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  1. MSPs quizzed further and higher education professionals
  2. Finance and the constitution; economy, jobs and fair work ministers were questioned
  3. The first minister made a statement on Scotland’s place in Europe
  4. MSPs continued debating the Scottish government’s programme for government 2016-17
  5. Scottish Conservative MSP Miles Briggs leads this evening's members debate entitled 'Opposition to Centralisation of Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery'

Live Reporting

By Colin Bell and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all for tonight


    That brings the live coverage of the parliament to a close for tonight.

    We'll be back tomorrow morning.  

    Have a good night.

  2. Minister insists consideration will be given to everybody's views

    Ms Campbell says the Scottish government is listening.

    Scottish Conservative Jackson Carlaw asks if the minister will come to parliament to make a statement having visited the centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    Aileen Campbell

    The minister says she will guarantee there is a mechanism that parliament is aware of the process of the decision making.

    She says the government will give consideration to everyone's views and will make the decision in due course.

  3. 'Lessons to be learned'

    Ms Campbell says a national cleft surgery service must be resilient and that is why one option is a collaborative three surgeon team.

    She says there are alternative options and the government is seriously considering all of them.

    The minister says work is going on to look at the differences in outcomes in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    Baby with cleft lip

    The online petition highlights the concerns and Ms Campbell says the changes only relate to cleft surgery, not support services.

    Mr Briggs ask about the impact of closure of the Edinburgh service on St Johns in Livingston.

    The minister insists the proposal is only about the surgery.

    She says there are concerns about the consultation process and says there are lessons to learned.

  4. Minister says closure proposal is only a recommendation at this time

    Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell pays tribute to Evonne McLatchie and the other campaigners in the audience.

    Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell

    Ms Campbell says to provide the best outcome for patients, there must be collaborative working across Scotland.

    The minister says the recommendation to consolidate cleft surgery in Glasgow has nothing to do with costs, it is about maintaining high standards.

    Ms Campbell reminds the chamber the closure proposal is only a recommendation at this time.

  5. 'Clear and compelling argument' to keep Edinburgh service open

    Conservative MSP Donald Cameron says this is a very emotive subject as can be seen by the thousands of submissions put forward by the campaigners. 

    Mr Cameron says he has a niece and nephew who were born with cleft palates and who have both been treated by the Edinburgh centre with great success.

    Conservative MSP Donald Cameron

    He says the Edinburgh centre is world class as is the surgeon there, Dr Felicity Mehendale.

    The Tory MSP says it is clear that there is support across the chamber for both sites in Glasgow and Edinburgh to remain open.

    He says: "There is a clear and compelling argument to maintain this important service."

  6. Green MSP highlights concerns about service closure

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone says she wants to highlight concerns about the decision to close the cleft lip and palate surgery services in Edinburgh.

    Ms Johnstone says she is concerned the service was not given a fair hearing by the appraising panel.

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone

    She says we cannot be sure moving to a single site service in Glasgow is the best solution.

    The Green MSP says Edinburgh's track record in the number of children having normal speech after surgery far exceeds that of Glasgow.

  7. Decision to centralise services in Glasgow has caused 'beumusement'

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay says the proposal to end the surgical service in Edinburgh comes against the backlog of huge financial pressure on the NHS.

    He says NHS Lothian alone has an £84m deficit.

    Neil Findlay

    Mr Findlay says this decision to centralise the cleft lip and palate surgery service in Glasgow has promoted complete bemusement.

    He says there are better outcomes in Edinburgh and asks why the decision has been taken.

    Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell says this is about the surgery, but support will continue locally.

    Mr Findlay insists the Edinburgh service should be valued and respected and he calls on the health secretary to intervene and reverse the decision.

  8. Plea to retain cleft services in Edinburgh

    SNP MSP Angus MacDonald says having to move from one health board to another is stressful and daunting for patients.

    SNP MSP Angus MacDonald

    Mr MacDonald says to relocate cleft services from Edinburgh undermines the well respected work of these surgeons who are held in high regard. 

    He ends by urging the cabinet secretary to retain the services in Edinburgh.

  9. Loss of Edinburgh centre of excellence would be a 'backward step'

    Mr Briggs says this is not an issue between Edinburgh and Glasgow rather it is about supporting two site model.

    It is also about maintaining a centre of excellence in Edinburgh, he says.

