to the actual treatment. Suffice it to say that Lanarkshire’s performance on the 18-week target is not quite so good.

Before I go any further, I have to make it clear that NHS workers are without any doubt extremely hard working and dedicated. They have to cope with extreme pressure under a heavy workload in the face of staff shortages that are due to unfilled posts and sickness absences. That is not just my opinion. In June, the chair of the British Medical Association said:

“What I have seen over the past five years is the continuing crisis management of the longest car crash in my memory”.

Just last week, the RCN Scotland director, Theresa Fyffe, said:

“The whole system is creaking at the seams and the last few weeks have seen a perfect storm of conditions that demonstrate just how perilous the state of the NHS is.”

That echoes statements that Lanarkshire NHS Board made about the fragility of services including A and E. Plans are already lodged with the Scottish Government for closures of up to 48 hours and plans are being developed for longer-term closures.

The fragility is due to a lack of staff, especially in certain posts and disciplines. When I look at NHS Lanarkshire’s staffing reports, I cannot help thinking that far too many shortages are highlighted in red and amber. In one year alone, NHS Lanarkshire staff complained about staffing shortages 434 times—more than 35 times a month. Rarely a day goes by without a complaint.

Whistleblowers bravely went to the press about their worries about the lack of suitably trained workers. In response to their concerns, the independent report on NHS Lanarkshire neonatal services concluded that the complaints about the lack of specialist neonatal staff were justified.



Meeting of the Parliament 14 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 14, 2015
John Pentland

As any member would, I welcome the money. However, the cabinet secretary needs to realise that what she is offering is only a short-term fix because NHS Lanarkshire has been moving from crisis to crisis.

We see the impact of staffing and resource problems in the repeated failure to meet such targets as A & E waiting times. For example, in October and November last year, 170 Lanarkshire patients waited 12 hours or more to be treated in our hospitals, but across the rest of Scotland over the same period only 142 patients waited 12 hours or more. Audit Scotland has highlighted, too, NHS Lanarkshire’s failure to meet targets in relation to outpatient waiting times and delayed discharges; and the infamous leaked chief executives’ document showed a £400 million gap in sustainable funding and highlighted the problems that have been caused by the lack of service reconfiguration in NHS Lanarkshire.

Lanarkshire’s mental health services are still dealing with problems arising from the mental health reconfiguration plans. In addition, nearly a year ago the rapid review of NHS Lanarkshire highlighted the problems of Lanarkshire’s A and E services, but A and E is still under pressure and all the more so as a result of the disintegration of GP out-of-hours services in Lanarkshire, which the NHS says

“have reached the point where it is becoming extremely difficult to provide a safe service.”



Meeting of the Parliament 14 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 14, 2015
John Pentland

The cabinet secretary needs to realise that when staff, patients and stakeholders are criticising and using words and phrases such as “perilous”, “fragile”, “creaking at the seams” and

“the longest car crash in memory”,

the Scottish Government has to stop pretending that everything is basically okay. I hope that the cabinet secretary will agree with me that NHS Lanarkshire is in crisis.



Public Petitions Committee 13 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 13, 2015
John Pentland (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)

I have no relevant interests to declare.



Public Petitions Committee 13 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 13, 2015
The Convener (John Pentland)

I thank committee members for choosing me as convener and I look forward to working with them in the weeks and months ahead.



Public Petitions Committee 13 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 13, 2015
The Convener

The next item of business is an evidence session with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, as part of the committee’s consideration of petition PE1531, by Ashley Husband Powton, on removing charitable status from private schools. Members have a note by the clerk—paper 2 refers—and the submissions and two reports from OSCR. From OSCR, I welcome to the meeting Martin Tyson, head of registration, and Judith Turbyne, head of engagement.

I invite Mr Tyson to make a brief opening statement, after which we will move to questions.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12120.1 Jenny Marra: 2020 Vision, the Strategic Forward Direction of the NHS—As an amendment to
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YesDefeated

S4M-12101 John Swinney: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the general prin
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AbstainCarried

S4M-12095.4 Ken Macintosh: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
YesDefeated

S4M-12095.2 Alex Johnstone: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12095.1 Willie Rennie: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
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NoDefeated

S4M-12095 Alex Neil: Tackling Inequalities—That the Parliament agrees that a strong, sustainable eco
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YesCarried

Selection of John Pentland MSP for appointment to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.
YesCarried

S4M-12060.2 Hugh Henry: Commending the People who Keep Scotland Safe in Emergencies—As an amendment
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YesDefeated

S4M-12045.3 Shona Robison: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-12045 in the name of Rich
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NoCarried

S4M-12045.2 Jackson Carlaw: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-12045 in the name of Ric
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by John Pentland
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12085: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11903: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 15/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11883: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11871: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 11/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11870: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 11/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11759: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11612: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11542: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11454: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11408: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 04/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by John Pentland
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03914: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03897: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03814: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23142: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23141: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23138: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22420: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22422: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22423: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22421: John Pentland, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/08/2014 Show Full Question >>

Further information

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