Cole-Hamilton on mental health services being “worse” for BME communities

Responding to reports that black and minority ethnic groups face unequal access to mental health services, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“Mental health problems don’t discriminate, anyone can fall victim to them. It’s disappointing but not unexpected to learn that language barriers, culture or the stigma around not being able to cope is deterring people in BME communities from accessing life changing support.

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Lib Dems launch campaign against loss of Borders services

Scottish Liberal Democrats in the Borders have launched a campaign to stop Scottish Borders Council surrendering control of local services to the SNP Government in Edinburgh.

The Conservative-led Scottish Borders Council has agreed a plan to surrender control of council services to an SNP government minister at Holyrood, voting to propose a merger between the council and the health board. 

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Jardine: RBS recession warning shows need for an Exit from Brexit

Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has today said that comments from RBS Chief Executive Ross McEwan warning that a “bad Brexit” could push the UK into a recession show that the UK Government's handling of Brexit is leaving blue-chip businesses baffled.

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Scott comments on teacher pay negotiations break down

Responding to reports that teacher pay talks have broken down with EIS negotiators describing the Scottish Government offer as “derisory” and “divisive”, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP said:

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Rumbles reacts to cup semi-final switch

Responding to the news that the SPFL has agreed to re-arrange the cup semi-finals, North East MSP Mike Rumbles, who led questions at Parliament about the original decision, commented:

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Farmers' cereal losses could be up to £80m

National Statistic have estimated that cereal production in Scotland will drop by 9% in 2018, due to bad weather and the ‘beast from the east’ earlier in the year. Spring barley, which accounts for roughly 50% of all crops grown in Scotland, is expected to have fallen by around 10%.

Cereals, other crops and horticulture were worth £829m to the Scottish rural economy in 2017, about a quarter of agricultural output, so the loss due to weather is expected to be around £80m for 2018.

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SNP push independence on Russian propaganda channel

Responding to comments from senior nationalist figures on the Alex Salmond Show urging the First Minister to call a new independence referendum, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

"On the day that British intelligence warns of Russian cyber incursions, it's disappointing to see a sitting SNP MSP and an MP among those taking to Putin's propaganda channel to advocate for the break up of Britain.

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Access to PrEP shouldn't be “luck of the draw”

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today raised concerns with the First Minister about long waits for PrEP prescription appointments in NHS Lothian. He has called on the Scottish Government to end this discrepancy.

Freedom of Information requests submitted by the Scottish Liberal Democrats revealed NHS Lothian is the only health board in Scotland with a waiting list for prospective PrEP patients, and there are 125 people waiting.

The longest recorded wait times for PrEP prescription appointments were NHS Lothian (50-84 days), with the next longest NHS Grampian (6-17 days).

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) reduces the risk of contracting HIV from sex by more than 90%.

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Queensferry crossing snagging to continue until October 2019

Responding to new information released by Transport Scotland today confirming that snagging work on the Queensferry Crossing will not now be completed until October 2019, Edinburgh Western MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

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Jardine brands Chagossian immigration barriers “deplorable”

Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine MP has today condemned the UK Government for failing to support the claims of third generation Chagossians for British citizenship, as the Guardian reveals Taniella Moustache from Milton Keynes faces deportation when she turns 20.

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