Either see below Gil most recent written questions to Parliament or select a category.
To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to extend the duration of the public inquiry into the Clostridium difficile outbreak at the Vale of Leven hospital.
Answered by Alex Neil (07/02/2014):Lord MacLean, Chairman of the Vale of Leven Hospital Inquiry, wrote to me on 17 December 2013 informing me that the warning letter process will not be completed in sufficient time to allow for the publication of the report by March 2014.
Under the legislation, the chairman must issue a warning letter to any individual or organisation likely to be the subject of significant or explicit criticism in his report. The warning letter allows them a reasonable opportunity to consider and respond to the criticisms. As a matter of fairness, the chairman must consider these responses.
The warning letter process is not yet complete and Lord MacLean is unable to give a reporting date until this process is fully completed. I will, therefore, inform Parliament as soon as the reporting date is known.
To ask the Scottish Government when it last met NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and what issues were discussed.
Answered by Alex Neil (14/11/2013):Ministers and Scottish Government officials regularly meet with representatives of all health boards, including NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, to discuss matters of importance to local people.
I will also Chair NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Annual Review on Monday 18 November 2013.
To ask the Scottish Government what the implications are of the proposals in the Draft Budget 2014-15 for the resource budget of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Answered by Alex Neil (18/09/2013): It is planned to provide NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde with a resource funding uplift of 2.7 per cent in 2014-15, which represents 0.8 per cent in real terms.
In 2014-15 we are planning to adjust NHS boards baselines in respect of the Adult and Social Care Change fund, For NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde this has the presentational effect of reducing the headline uplift from 2.7 per cent to 2.6 per cent.
It is also worth noting that the £842 million investment on the new South Glasgow Hospitals Project remains on time and on budget.
To ask the Scottish Government when it last met representatives of the UK Government.
Answered by Nicola Sturgeon (12/09/2013): Ministers and officials meet regularly with representatives from the UK Government to discuss matters of importance to the people of Scotland.
To ask the Scottish Government if there are any plans to extend the duration of the public inquiry into the Clostridium difficile outbreak at the Vale of Leven hospital.
Answered by Alex Neil (22/03/2013):
Lord MacLean, Chairman of the Vale of Leven Hospital Inquiry requested a further extension to the duration of the Inquiry which was due to report by 31 May 2013. Members will be aware that Lord MacLean has been unwell and, whilst the Inquiry Team have continued to make progress, Lord MacLean has requested extra time to allow him to fully engage in the work of the Inquiry.
Under these circumstances, I have agreed to a further extension and Lord MacLean will now endeavour to publish his final report in Autumn 2013. I have also requested that Lord MacLean update me in August 2013 with a specific date by which he will report and I will update Parliament at that time.
Gil Paterson (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP):
2. To ask the Scottish Government how it will deal with the impact of the so-called bedroom tax on housing associations. (S4O-01850)
The Minister for Housing and Welfare (Margaret Burgess): We have been working with a wide range of social landlords and other stakeholders since the United Kingdom Government announced its welfare reforms, to identify ways to lessen the impacts. We are investing in training and guidance for housing associations to help them deal with the bedroom tax and we will continue to support housing associations and tenants where we can.
We should not forget the impact on those who are most affected. The measure has an unfair impact on vulnerable Scottish households. Seventy-nine per cent of households that will be affected by the bedroom tax report an adult in the household with a disability.
I have written again to Lord Freud and Iain Duncan Smith to ask them to look at this again and abandon the bedroom tax part of the welfare reforms, as it continues to cause problems for the most vulnerable citizens in Scotland.
Gil Paterson: The minister is fully aware that the UK Government proposals are causing a great deal of confusion among tenants or councils and housing associations. Some people believe that the Scottish Government has the resources to stop the effects of the proposals in Scotland, despite the cuts that have been made to the Scottish budget. My question is straightforward: has the Scottish Government got the powers or resources to stop this happening in Scotland?
Margaret Burgess: The Government is doing what it can within its devolved powers to lessen the impact of the UK Government’s damaging welfare reforms. However, the member is right to point out that welfare budgets are reserved to Westminster and that the welfare reforms are not of our making. From our limited budget, we have already made up the shortfall in council tax benefit, added £9.2 million to the Scottish welfare fund and invested £5 million in advice services and we will continue to consider all reasonable ways of lessening the impact of reforms such as the bedroom tax on Scottish households and our economy.
As I have said, the member is correct: these reforms are not of our making and we are doing what we can to mitigate their impacts. However, the reality is that those impacts are becoming greater and greater; no sooner do we plug one hole than another one opens. Mr Paterson is absolutely right. With its devolved resources, the Scottish Government does not have the money to mitigate all the welfare reforms or the bedroom tax.
The only way we can get rid of the bedroom tax--
Margaret Burgess: Let me finish. The only way we can get rid of the bedroom tax is by trying—as I have done again this week—to persuade the UK Government to abandon it. It is recognised throughout the chamber that the tax is wrong and not fair in any way. The other alternative is to vote yes in the 2014 referendum so that we can take charge of the benefits system.
To ask the Scottish Government how it will build on Scotland's relationship with China.
Answered by Humza Yousaf (09/01/2013):On 4 December 2012 the Scottish Government published Working with China, our new target driven high level strategy for engagement which sets out the Scottish Government’s ambitions in developing Scotland’s relationship with China over the next five years.
Question S4O-01572: Gil Paterson, Clydebank and Milngavie, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/11/2012
To ask the Scottish Government what the outstanding financial liability for all local authorities is of PPP/PFI contracts.
Answered by John Swinney (05/12/2012):
The total contracted unitary charge payments in respect of all ongoing local authority PPP/PFI projects from 2013-14 onwards is estimated to be £13.4 billion.
Question S4O-01515: Gil Paterson, Clydebank and Milngavie, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 14/11/2012
To ask the Scottish Government when it last met the UK Government to discuss the impact of proposed welfare reforms in Scotland.
Answered by Nicola Sturgeon (21/11/2012): < >The Minister for Housing and Welfare had an introductory meeting with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on 19 September 2012. Scottish Ministers continue to have ongoing dialogue and correspondence with the UK Government on a wide range of issues relating to the UK Government’s welfare reforms and the impact of these reforms on people and services in Scotland. Scottish Government officials also continue to meet regularly with their UK counterparts to discuss a wide range of welfare matters.
3. To ask the Scottish Government how it promotes telehealth across the country. (S4O-01461)
The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Alex Neil): The Scottish Government, working in partnership with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, is currently developing a national delivery plan for telehealth and telecare. I would be delighted to make that plan available to Gil Paterson when it is published next month.
Gil Paterson: Can the cabinet secretary clarify what is being done to ensure that national health service boards adopt e-health and telehealth systems for both cost and clinical benefits?
Alex Neil: The document “eHealth Strategy 2011-17” sets out the key e-health deliverables that NHS boards will take forward over the lifetime of the strategy. The strategy has six strategic aims, four of which are concerned with different clinical benefits and one of which deals specifically with realising efficiencies and savings. The Scottish Government currently provides funding of £17 million per annum to deliver those strategic aims. Activity on e-health is integrated with each health board’s planning and delivery cycle, and all local and national e-health investment is subject to regular monitorin
Note: This page contains both questions laid by Gil as MSP for West of Scotland (2007-2011, title starts "S3W/O") and Clydebank & Milngavie (2011-present, title starts "S4W/O")