    He says its loss would be a "backward step".

  10. 'Unintended consequences'

    Mr Briggs says the Edinburgh unit is both prestigious and held in high esteem around the world.

    Miles Briggs

    The Tory MSP asks how embarrassing it would be if the unit closes.

    He says the unintended consequences have not been taken into account, including the increased stress on parents having to travel to Glasgow. 

  11. Cleft lip and palate surgery campaigners are welcomed to the chamber

    Scottish Conservative MSP Miles Briggs thanks his colleagues for supporting his motion.

    Cleft lip and palate surgery campaigners in the gallery
    Image caption: Cleft lip and palate surgery campaigners are in the gallery

    He welcomes cleft lip and palate surgery campaigners to the gallery and praises Evonne McLatchie, whose teenage son was born with a cleft, started the petition.

  12. Background to the debate

    Following a consultation earlier this year, NHS chief executives endorsed plans, to centralise the services in Glasgow.

    MSP Miles Briggs' motion to the parliament "expresses concern" at their decision.

    It highlights the worries of patients, parents and clinicians and calls on Health Secretary Shona Robison to "intervene and pause" centralisation plans.

    The move would allow further consideration and ensure that the "specialist expertise, knowledge and care" in Edinburgh is not lost.

    Baby with cleft lip
    Image caption: Almost 100 babies are born every year in Scotland with a cleft lip or palate

    Petitioners have warned that centralisation could hit east-coast families in the pocket, as they will have to travel to Glasgow for surgery.

    They claim it would impact on family life, cause childcare problems, and would be unfair on the patients themselves.

    Evonne McLatchie, whose teenage son was born with a cleft, started the petition.

    She said: "Centralisation is not in the best interest of any cleft patient in Scotland. The two sites single service must be given a true opportunity to work."

    The final decision rests with the Scottish government.

  13. Opponents of cleft lip surgery centralisation present petition ahead of debate

    Image caption: Ruth Davidson was among MSPs who met protestors outside Holyrood

    A petition opposing proposals to close cleft lip and palate surgery services in Edinburgh has been presented to the Scottish Parliament.

    Supporters of the 6,200-signature petition staged a protest outside Holyrood ahead of a parliamentary debate on the issue.

    They claim a consultation on plans to centralise cleft palate and lip surgery in Glasgow was a sham.

    The Scottish government said it had not yet made a decision on the matter.

    Almost 100 babies are born every year in Scotland with a cleft lip or palate.

    Surgery can help them talk and eat.

  14. We now move to today's member's debate...

    Scottish Conservative MSP Miles Briggs leads today's member's debate entitled: Opposition to Centralisation of Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery.

    Here is his motion... 

    Scottish Conservative MSP Miles Briggs member's business motion
  15. Education secretary says attainment will be the government's centrepiece

    The deputy first minister says there is a 40 year low in crime which should reassure the public as to the work of the police force.

    Mr Swinney says he has made good the proposals in the delivery plan to reduce teacher work load to enable them to raise attainment within Scottish education.

    Attainment will be the centrepiece of what the government takes forward, he says. 

  16. Minister determined to make sure a fair and respected system of social security is created

    Mr Swinney says the government is determined to make sure a fair and respected system of social security is created.

    The deputy first minister says the Conservative welfare reforms have widely damaged the disabled.

  17. Deputy First Minister happy that government officials acted responsibly in child abuse inquiry

    Deputy First Minister John Swinney says he wants to make it clear that he has looked very carefully at the role of Scottish government officials in relation to the child abuse inquiry and he is satisfied everyone has acted responsibly.

    Deputy First Minister John Swinney

    Mr Swinney says he appointed Lady Smith to chair the inquiry because it is a role that should be independent from the Scottish government. 

  18. Tory MSP calls for second independence referendum to be ruled out

    Mr Fraser says the best thing the Scottish government could do is rule out a second independence referendum.

    The Tory MSP says the first minister cannot make up her mind on this issue.

    He compares the first minister to the Grand Old Duke of York marching the troops up the hill and back down again on an independence referendum, after only promising draft legislation yesterday.

    The first minister intervenes and hits back saying the Better Together Campaign guaranteed membership of the EU.

  19. No to Indyref2

    Quote Message: A second independence referendum is the last thing Scotland needs. from Murdo Fraser Tory MSP
    Murdo FraserTory MSP