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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 12 February 2009

Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.

The meeting opened at 9.10 am.

1. Oaths and Affirmations: Anne McLaughlin took the oath of allegiance before the Clerk.

2. Healthcare Associated Infections: Cathy Jamieson moved S3M-3428—That the Parliament welcomes the 15-point plan for tackling healthcare associated infections drawn up with the assistance of Professor Hugh Pennington and Professor Brian Toft and endorsed by the C.diff Justice Group, which represents the latest group of families to be affected by this problem; notes that the plan proposes a range of measures, including a revised target to reduce Clostridium difficile in hospitals by 50% by March 2011 compared with the current target of 30%; believes that comprehensive strategic action is required to tackle healthcare associated infections, and calls on the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing to implement this plan alongside other measures to combat healthcare associated infections and report regularly to the Parliament on the Scottish Government’s progress in tackling this issue.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing moved amendment S3M-3428.2 to motion S3M-3428—

leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“acknowledges the high priority that the Scottish Government is placing on tackling and driving down healthcare associated infection, backed by investment of £54 million; notes that a national action plan is in place and that a national reporting template has been introduced to ensure that NHS boards have the necessary policies and practices in place to drive forward improvements in areas such as governance, leadership and surveillance; further notes that NHS boards are now required to report publicly on hospital by hospital performance on MRSA and Clostridium difficile rates, environmental cleaning and the causes of adverse incidents; further acknowledges that a target of a minimum 30% reduction in Clostridium difficile rates by 2011 is in place and that there is a zero tolerance approach on hand hygiene; also notes that the Healthcare Associated Infection Task Force has been asked to consider implementation of the elements of the Labour Party’s 15-point plan not already underway, andfurther notes that the Scottish Government has agreed to progress the electronic bed management system supported by the Conservative Party and that the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing will report regularly to the Parliament on the progress being made on tackling healthcare associated infection.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 79, Against 45, Abstentions 3).

Ross Finnie moved amendment S3M-3428.1 to motion S3M-3428—

insert at end—

“and, given that the cabinet secretary has deemed the publication of the report of the independent review team on Clostridium difficile at Vale of Leven Hospital as not being prejudicial to the police inquiry, calls on the Scottish Government to establish a public inquiry immediately.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 62, Abstentions 2).

After debate, the motion as amended was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 63, Abstentions 0, motion as amended disagreed to on casting vote).

3. Housing: Mary Mulligan moved S3M-3427—That the Parliament notes the growing crisis in Scottish housing with rising numbers of repossessions, the continuing challenge of homelessness and the falling number of houses being built; calls on the Scottish Government to ensure the urgent and effective implementation of the accelerated spending programme, introduce a realistic housing association grant formula and negotiate with the housing association movement a range of flexible models of procurement, and further calls on the Scottish Government to examine, as a matter of urgency, alternative means of expediting the provision of land and infrastructure and the regeneration of communities.

Jamie McGrigor moved amendment S3M-3427.1 to motion S3M-3427—

insert at end—

“; welcomes the second-stage stock transfer to local housing associations in Glasgow; notes that housing stock transfer in Scotland would achieve £2 billion of debt write-off from HM Treasury, and therefore urges the Scottish Government to engage proactively with the 26 local authorities yet to transfer their stock with a view to effecting stock transfers to community-based housing associations and facilitating further investment in affordable housing in Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 33, Against 94, Abstentions 0).

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

4. General Question Time: Questions were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

5. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Alex Salmond).

6. Themed Question Time: Questions on Health and Wellbeing were answered by the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers.

7. Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill: The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Kenny MacAskill) moved S3M-3308—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill - Financial Resolution: The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Kenny MacAskill) moved S3M-3417—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any expenditure of a kind referred to in paragraph 3(b)(iii) of Rule 9.12 of the Parliament’s Standing Orders arising in consequence of the Act.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

9. Appointment of Junior Ministers: The First Minister (Alex Salmond) moved S3M-3431—That the Parliament agrees that Roseanna Cunningham, Alex Neil and Keith Brown be appointed as junior Scottish Ministers.

The Presiding Officer called amendment S3M-3431.1 (in the name of Murdo Fraser) to motion S3M-3431—

leave out “Alex Neil”.

The amendment was not moved.

After debate the motion was agreed to (by division: For 48, Against 0, Abstentions 79).

10. Committee Membership: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-3438—That the Parliament agrees that—

Maureen Watt be appointed to replace Roseanna Cunningham on the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee;

Linda Fabiani be appointed to replace Alex Neil on the Finance Committee.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

11. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 3, 7, 8 and 10 as noted above.

12. Scottish Coastal Path: The Parliament debated S3M-3095 in the name of Alasdair Morgan—That the Parliament welcomes the development of core path networks, which it believes can make a major contribution to both encouraging healthy exercise and attracting tourists to Scotland, and particularly welcomes those in the South of Scotland; considers that coastal paths have a particular attractiveness because of the beauty of Scotland's coastline; further considers that long-distance paths have a particular role to play in attracting walkers to undertake at least part of the journey along such paths; congratulates those councils that have already created and marked paths along all or part of their coastlines, and believes that the creation of a Scottish coastal path, marked and marketed as such, would be a worthwhile long-term objective and would provide a national asset.

The meeting closed at 5.37 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
12 February 2009

Appendix
(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 12 February 2009 and is subject to annulment

The Housing Revenue Account General Fund Contribution Limits (Scotland) Order 2009 (SSI 2009/43)

laid under section 331 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987