Online Virtual Hospital to Support Patients with Dementia

Motion S4M-08042: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 18/10/2013

Online Virtual Hospital to Support Patients with Dementia

That the Parliament understands that 30% of admissions to acute hospitals are of patients with dementia and that the turnover of such patients has increased with shortening lengths of stay; believes that dementia patients have additional care needs and welcomes the launch on 5 November 2013 of the University of Stirling Dementia Services Development Centre’s online virtual hospital, which has been designed by Robert Bosch to demonstrate the most up-to-date features available to support dementia patients; understands that it will include wards, a hospital entrance and a lift and will show how good design can help make an acute hospital setting dementia-friendly, and encourages all NHS managers, Health Improvement Scotland and Health Facilities Scotland to view this and, as part of the inspection process, to incorporate a requirement to upgrade to modern design.



Scottish Labour has today challenged the SNP Government on its record on colleges, with official figures showing the number of college students across Scotland falling by over 128,000 in the last five years.

According to figures from the Scottish Funding Council, women and those without any qualifications have fared particularly badly.

Figures show that in 2011/12 the number of students going to Forth Valley College, which has one of its campuses in Stirling, was over 3,900 less than in 2007/08.

Following cuts of over £50m to college budgets and the merging of local colleges into regional institutions, the college sector has faced huge pressure, leaving many in the sector concerned that this shift away from lifelong learning is leaving thousands of people without a chance to upskill or retrain for new jobs.

Labour MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, Dr Richard Simpson said: “We’ve known for some time that local colleges have been squeezed until the pips squeak by the SNP, but these figures are astonishing.

“The SNP have been in power for six years, but they still don’t seem to get how important colleges are to economic growth and Scotland’s skills-base. Despite all their bluster and rhetoric, slashing college budgets can only have one possible effect and that is seen here with thousands fewer people coming through their doors.

“And we shouldn’t forget either that Bruce Crawford, the SNP MSP for Stirling voted to slash college budgets, and many people in the area will quite rightly be asking what he is doing to represent them. They’ve rubber-stamped these cuts and as usual put independence and party interest ahead of people in Stirling.

Shadow Education Secretary Kezia Dugdale MSP said: “These figures are further evidence that there is no second chance with the SNP. With 1200 fewer staff and tens of thousands of fewer students, it’s clear the SNP has blithely wasted this potential and rightly they are on the hook for it.”




Notes for editors


  1. Statistics come from Scottish Funding Council’s online Infact database –
  2. John Henderson of Colleges Scotland told the Education and Culture Committee on Tues 1 Oct: “…we seem to have retreated from colleges’ role in lifelong learning … We know that people’s lives change and that the economy changes, and yet we no longer seem to have the capacity in the college system to respond to those changes.” –



Health Committee in parliamentary first as they hold ‘ask the Health Secretary’ session

 Health Committee in parliamentary first as they hold ‘ask the Health Secretary’ session

What one health policy question should the Health Committee ask the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing?

In this innovative ‘ask the Health Secretary’ session, members of the public are being asked to submit their most pressing health policy question via the web, Twitter and Facebook.

Members of the Committee want to make sure their questions reflect those health policy issues that are of concern to people from across Scotland. A selection of these questions will be put to Cabinet Secretary Alex Neil MSP during an evidence session on 12 November 2013.

Convener of the Committee, Duncan McNeil MSP said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity that gives a platform to people from across Scotland. This is their chance to influence and direct the Committee to question the Cabinet Secretary on issues that matter to them.”

Richard Simpson MSP, member of the Committee and MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife said:

“Our Committee wants to know about the health policy issues affecting people across Scotland. By asking the public for their questions to be put to the Cabinet Secretary, we can ensure that we not only ask the questions that matter but get the answers that count.”

Members of the public can submit questions for the Committee to consider via Twitter using the #askhealthsec, on the Scottish Parliament’s Facebook page or on our website by 20 October 2013.



More information about how to submit a health policy question can be found here:

A number of questions will be selected to be read out by members during the meeting.  Committee members will then have the opportunity to ask supplementary questions of the Cabinet Secretary, digging deeper into the key issues.

The deadline is 20 October 2013.

This is the first time that a Scottish Parliament Committee has used social media to ask for questions that will inform the Committee’s questioning of the Scottish Government.


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