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Summary

  1. MSPs take evidence from witnesses including FSB and the Scottish Retail Consortium on non-domestic rates
  2. Portfolio questions focuses on justice and the law officers and then culture, tourism and external affairs
  3. The Scottish Greens lead a debate on carers and social care
  4. SNP MSP George Adam leads this evening's member's debate on MS Awareness week

Live Reporting

By Colin Bell and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. 'We have a hugely professional and committed workforce within our NHS'

    Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell

    Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell pays tribute to SNP MSP George Adam and to others in the chamber.

    Ms Campbell says the government believes everyone living with MS should be able to access the support that they need.

    The public health minister says specialist nurses work within multi-disciplinary teams. 

    She says additional funding was provided for specialist MS nurses. 

    Ms Campbell says the number of specialist neurological nurses have increased and the government knows more needs to be done.

    She says "we have a hugely professional and committed workforce within our NHS."

  2. SNP MSP shares concern of MS specialist nurse shortages in NHS Lanarkshire

    SNP MSP Claire Adamson

    SNP MSP Claire Adamson says she shares the concerns of others on the shortage of specialist nurses at NHS Lanarkshire.

    Ms Adamson says she ha written to NHS Lanarkshire and believes that there should be clarity around how it plans to meet provision going forward. 

    Ms Adamson says her older sister who is 59 suffers from MS and explains the importance of the support that specialist nurses provide saying that "it is someone on the end of the phone".

  3. More research is needed in MS says Lib Dem MSP

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says more research is needed in MS. 

    Mr McArthur says there is a specialist nurse dealing with MS in Orkney. 

    The Lib Dem MSP says Orkney appears to be meeting the MS standard of provision but that is not to say more cannot be done. 

    He says pays tribute to Angela Montieth who campaigned and raised awareness of MS in Orkney, 

    Mr McArthur says Ms Monteith, who suffered from MS herself, sadly passed away recently but she left a lasting legacy. 

  4. Tory MSP pays tribute to his father's courage in living with MS

    Donald Cameron

    Tory MSP Donald Cameron refers to his father who has suffered from MS for 32 years.

    Mr Cameron says he was diagnosed at the age of 40 and this is the age that he is now.

    The Tory MSP pays tribute to his fahter's courage in living with the condition, saying, "I have never heard him complain".

    Mr Cameron says he has seen first hand how it can affect families and the challenges that sufferers face in everyday life.

  5. SNP MSP commends 'innovating and pioneering' MS research at Edinburgh University

    SNP MSP Ben Macpherson

    SNP MSP Ben Macpherson congratulates Dean Reilly who ran the London marathon at for the MS Society to raise awareness of his campaign Dean vs MS. 

    Mr Macpherson says it is important to celebrate the work at Edinburgh University to find a cure to this disease.

    "It is innovating and pioneering," he says. 

  6. 'We want to see independence in mobility'

    Green MSP John Finnie
    Image caption: Green MSP John Finnie

    Green MSP John Finnie congratulates SNP MSP George Adam on his work in the area and his positive outlook which, he thinks, "is an essential characteristic of a St Mirren fan". 

    Mr Finnie says "we want to see independence in mobility," adding that the challenges in bus travel are well known.

    He says there is a lot of partisan ground that recognise the real benefits that carers provide and today's earlier debate showed that.

  7. 'It is not acceptable that things have gotten to this stage'

    Labour MSP Monica Lennon

    Labour MSP Monica Lennon says she is concerned about the picture is NHS Lanarkshire.

    Ms Lennon says she is the first to defend the NHS but that she was very upset that NHS Lanarkshire had a go and accused unnamed people of scaremongering.

    The Labour MSP says she has emailed her concerns to NHS Lanarkshire and she has had a reply saying that remarks were not aimed at MS sufferers.

    "it is not acceptable that things have gotten to this stage," she says.

  8. Post update

  9. MSPs should listen to those who suffer from MS says Clare Haughey

    SNP MSP Clare Haughey

    SNP MSP Clare Haughey refers to Sharon saying she has the same responsibilities as many, working as a nurse and caring for a family but that she has MS.

    Ms Haughey says MS can be difficult when people do not understand it or expect her to constantly get worse.

    The SNP MSP says that Sharon was diagnosed when her son was four and he has grown up knowing his mum cannot do certain things.

    She says the MSPs should listen to those who suffer from MS and that she is also concerned by the lack of specialist MS nurses in Lanarkshire. 

  10. Background: Scottish universities to lead MS and MND research

    Scientist

    Scottish universities are to lead research into the debilitating neurological conditions multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease.

    Sixteen research programmes were announced in December to tackle the two conditions.

    MND is a rare condition affecting the nervous system, while MS causes the immune system to attack the lining of nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

    Training will be led by the University of Edinburgh, with involvement from Glasgow, Dundee and St Andrews.

    Three Phds into motor neurone disease and three which will research multiple sclerosis will be led by the University of Edinburgh.

  11. Call for a review of all specialist nurses in Scotland

    Tory MSP Miles Briggs
    Image caption: Tory MSP Miles Briggs

    Tory MSP Miles Briggs congratulates George Adam for his consistent campaigning on MS.

    Mr Briggs says he shares Mr Adam's concern about the number of MS specialist nurses in Scotland.

    He says he has called on a the government to carry out a review of all specialist nurses in Scotland.

    The Tory MSP calls for the implementation of Frank's Law to apply to MS sufferers under 65 years old as well as those with Alzheimer's. 

  12. Background: MS Trust

    MS Trust homepage

    Taken from the MS Trust website:

    "The MS Trust is a UK charity that believes that no one should have to manage MS alone. We provide trusted information to help people with MS live the best life possible; train and educate MS health professionals to offer the best care and fund MS nurses in the areas of greatest need."

  13. SNP MSP will continue to fight the case for specialist nurses in NHS Lanarkshire

    SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor

    SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor says MS is a lifelong neurological condition affecting 11,000 people living in Scotland. 

    Mr MacGregor says Scotland should take the lead in tackling this issue and he pays tribute to the health professionals that provide support. 

    The SNP MSP says he will continue to fight the case for specialist nurses in NHS Lanarkshire. 

  14. 'No matter what life throws at us it is not going to get us down'

    George and Stacey Adam
    Image caption: George and Stacey Adam

    Mr Adam says he understands that neurological standards are being reviewed at the moment.

    The SNP MSP says NHS Lanarkshire only had one MS nurse and that individual left to another MS specialist role.

    He says that the specialist nurses caseload is heavy because there are not many of them. 

    Mr Adam says there is no cure for MS but that research is advancing fast. 

    "No matter what life throws at us it is not going to get us down," he says.