Michael Matheson MSP

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Michael Matheson MSP

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  • Member for: Falkirk West
  • Region: Central Scotland
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Michael is a member of the following Committees:

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

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Michael Matheson

Meeting of the Parliament 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The Minister for Public Health (Michael Matheson)

Scotland is the only country in the United Kingdom to have consistently run annual high-profile media and advertising campaigns to promote organ donation and transplantation. I launched this year’s campaign on 27 October, and it will run until January 2015. Our annual campaigns are the reason why 41 per cent of the population in Scotland are now on the national health service organ donor register, in comparison with 32 per cent in the rest of the UK.

Additionally, on Monday this week, the Scottish Government published the first national report card on organ donation. This is the first time that NHS performance on that has been made available in such a way anywhere in the UK. This year’s report card reflects very good progress; Scotland has achieved an almost 100 per cent increase in organ donations and a 62 per cent increase in transplants since 2007. There has also been a 25 per cent reduction in the transplant waiting list since 2006.



Meeting of the Parliament 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Michael Matheson

It is worth keeping it in mind that the part of the UK that has the highest level of organ donations per head of population is Scotland. We need to be careful not to think that the need for an increased number of organs can be addressed by an opt-out system. There are countries that already have an opt-out system that have a very low donation level. That is not a solution in itself.

We are guided on such matters by the Scottish transplant group, which is made up of clinical experts, donor recipients and their families and carers. At this point, the group’s opinion is that an opt-out system is not appropriate.

We need to continue to build on the very good progress that we have made through the infrastructure changes that we have made, which have delivered record numbers of organ donations. Through our new plan for transplantation, we intend to continue to drive that progress forward in future years.



Meeting of the Parliament 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Michael Matheson

We have made significant progress not because of legislation but because of the infrastructure changes that we have made, such as basing transplant nurses in particular units. Organs can be received from an individual donor only in particular circumstances—in particular in intensive care units. We have taken specific measures to increase the number of organs that can be donated in such circumstances.

It is worth keeping it in mind that, although the Spanish introduced a soft opt-out system back in 1979, it was more than 10 years before they gained any increase in organ donations, because they had not made the necessary infrastructure changes. America has a consistently higher level of organ donation than any part of Europe, but it does not have an opt-out system. It has such a high level because it has developed its infrastructure.

We must be careful in considering the matter, as there is no single solution that will address the issues and ensure that more organs are donated. We can demonstrate that, because of the work that the Government has progressed in the past few years, record numbers of organs are being donated and a record number of transplants are taking place. We are determined to build on that progress and continue to ensure that Scotland leads the rest of the United Kingdom in this area.



Meeting of the Parliament 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The Minister for Public Health (Michael Matheson)

We welcome the work of the deep-end group of GPs, in particular their recommendations on how we can tackle inequalities in the most deprived areas of Scotland. One of the recommendations was to have link workers in general practice who would signpost and support patients to sources of support in the community and relieve some of the burden on GPs. We have committed to funding that project for five years.

Recognising the challenges in the national general medical services contract in relation to practices whose patients face the greatest inequalities, the Scottish Government has also significantly altered the 2014-15 GMS contract to free up those practitioners so that they can devote more time to the complex problems of their patients.

We are working closely with the deep-end group and with other national health service organisations to develop the most appropriate solutions for areas of deprivation.



Meeting of the Parliament 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Michael Matheson

I am sure that the member recognised during his visit that a key part of the programme is the evaluation of the link worker role to see how link workers can be used most effectively. Initially, the link worker programme was to be run for about three years. We discussed it with the deep-end practice team and they felt that a five-year programme would be much more effective in allowing the overall benefits to be evaluated. We have therefore extended the programme for a further two years.

Alongside that provision for a five-year period, we have commissioned the University of Glasgow to undertake an evaluation over the initial two to three years of the link worker programme. Once we have that initial evaluation, we will be in a position to make a decision about rolling out the programme to other deep-end practices and to consider what model is the most effective way for link workers to operate in those deep-end practices.

