Health and Sport Committee: 27th November

Health and Sport Committee
Scottish Parliament
27 November 2018
David questions a panel of experts on matters relating to the Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill


David questions Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, Minister for Public Health , Sport and Wellbeing on what assessment he has made of the Spanish system of organ donation.

NHS staff reveal their bullying and harassment experiences

There was a tremendous turn-out on Friday for the GMB, doctors’ and the whistleblowers’ meeting at Eden Court Theatre, highlighting alleged cases of bullying and harassment at NHS Highland.
There were some very harrowing stories told by victims which brought home a culture of bullying and harassment within the health authority.
“I was appalled and shocked by what I heard,” said MSP David Stewart, who represents the Highlands and Islands and is Labour’s Shadow Health Minister.
Already there have been 140 written statements taken from those with grievances. More are expected to come in after the announcement by the Scottish Government that the independent review into allegations will be conducted by John Sturrock QC giving people a safe place to tell their experiences.
Mr Stewart will be taking part in the Member’s Debate in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Tuesday November 27th) – the debate has been lodged by MSP Edward Mountain and is also supported by MSP John Finnie.
“Those coming forward to the review must now receive help and support to cope with what they have experienced,” said Mr Stewart.
NHS Highland is also to get extra support from the Scottish Government under emergency powers, a serious intervention according to Mr Stewart.
A transformation director will assist the board in planning and delivering the improvements necessary to restore financial balance and in implementing the governance arrangements which flow from a recent review commissioned by NHS Highland.
“As all this goes on it mustn’t be forgotten that our hard-working front line staff are still battling away and are highly regarded by the Highland community,” said Mr Stewart.
a change in culture.”

Job Opportunity – P/T Caseworker – Stornoway

Parliamentary Caseworker


Rhoda Grant MSP and David Stewart MSP (Highlands & Islands Region)


Parliamentary Caseworker – Based in Stornoway


The post of Parliamentary Caseworker is an interesting and varied appointment based in our regional office in Stornoway.


The post holder will be the first point of contact with local constituents and will be required to have good communication skills. The successful candidate will be expected to obtain information in relation to casework arising out of issues/concerns raised by constituents, conduct research and then progress enquiries by utilisation of the caseworker system.


The ideal applicant will be well organised, flexible, self-motivated, a good team player and able to work on their own initiative.


They will have demonstrable basic research skills along with strong written and oral communication skills.


Some knowledge and understanding of the Scottish media is desirable along with some experience of working with journalists.


They will need an awareness of the Scottish political scene, be IT literate and have experience of new media, including website content management.


Salary will be £21,633 per annum (pro rata) rising by increments to £23,673.


Hours are 17.5 per week.


Holiday entitlement is 30 days per annum (pro rata).


Closing date is 5pm on 17th December.


Successful candidates will be interviewed early in January 2019.


Unsuccessful candidates will be notified.


To apply, send a copy of your CV, along with a single A4 page supporting statement, demonstrating how you meet the requirements set out above to David Stewart MSP at or to: David Stewart MSP, 3 Gordon Terrace,Inverness,IV2 3HD.


Informal queries may be directed to David Stewart MSP or the Manager, Douglas Mackenzie at the above address. Telephone contact 01463 716299.


As an employer we are committed to promoting equality of opportunity and treatment and to eliminating unfair discrimination in our employment practices.





Person Specification Job Title – Parliamentary Caseworker


Responsibilities will include:


  • Gathering rapid, accurate and detailed information in relation to casework and other issues locally for inputting and progression via the caseworker system.


  • Assist in the preparation and delivering of briefings and updates for the MSP to assist in the preparation of speeches and Parliamentary Questions.


  • Assist in the preparation of press releases and have ability to undertake other media responsibilities.


  • Assist in the drafting of letters to interest groups and responding to enquiries, as required.


  • Liaising with other elected representatives in the constituency and beyond and with  colleagues in the Scottish Parliament and elsewhere.


  • Liaising with internal and external groups. Arranging appointments and diary management. Deputising for MSPs at meetings with groups or individuals.


  • Other duties in support of the MSP carrying out their parliamentary duties as required.






  • Some knowledge and understanding of different research methods


  • Knowledge and understanding of the Scottish political scene


  • Flexible approach with the ability to work unsupervised whilst working as part of a small team


  • Proven communication skills, both written and verbal


  • Strong organisational skills


  • The ability to form and nurture effective working relationships with internal and external stakeholders


  • IT literate with a good working knowledge of Word, Excel and Outlookpackages



  • Local knowledge


  • Understanding of local issues




Health and Sport Committee: 13th November 2018

Health and Sport Committee
Scottish Parliament
13 November 2018

Video 1: David’s series of questions as the Committee takes evidence on the Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill.

