Neil Bibby MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Neil Bibby

There are far too many hospitals that are not meeting their A and E waiting-time targets, and the RAH is certainly one of them.

I have been contacted by dozens of patients and staff over recent weeks. I want to share some of their experiences and to ask some questions of the health secretary on their behalf. One woman described to me recently how her mother had a 13 and a half hour wait in A and E with two broken bones in her back. Another told me how her father waited four and a half hours for an ambulance, and when he finally got to the RAH there were no trolleys available and no porters to find one. The health secretary will be aware that other patients have waited for up to 20 hours.

Those are not criticisms of the dedicated and hard-working staff at the RAH. In fact, several people have provided me with examples of the outstanding work that staff are doing in extremely difficult circumstances. One man described how, when he was in the hospital for a knee operation recently, the nursing staff even turned their eating area into a waiting room for patients who could not get a bed. Staff are going above and beyond the call of duty.

I have a significant number of questions for the health secretary on behalf of patients and staff. Given that she wants to be as open and transparent as possible, I hope that she will answer those questions for RAH patients and staff. If she cannot do so in her closing speech, I would welcome a response in writing.

How long does the cabinet secretary envisage the support team being in the hospital? What were the weekly stats for the RAH that she received last Tuesday at noon, which was the day on which she sent in the support team? Does the cabinet secretary agree that there are staff shortages at the RAH? Does she accept what staff and patients have been saying about the shortage of beds to meet current demand and, if so, what does she intend to do about it? Given that the cabinet secretary had so much to say about cancelled operations, can she tell us how many cancelled operations there have been at the RAH in the past few months? I am certainly aware of constituents who have had operations cancelled.

Patients and staff are demanding answers to those questions. We have seen concerns about adverts for volunteers at the RAH’s A and E department. Do the Scottish Government and the cabinet secretary still support the use of volunteers in A and E? The cabinet secretary will know that it was reported in The Herald last week that the Government has been made aware of two critical and very serious incidents in which patients at the RAH were injured while at A and E. People rightly expect such serious incidents to be fully investigated to find out why they occurred and how they can be prevented from happening again. How many other critical incidents has the cabinet secretary been made aware of in the RAH and in other hospitals?

I hope that the health secretary will be able to respond to those questions. My final question to her is simple. She has called on Jenny Marra to apologise, but given that the NHS Scotland chief executive has apologised to patients at the RAH, I ask the cabinet secretary to apologise to patients and staff there, because they have been badly let down by her Government. Our NHS and the RAH in Paisley deserve much better than they are currently getting.

15:42  

Meeting of the Parliament 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Neil Bibby

I know that there have been issues related to mortality rates at the Royal Alexandra hospital, and I welcome any progress in reducing them.

One statistic that we already know—it is shocking—is that 23 per cent of patients, which is almost one in four people, waited for longer than the four-hour target time for treatment at the RAH in December last year. Last week, after concerns had been raised by staff and patients for months, a support team was finally sent into the RAH, confirming the A and E crisis.

That crisis was apparent to anyone who had spoken to patients and staff over recent months, and it would have been highlighted at an earlier stage had A and E statistics been published more frequently. It is welcome that a crisis team has finally been sent in, but one wonders whether the health secretary has a grip on the situation when she denies on the Monday that there is a crisis but on Tuesday sends in a crisis team to a major hospital.



Meeting of the Parliament 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Neil Bibby (West Scotland) (Lab)

I welcome the opportunity to speak in Scottish Labour’s debate this afternoon about the need for open and transparent information in the challenges that face our national health service.

I want to focus my remarks today specifically on the challenges that are facing the Royal Alexandra hospital in Paisley—the hospital where I was born, the hospital where I have been a patient as a child and an adult, and the hospital where I have visited family and friends. It is, however, a hospital that has recently been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, and where thousands of patients and staff have been badly let down and have been failed over recent months.

As has been said already this afternoon, we should have full transparency and openness in our national health service. RAH patients want to know what has gone wrong and what will be done to fix the problems that their health service is experiencing. I welcome the fact that the chief statistician and the Scottish Government have listened to the persistent calls from Labour members and have finally agreed to make their weekly A and E statistics public. There should be no veil of secrecy.



Meeting of the Parliament 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Neil Bibby

They are fed up.



Meeting of the Parliament 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Neil Bibby (West Scotland) (Lab)

You should hear what they are saying about you, Shona.



Meeting of the Parliament 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Neil Bibby

I thank the cabinet secretary for that answer. He will be aware that the Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism recently rejected Renfrewshire Council’s proposal that an additional enterprise area theme based around creative and cultural industries be established, and that Paisley town centre be identified as the first enterprise zone with that theme. An enterprise zone in Paisley town centre would build on the existing creative and cultural strengths of Paisley and would be a welcome boost to the area in creating jobs. I therefore ask the cabinet secretary whether he will reconsider his Government’s decision to reject the council’s proposal—a proposal that would help to revitalise Paisley town centre and the local economy.



Meeting of the Parliament 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
6. Neil Bibby (West Scotland) (Lab)

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to improve the economy in the West Scotland region. (S4O-04006)



Meeting of the Parliament 17 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Neil Bibby

There is a groundswell of opinion in favour of lifting the ban. Why does it appear that the SNP Government ministers are against that proposal when a consultation and a pilot project have not taken place?



Meeting of the Parliament 17 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Neil Bibby

I was at the St Mirren v Inverness Caledonian Thistle game on Saturday, and a clear majority of supporters—many of them families—from both clubs wanted the ban on alcohol lifted. Scottish Labour, the Scottish Conservatives and—I remind the minister—many SNP back benchers including Kenny MacAskill, the former Cabinet Secretary for Justice, want the blanket ban to be looked at, although, of course, the police should have discretion.



Meeting of the Parliament 17 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Neil Bibby

The ban on alcohol at football matches was introduced in 1980, before I and hundreds of thousands of other football fans were even born. It is time to rethink the policy. The minister will be aware that people can have a drink of alcohol at the rugby, at the theatre, at a music venue and—if they pay enough—at football hospitality. Surely, the minister would not say that ordinary football fans cannot be trusted to have a drink. Surely, it is time to look again at the blanket ban.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

Amendment 2 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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YesDefeated

Amendment 3 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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YesDefeated

Amendment 4 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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YesDefeated

Amendment 5 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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YesDefeated

Amendment 7 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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YesDefeated

Amendment 8 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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YesDefeated

S4M-12423.1 Alex Rowley: Commission on Local Tax Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-12423 in the n
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-12423 Marco Biagi: Commission on Local Tax Reform—That the Parliament supports the establishment
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-12385 Liz Smith: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—That the Parliament agrees that a solid grou
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YesCarried

S4M-12395.1 Fergus Ewing: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in the
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NoCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Neil Bibby
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12188: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 28/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11304.2: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 28/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11034: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 30/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10830: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 18/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10147.3: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 28/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09963.2: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09815: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 24/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09312: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09140: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 24/02/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08081: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/10/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Neil Bibby
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4T-00941: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-04006: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 11/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24382: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24163: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 23/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03923: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 14/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23973: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23972: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23974: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23975: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23856: Neil Bibby, West Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/01/2015 Show Full Question >>