Rhoda Grant MSP

Welcome to Rhoda Grant MSP's biography pages

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Rhoda Grant

Health and Sport Committee 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Rhoda Grant (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)

I am a Highlands and Islands MSP.



Health and Sport Committee 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Rhoda Grant

We seem to be picking up the concerns of people who are looking at the bill and looking for assisted suicide, because they assume that they will have little control over their last weeks and months. There is the fear of pain and of not having the assistance that they require. The palliative care that is available is of good quality, but such care is not always available.

How do we empower people, equip them with a knowledge of what is available, and give them choices that will allow them to make decisions about themselves and to retain autonomy and control over their own lives? The lack of control over their pain, treatment and where they will be based can mean a lack of autonomy. If the only choice then is for the person to take their own life, that is surely not a choice at all. How do we ensure that people have the access that they need and the choices that we should make available to them?



Health and Sport Committee 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Rhoda Grant

That is interesting.

I want to talk about the availability of palliative care in the community. One big issue for people is pain control. How do you ensure that people in rural communities such as those that I represent can access pain control quickly in order to manage their own pain?

They must be able to do so quickly. If someone is in a lot of pain, they do not want to wait hours for an on-call person to arrive, especially as their case might fall in priority given that their life cannot be saved.



Health and Sport Committee 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Rhoda Grant

I am a Highlands and Islands MSP.



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Rhoda Grant (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)

Does Bob Doris not understand that the reduction in acute beds was to have been matched by an increase of care in the community? Indeed, that is something that underpins the 2020 vision. The failure to build care in the community has meant that we cannot cut acute beds.



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Rhoda Grant (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)

Another day in the chamber, another health debate. If debates made the NHS better, it would be working like clockwork. Unfortunately, that is not the case. That is not because of the staff, who are treating patients and keeping them safe without proper support or facilities. They are working above and beyond, while the Government is realising too late what we have been telling it for months and years. The SNP Government is starting to address the problem too late, and that will not help the people who have had their operations cancelled today or the people who are stuck in hospital because of the lack of care in the community.

We very much welcome the additional fund for community care, but the 2020 vision discussed moving care to the home or a homely setting two and a half years ago. That has been a long time coming. As Jenny Marra and Malcolm Chisholm mentioned, Audit Scotland said that there is no sign of the rebalancing of care.

In the information that it supplied to inform the debate, the RCN said:

“Worryingly, delayed discharges—which are one of the problems that could be addressed if the Scottish Government is successful with its 2020 vision—have continued to increase.”

That is a problem for all of us. We have pleaded with the Government to fund community care, but it has done so too late. The Government talks about changing the bedblocking target to a two-week target from April. That is a start, but how many people could be treated in acute-care beds in the two weeks when people are waiting to be discharged into the community?

Richard Baker spoke about the recruitment of staff for community care, especially in Aberdeen, which we know has great difficulties because of the low wages and the lack of training supplied to community care workers, but that is a problem in all areas. We need to value the people who work in the care sector by paying them reasonable wages and giving them plenty of training.



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Rhoda Grant

Recruitment of care staff is more difficult everywhere because of the lack of funding. That is why I welcome the £100 million that the Government has put in. We need to do something if we are to achieve the step change that the 2020 vision sets out and which the Government promised, but which does not seem to be appearing any time soon.

We have a crisis in A and E. We see ambulances queueing up and people waiting on trolleys. People’s conditions are deteriorating because of a lack of care in the community. Over the festive period, general practices were closed for eight days out of 11. No wonder people have become so ill that they turn up at the hospital door—but the hospital has no room for them, because there is inadequate care in the community.

That is why the Labour Party has proposed a front-line fund, as was outlined by Jenny Marra. As Malcolm Chisholm said, we need to build capacity in acute and primary care. We need to deal with the pressures on A and E and the cancelled operations.

The Government dismisses that. It says that it has a seven-day-services task force working on the issue. However, the task force has been working on that for a year, and people cannot wait. Malcolm Chisholm quoted some of what the Government has said about seven-day care. Surely the cabinet secretary can now commit to a date on which to report about the task force’s work. In the interim, we have shown her how she could use some of the budget consequentials to provide a front-line fund that would deal with some of the crises as they occur. That is a positive suggestion, although it has not received a positive response from the Government.



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Rhoda Grant

Blaming the people who are sick for causing the crisis is a new one on me. If they were well, surely they would not be causing a crisis. Perhaps people should not be turning up at A and E but, if the GP surgery is closed, where else can they go if they are feeling seriously ill? We need to address that and make sure that adequate care is provided in the community.

Another thing that the SNP Government is not keen on is our pledge to provide 1,000 extra nurses, because it does not want the mansion tax. The mansion tax is a redistributive tax that would take money away from wealthy areas and put it into poorer ones. As a bonus, it would give us more nurses to work in our hospitals and the community.

We desperately need more nurses. Malcolm Chisholm talked about the cuts in the number of student nurses, and it is widely recognised that the nursing workforce is ageing. If we do not invest in more nurses, we will build up problems for the future. I sincerely hope that I will not be saying in a similar speech in the future, “If only you had listened to what we said then.” We need more specialist nurses, more nurse practitioners and more nurses for the nursing at the edge initiative, which Malcolm Chisholm referred to.



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Rhoda Grant

I am sorry—I have taken two interventions and I need to make progress.

I turn to palliative care, which Nanette Milne talked about at some length. The cabinet secretary discussed it, too—she mentioned hospice care—as did Graeme Dey. However, as Marie Curie Cancer Care has pointed out, palliative care is not included in the 2020 vision. It is important that we get it included, because too many people are dying in hospital, which is an inappropriate place for them to die. It is sad that people who are in their last weeks or months are in a hospital ward when they should be at home or in a homely setting with their family around them. We need to do something about providing good-quality palliative care throughout our communities, especially in our rural areas, where it is difficult to access such care unless some thought is put into how it can be delivered.

Anne McTaggart flagged up the waiting time guarantee, which the Government appears to be trying to downgrade to a target. It is not a target—it is a law. If the Government had intended to have a target, it should have put a target in place, but it legislated and made people a promise that they thought was legally binding, yet it is not legally binding. If the Government breaks one law, it makes the whole law a laughing stock.



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Rhoda Grant

That is rubbish. I was in the chamber when Richard Simpson made his comment. That is not what he said. [Interruption.]

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12182.1 Alex Fergusson: The Chilcot Inquiry—As an amendment to motion S4M-12182 in the name of N
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12182 Nicola Sturgeon: The Chilcot Inquiry—That the Parliament calls for Sir John Chilcot’s offi
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

S4M-12176 John Swinney: Community Charge Debt (Scotland) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the gene
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

S4M-12160.2 Michael Matheson: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Kez
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

S4M-12160.3 Margaret Mitchell: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Ke
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12160 Kezia Dugdale: Women Offenders—That the Parliament welcomes the decision of the Scottish G
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

S4M-12154.1 Lewis Macdonald: Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) – Supporting Indivi
>> Show more
YesDefeated

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

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

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

Search for other Motions lodged by Rhoda Grant
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12073: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 15/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12056: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12041: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11930: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11907: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11866: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 10/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11809: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 04/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11797: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 03/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11700: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 25/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11515: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Rhoda Grant
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-24138: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 22/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24137: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 22/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24136: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 22/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24096: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24095: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24069: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24070: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24071: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23924: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23925: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/01/2015 Show Full Question >>

Further information

Email our Public Information Service for more information.