Video 2: Further questions raised by David on organ donation.

Highlands & Islands Drink Driver Figures

Highlands & Islands Regional MSP and Road Safety campaigner, David Stewart,  recently highlighted the issue surrounding the drink driver statistics in the Highlands & Islands (related to a four year period only) and he claimed it would be more beneficial if these figures were broken down to annual statistics. He advised that he was to contact Police Scotland by means of an FOI to ascertain the yearly breakdown of these figures which would then allow more meaningful analysis.


David said ” I have received a response to my FOI from Police Scotland advising that they will not provide the breakdown I requested, because the information can be sourced in the public domain. I have found the desired documents on line which reveal that the detections for drink driving in the Highlands & Islands for the year 2014/15 was 430. For the years 2015/16 it was 484,for 16/17 it was 409 and for 17/18 it was 484 the same as years 2015/16.


” My analysis of these statistics reveal that the introduction of a lower drink drive limit has done little to deter the drinker and driver. Four years ago in the Highlands & Islands there were 430 offenders detected. Last year for the same period that number jumped to 484, so the trend is upwards.


” To address this issue we have to look at other options such as alcohol ignition interlocks being fitted to new vehicles and mandatory rehabilitation programmes for those convicted of drink driving. Clearly we need to do more with regards education. In this regards I will be writing to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport asking what further measures the Government are taking to deal with the serious issue of drinking and driving because there clearly is a hard core of such people out there who are not listening and are a danger to other road users.

Switch Onto Safer Roads

Highlands & islands Regional MSP and road safety campaigner, David Stewart has highlighted an issue which seems to be occurring just around sunset and also around sunrise with drivers using their vehicles in poor visibility and not displaying their lights.


David said ” I am becoming more and more aware of drivers driving their cars in the twilight without displaying dipped headlights.


” The message is simple, Switch Onto Safer Roads


“You don’t use your dipped headlights just to see where you are going, you need to light up to also be seen. Drivers should not rely on daytime driving lights on new cars as they are illuminated at the front of the vehicle only.There is no point in driving along with daytime running lights only displayed if following vehicles struggle to see you.  I agree that before or around dawn or similarly at dusk or thereabout’ s, drivers can see the road and where they are going, but the light conditions are such that they should be lighting up. Today for example the lighting up times for the Inverness area is 07.55 and 16.05. Stornoway is 08.08 and 16.10,Shetland 0758 and 15.38 and finally Oban 07.55 and 16.15.


” I am appealing to drivers to use their dipped headlights whilst driving in any form of poor visibility. We used to say ‘See and be Seen’ this still applies, as does ‘Switch Onto Safer Road’s. This is the time of year we need to get this message across if we want our roads to be safer.




Lighting up hours are defined as the period of time during which drivers should turn on dipped headlights in order to be seen. This period normally starts half an hour after sunset and ends half an hour before sunrise. However, you do not need to look up the lighting up times to know when to switch on your lights. If your visibility is not 100%clear  then switch them on!


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Local Politician and road safety campaigner seeks answers to length of time car has been abandoned on A96

Highlands & Islands Regional MSP and road safety campaigner, David Stewart has contacted the trunk road operator, Bear Scotland, to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the abandoned collision damaged silver Vauxhall Corsa lying on the South verge of the A96 Inverness Road near Gollanfield.

David said ” I am told that this silver Vauxhall Corsa which has been involved in a collision, has been abandoned on the verge of the A96 Inverness – Nairn Road near Gollanfield for in excess of 10 weeks. All road users travelling this route are well aware of the vehicle. My understanding is that such vehicles could be moved at the time of the collision or shortly thereafter by the emergency services at the owners request. In these circumstances the Police for example would initiate the vehicle recovery scheme and the owner/driver would pay for the recovery. However, at the end of the day it is the owners responsibility to arrange removal of the damaged vehicle and not that of the Police.

” I am aware that this vehicle has been in situ for in excess of 10 weeks and I would have thought that in that time it would be classed as abandoned and it would have been removed by the Operating Company as per guidelines.

“I have today made contact with Bear Scotland to ascertain the reason that this vehicle is being left in situ and at the end of the day I would like them to expedite it’s removal from the verge of the A96, as clearly it is unsightly, succumbing to vandalism and giving those resident or visiting the area a bad impression. I understood that bear Scotland could remove the vehicle and claim expenses back from the owner.