A&E waiting times crisis continues

Responding to the publication of weekly A&E waiting times, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP warned that without new guarantees for staff wellbeing, staff will “head for the door”.

Only 76% of those attending A&E were seen within the SNP’s four hour target time. Six weeks ago, this figure was a record low.

Commenting, Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

“The crisis in emergency care continues.

“Even with staff working harder than ever and police officers and the army pitching in, more than 6,000 people a week are waiting more than four hours to be seen. Over a thousand are waiting more than eight.

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Rennie: Scottish Government must 'stop sidelining' disadvantaged families

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Willie Rennie MSP has today told the Scottish Government to “stop sidelining” disadvantaged families, as new information shows the number of 2-year-olds receiving funded childcare decreased in the last six months.

An Improvement Service update published today shows that the number of 2-year-olds reported to be receiving funded ELC in August 2021 was 5,954 children. This is a decrease from the 6,204 reported to be receiving funded childcare in April 2021.

The Scottish Government estimates that around 14,500 2-year-olds are eligible for this entitlement.

Commenting, Willie Rennie said:

“The SNP’s childcare offer was supposed to be revolutionary for children and families, but somehow the number of two year olds in funded childcare is actually going down.

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McArthur on reviews into deaths of children and young people

Responding to the news that new reviews will be conducted into deaths of children and young people in Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP commented:

“While new opportunities to learn lessons and improve practice could prove beneficial, the Scottish Government must itself learn some lessons before building families’ hopes up.

“The Scottish Government have a terrible track record on inquiries into deaths. The Fatal Accident Inquiry system is completely dysfunctional and marred by decade long delays.

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'Clear failures' as reconviction rates increase

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today called out “clear failures” in rehabilitation policy, as statistics published today by the Scottish Government show the reconviction rate has increased to 3 in 10. 

This increase is evidenced across all male age groups, almost all female age groups, and for nearly all categories of crime.  The increase to reconviction rates follows several years of decreases. 

Those released from custodial sentence in 2018-19 had one of the highest reconviction rates and average number of reconvictions.

Commenting, Liam McArthur said:

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Lib Dems bid to fix the lack of Highlands and Islands voice on just transition

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today set out proposals to establish a new Highlands and Islands Just Transition Commission, to take account of their specific needs and unique opportunities.

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Scotland restarts Mental Health First Aid training, 20 months after England

Scottish Liberal Democrat mental health spokesperson and practitioner Jane Alliston has today criticised the Scottish Government after it was revealed that Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Programmes suspended when the pandemic hit, will finally restart in October, 20 months after similar programmes in England shifted to an online model.

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Public inquiry must provide answers on care home discharges

Speaking after it was revealed that early in the pandemic more than half of older hospital patients discharged to nearly 200 care homes had not been tested for Covid, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

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Cole-Hamilton: Confidence in Covid ID cards “crumbles” after launch

Speaking after the failed launch of Covid ID cards last night, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton commented:

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Teachers declare formal dispute with Scottish Government

Responding to the news that the Teachers’ Side of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers has today declared a formal dispute, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Willie Rennie said:

"Teachers have worked hard throughout the pandemic to support pupils and received scant reward. It's ridiculous that months after teachers rejected the last offer, ministers have not found a way to get back round the table.

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SQA chief must go over human rights failings

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Willie Rennie has today called for the resignation of the Chief Executive of the Scottish Qualifications Authority after it was revealed that the body has signed an agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to improve its equality practices.

The EHRC established that the SQA was not routinely assessing the impact of its policies and practices against the three needs of the Public Sector Equality Duty, which requires public authorities to give due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different groups.

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