Scotland politics

Week ahead at Holyrood: Tayside mental health services statement

Carseview Centre
Image caption An inquiry was initially ordered into Dundee's Carseview Centre

Ministers will respond to the findings of the inquiry into mental health services in NHS Tayside on Wednesday at 1.30pm.

The report, published last month, concluded staff have been left "demoralised" by a "culture of fear and blame".

Ahead of its publication the Scottish government announced further support for the health board.

More than 50 recommendations were made in the report to repair a "breakdown in trust" between staff and management.

The investigation was initially ordered into Dundee's Carseview Centre but was expanded following a campaign by families of people who took their own lives.

An interim report last year highlighted concerns over illegal drugs in wards and patient restraints, saying some patients were frightened of staff members.

The final 136-page report said: "A breakdown in trust and a loss of respect has undoubtedly led to poor service, treatment, patient care and outcomes."

Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said she had received assurances that immediate action would take place as a result of the report and there would be a progress update in February 2021.

What else is happening at Holyrood this week?

Tuesday - council funding

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Image caption Cash for councils has been a central focus of recent budget negotiations

MSPs will debate council funding on Tuesday afternoon.

The Local Government Finance Order, which sets out what each individual council will receive for 2020-21, is the last procedural part of the budget to be voted on.

The Scottish government committed to a real-terms increase in revenue funding for councils, but the Conservatives and Labour have argued this is not enough.

After this debate, MSPs will consider the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner Bill at stage three. It will create a new post to oversee how personal information such as DNA, fingerprints and facial images is handled by police.

Topical questions and a debate on the accessibility of health information for blind people, led by SNP MSP Stuart McMillan, is also on the agenda.

In the morning, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman will be discussing medicine supply and demand with the health committee. Questions will cover the management of the budget for medicines, including clinical and cost effectiveness of prescribing.

Wednesday - childcare

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With the national entitlement to free childcare set to increase from 600 to 1,140 hours in August, the Scottish Tories will lead a debate on concerns about meeting this deadline.

Audit Scotland said last week that a major recruitment drive was needed and half the required building work was not yet complete.

The Scottish government said it was confident the deadline would be met.

Opposition parties have previously raised concerns about sufficient funding for the expansion and flexibility around nursery places.

Environment and rural economy ministers face portfolio question time before this debate. SNP MSP Linda Fabiani will lead a member's debate on the Great Daffodil Appeal in the evening.

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Image caption The two new ferries are expected to be three years late and £100m over budget

The delayed CalMac ferries continue to be the focus on the rural economy committee in the morning.

Caledonian Marine Assets Ltd, the Scottish government-owned body that owns the ships and other infrastructure used by the state-owned ferry operator CalMac, is giving evidence.

Former Ferguson owner Jim McColl has blamed CMAL for the problems with the ferries, insisting the body had made repeated design changes. CMAL emphatically rejects this versions of events and instead argues the shipyard started cutting steel too early.

Thursday - animal welfare

Image caption Police dog Finn was stabbed as he protected his handler from an attacker in 2016

Proposed legislation to strengthen animal welfare law will be debated by MSPs.

The Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) Bill aims to increase penalties for animal cruelty, as well as introducing Finn's Law.

Finn's Law, named after a police dog stabbed while trying to protect his handler from an attacker, makes it harder for those who harm service animals to claim they were acting in self-defence.

First minister's questions will take its usual slot at noon, followed by Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnson highlighting Scottish Apprenticeship Week. Transport ministers will also face portfolio question time.

We begin the day covering the Culture Committee evidence session with Screen Scotland.

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