ANGUS MACDONALD MSP SHARES CONCERNS OVER RISE IN STILLBIRTH RATES AT NHS FORTH VALLEY

ForthValleyHospital 01

Falkirk East MSP, Angus MacDonald, has questioned the Scottish Government on the recent findings that stillbirths in the NHS Forth Valley area had risen above the national average in the first half of 2016.

NHS Forth Valley has announced that they are to review the uncharacteristic rise in stillbirths over the first half of 2016.

Questioning the Scottish Government, Angus MacDonald MSP, Falkirk East, submitted this written question:

“To ask the Scottish Government when it will receive the findings of NHS Forth Valley’s internal inquiry into the increase in the number of stillborn babies in the area in 2016?”

Minster for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell MSP, answered saying:

“NHS Forth Valley has taken action locally to internally review all of their cases of stillbirth. The Board has also commissioned an independent external review to look into their 2016 stillbirths.

The Scottish Government supports the action that NHS Forth Valley is taking to understand and learn from this unexpected rise in the number of stillbirths locally, and expects them to act on the findings of the reviews. The Board has agreed to share the outcomes of both internal and external reviews, when complete, with the expert Scottish Government Stillbirth Group, to ensure that learning is shared across Scotland to improve outcomes and help drive down stillbirth rates.”

Welcoming the answer from the Scottish Government, Angus MacDonald commented:

“Clearly this is a very upsetting issue for everyone involved, and it is right that the findings of the internal inquiry, and any external review, are considered by NHS Forth Valley, and any recommendations forthcoming are implemented, so that anything which can be done will be done, to prevent this situation from happening again.

“I welcome the answer from Aileen Campbell MSP, and it is encouraging to see that the Scottish Government are committed to working with the board of NHS Forth Valley to share any findings with the Scottish Government Stillbirth Group in order improve outcomes and drive down rates of stillbirths across Scotland.”

ANGUS MACDONALD MSP MAKING EARTH HOUR 2017 MATTER

Angus Macdonald MSP LOW RES

EarthHour

Falkirk East MSP, Angus MacDonald is making WWF’s Earth Hour matter this year by showing his support for a strong Climate Change Plan for Scotland.

This year’s switch off event takes place at 8.30pm on Saturday 25 March.  Around the world homes, workplaces and iconic landmarks will be going dark for an hour in the world’s biggest demonstration of support for action on climate change.

In Scotland, the Falkirk Wheel, The Kelpies, Edinburgh Castle and the Forth Rail Bridge are just a few of our famous landmarks marking the hour.

Urging the communities of Falkirk East to join in, Angus MacDonald MSP said:

“I’m delighted to support Earth Hour once again this year and would encourage as many of my constituents as possible to sign up. With Climate Change high on both the Scottish Parliament’s and the Scottish Government’s agenda, and Scotland’s 2020 Climate Change targets met 6 years early, we are heading in the right direction, however there is much more to do.

“Locally for Earth Hour, the iconic Kelpies lights will be switched off between 8.30pm - 9.30pm on 25th March and there are plans to encourage visitors at the time to get active with fitness classes in front of the Kelpies to produce energy to light the sculptures!

“Earth Hour is more than just one hour of darkness; it's our chance to be the difference that we need to protect our planet today and every day. Join me and millions around the world for #EarthHour on Saturday 25 March at 8.30pm. It’s the biggest voluntary action to highlight the threat of climate change. Take part and sign up at http://www.wwf.org.uk/earthhour

Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland said:

“Yet again Earth Hour is capturing the public’s imagination with thousands of people across the country gearing up to take part and show they care about our planet.   From church groups to classrooms full of children its important decision makers, politicians and business leaders are left in no doubt people care about the impacts of climate change and want action.

“With the Scottish Parliament currently considering a draft Climate Change Plan, it’s great to see so many MSPs signalling their support for strong action to cut climate emissions. The enthusiasm of the public and politicians should give the Scottish Government the confidence to push on to a low-carbon economy.”

Now in its tenth year, WWF’s Earth Hour continues to grow.  Last year 178 countries and took part.  You can sign up for Earth Hour at wwfscotland.org.uk/earthhour 

FALKIRK DISTRICT WILL BENEFIT FROM NEW TRANSPORT BILL

Boness Bus Station

ANGUS MACDONALD MSP WELCOMES TRANSPORT MINISTER COMMENTS ON BUS TRAVEL

Falkirk East MSP, Angus MacDonald, has welcomed comments from Humza Yousaf MSP, the Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands, on what bus travel could look like in the future.

Mr. Yousaf, in an article on Sunday, highlighted the issues faced by the bus industry, and cited a new Transport Bill to introduce “rail-type franchises” in which local authorities could be responsible for public bids to run local bus services, similar to the way in which railways services are operated.

A new Transport Bill will let councils establish Lothian Buses-style municipal bus companies, allowing public v private bidding wars for newly-franchised routes.

Welcoming this prospect, Angus MacDonald MSP, Falkirk East, said:

“We all know the issues faced by passengers when it comes to bus travel, particularly in Bo’ness where residents have had more than their fair share of challenges when it comes to the provision of bus services. A new Transport Bill, allowing for local bus services to be operated by local authorities would ensure that those reliant on those services aren’t faced with the prospect of routes being cut because they have become unprofitable.

“The provision of regular bus services, focussed on the needs of local people rather than profit would allow for confidence to come back into our bus services, and would provide a much needed boost to our local communities.

“I am excited to see what this will mean for the future of bus services across the Falkirk district, as I am confident that our communities will benefit from any public sector franchise awarded in future. These comments from Humza Yousaf MSP are certainly welcome, and I look forward to supporting any bill which encourages bus services being back in public ownership.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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