Dumfries & Galloway Labour


Recent Activity

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth is backing the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in
its efforts to pass its £200m fundraising total.

The South Scotland MSP is taking part in Macmillan Cancer Support's leading
fundraising event this week, and wants local people to get involved.

Mr Smyth said: “Everyone knows someone who has had a cancer diagnosis and the
huge challenges that can bring to them and their friends and family. Macmillan are
always there to support people in our area in their hour of need.

That’s why I’ll be attending coffee morning’s in Parliament and in my South Scotland

constituency this week and I’d urged local people to do the same. It's an easy, fun way

to raise money for Macmillan, and every penny people raise goes to support people with cancer.”

MacMillan’s Head of Policy, Campaigns and Influence Kate Seymour (pictured with
Colin Smyth MSP) said:

“We are extremely grateful for the support of our MSPs and
hope it will encourage others to host or attend a coffee morning.”

Last year thousands of people across the UK took part in a Coffee Morning event,
raising around £29.5m for Macmillan.

This year the total raised by Coffee Morning since it began in 1991 will pass the
£200m mark.

The official day for World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is Friday 29th September but you
can hold your own event at a time to suit you.

It couldn’t be more simple to get involved - all you need to do is get together with
family, friends or colleagues over coffee and cake. You can register now for your free
fundraising pack via the website - www.macmillan.org.uk/coffee - or you can find a
Coffee Morning near you to get involved in."



For further information, please contact:
Rosemary Free, Communications Officer Macmillan Cancer Support
0131 260 3720 (out of hours 07711 591683)

Colin Smyth MSP raises a cup for £200m charity fundraiser

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth is backing the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning inits efforts to pass its £200m fundraising total.

Colin Smyth, South of Scotland MSP has today (5th Sep) has criticised the Scottish Government after the latest NHS waiting time figures revealed “unacceptable” waiting times for patients to see a psychological therapist in Dumfries and Galloway.

Figures released by ISD Scotland show that in Dumfries and Galloway only 69.7% of patients are seeing a mental health therapist within 18 weeks- well below the target of 90%.

Of the 727 patients seen, just 507 were seen within the target of 18 weeks meaning 220 people had to wait over 18 weeks just to be seen.

The problems do not stop there as it is estimated that there are still 1074 on the waiting list to be seen in Dumfries and Galloway when last counted on 30 June 2017.

Commenting on the latest figures, Shadow Health Minister Colin Smyth MSP said:

“The latest waiting time figures for people to get support are completely unacceptable.

Again and again people are calling for the Scottish Government to take mental health issues seriously, yet waiting times continue to grow.  

In a rural area such as here in Dumfries and Galloway we need to ensure services are available to people who need them wherever they live in the region. Having to wait over 18 weeks to just be simply seen by a psychological therapist truly shocking.

The SNP Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt is failing to deliver for the people of Dumfries and Galloway. The longer waiting times go unmet in our region, the more it looks like the SNP government is simply paying lip service to mental health rather than giving it parity with physical health.

It is about time the SNP Government put urgent plans in place to ensure mental health is a higher priority for the Government and patients are able to to access services they need.”


Colin Smyth, South of Scotland MSP has today (5th Sep) has criticised the Scottish Government after the latest NHS waiting time figures revealed “unacceptable” waiting times for patients to see a...

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has called for Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership to come clean over whether they intend to commission a care and nursing home in the Esk Valley.

The partnership’s Integrated Joint Board (IJB) agreed at their meeting on 29 November 2016 to approve the commissioning of a detailed business case proposal for a range of services on a single site including very sheltered housing, a bed based facility which would include residential and nursing care places, communal areas to be shared by very sheltered housing tenants and care home residents, day care in the communal areas, a therapy area for use by a range of services, central shared administration and a health centre within the development.


The report to members of the IJB in November stated that “Taking into account the current use of Thomas Hope Hospital, the number of people from Esk Valley in residential care and the potential to develop alternative new ways of supporting Older Adults, the Esk Valley report has suggested that a combined residential and nursing facility of between 22 to 26 beds could meet the needs of Older Adults in the future. This would allow for a notional split of 6 nursing beds and 16/20 residential beds”


The report to IJB members in November also went on to say that it was anticipated that this business case “will be completed by April 2017” but to date no case has yet been brought before the IJB.


Since then it has been reported that the minutes of the Esk Valley Project reference group state that since last November, the situation has changed and that Gary Sheehan, the Health and Social Care Partnership’s Annandale and Eskdale locality manager has indicated that as a result of budget restraints there are now no plans to commission residential and nursing places, despite no such decision being made by the board.


South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has written to the Health and Social Care Partnership’s Chief Operating officer Julie White urging then Partnership to come clean with local people over whether the plan for a acre and nursing home has been ditched.


Colin Smyth said, “Everyone was under the impression that agreed way forward by the Health and Social Care partnership was to create a range of services on a single site including residential and nursing care places. In fact the partnership itself concluded that there is a need for between 22 and 26 such places. There is not only a lot of frustration locally that despite a commitment to complete a business case on the matter by April, nothing has so far come forward but also growing concern that the partnership may be about to renege on previous commitments. I have written to the partnership asking them to come clean with the local community as quickly as possible and let them know what their plans are, which hopefully is to stick to the original commitments. Everyone appreciates that the austerity measures from Government are putting huge pressures on health care budgets and finding the funding needed for new developments, whilst at the same time having to make big cuts, will be very challenging. But proposals to deliver residential and nursing care provision in the Esk Valley are long overdue and are crucial to ensure people don’t have to leave the area when they need care”.


Annandale East and Eskdale Councillor Archie Dryburgh said, “The plans to reshape health and social care for the Esk Valley have been developed over a long period of time and it has been a challenging process to get to the stage we are now. I would be deeply disappointed if there was any watering down of the plans at this stage because a lot of stakeholders have been involved and we reached what everyone thought was an agreed way forward. It’s important for the health and social care partnership to stick to their initial commitments and to let the community know what the position is as soon as possible. As a local councillor I’m certainly committed to delivering our vison for improved health and social care for the people of Esk Valley.” 


South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has called for Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership to come clean over whether they intend to commission a care and nursing home...

View More News

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.