I assure the member that we are determined to do what we can to support these practices, which are working in our most deprived communities, and to do so in a way that delivers the most effective change to allow them to improve their care of patients, many of whom have very complex health needs. Evaluation work will then inform how we can look at rolling out the programme across more of our deep-end practices in Scotland.



Meeting of the Parliament 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The Minister for Public Health (Michael Matheson)

I acknowledge the devastating effects on individuals and families of the very rare disease fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, which is often called FOP.

The combined bone clinic at Yorkhill hospital in Glasgow provides support for children with FOP through a multidisciplinary team of specialist physicians, geneticists, occupational therapists and an orthopaedic surgeon.



Meeting of the Parliament 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Michael Matheson

Bruce Crawford is correct to highlight the challenging nature of the condition, its progressive nature and how it can increasingly result in the loss of someone’s mobility. He is also correct to highlight the open market shared equity scheme, which we developed for people on low to medium incomes to be able to access house ownership. It has as a particular priority those who have a disability, are social renters or are members of the armed forces, including veterans.

I am more than happy to ensure that the member is able to meet a group of our officials who can assist him in considering his constituents’ case to see what assistance can be provided to them.



Meeting of the Parliament 13 November 2014 : Thursday, November 13, 2014
The Minister for Public Health (Michael Matheson)

We have made significant progress in delivering the commitments in the “Mental Health Strategy for Scotland: 2012-15”. For example, Scotland was the first part of the United Kingdom to introduce a target—from December this year—for speed of access to mental health services.

We know that waits of up to one or two years were common before we introduced the targets. We still have further improvements to make, but the latest position shows that the average wait for access to psychological therapies is eight weeks and access to specialist child and adolescent mental health services is nine weeks. I am sure that the member would recognise that that is significant progress.



Meeting of the Parliament 13 November 2014 : Thursday, November 13, 2014
Michael Matheson

The member makes a good point. It is widely recognised that many individuals who may have a mental health problem leave an extended period before they seek assistance from clinicians. A key part of our strategy to encourage people to access help is the see me anti-stigma campaign to remove the stigma that is often associated with mental health and which can act as a barrier to individuals seeking help.

The mental health first aiders programme has a valuable and important part to play. One of the areas of work that we will take forward as part of the mental health strategy is how to continue to improve access to mental health services, including the mental health first aid programme. I would be more than happy to discuss the matter in more depth with the member if he would find that helpful.



Meeting of the Parliament 13 November 2014 : Thursday, November 13, 2014
Michael Matheson

Yes. Such organisations have an important part to play. I recognise that the best way that we can continue to improve mental health services is by working with the voluntary sector and statutory agencies to ensure that we deliver the best possible services to those who can benefit from them.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
YesCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

S4M-11567.2 Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit—As an amendment to motion S4M-11567 in
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YesCarried

S4M-11507.1 Cameron Buchanan: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—
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NoDefeated

S4M-11507 Angela Constance: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—Th
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YesCarried

S4M-11494.3 Jackie Baillie: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
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NoDefeated

S4M-11494.2 Alex Johnstone: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
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NoDefeated

S4M-11494 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—That the Parliament
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YesCarried

S4M-11484.1 Jackson Carlaw: Human Rights—As an amendment to motion S4M-11484 in the name of Roseanna
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NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Michael Matheson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11048: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 30/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10414: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09803: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09558.2: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09446: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09254: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08837: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/01/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08800: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/01/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07787: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/09/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06995: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
This Member currently holds a ministerial post. First Minister and Ministers cannot ask the Government questions which is why no recent questions are displaying here. Please use the full search to find details of previous questions by this Member.
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S3W-40158: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/03/2011 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-40152: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/03/2011 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-40160: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/03/2011 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-40159: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/03/2011 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-40154: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/03/2011 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-40157: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/03/2011 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-40156: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/03/2011 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-40155: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/03/2011 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-39739: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/02/2011 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-39064: Michael Matheson, Falkirk West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/01/2011 Show Full Question >>

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