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For Immediate Release


The only way to guarantee that we keep the UK pound is to vote to stay in the UK, Dr Richard Simpson said today.
The Scottish Labour MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife was speaking after a new report made it clear that the rest of the UK would be ‘highly unlikely’ to enter into a new, Eurozone style currency union with Scotland if we vote to leave the UK.

The report, from the Treasury, leaves the nationalists currency plans in tatters. This leaves Scotland facing the prospect of either having to adopt the Euro or launch a new currency altogether if we separate from the UK.

The nationalists have now started arguing in public about what their currency plan should be. John Swinney continues to push the ‘highly unlikely’ option of a currency union with the country we would have just walked away from, while Yes Scotland board member Patrick Harvie has called for a new currency to be created.

Dr Simpson said
“The nationalists plans on currency are in absolute tatters. They have spent years chopping and changing what their policy would be and now every option open to them has either been ruled out or is much worse than what we have at present.
“First of all they wanted the Euro, then they wanted us to join the ranks of countries such as Palau, the Marshall Islands and East Timor and not actually have a currency. Now they have asserted that the rest of the UK would be happy to enter into some kind of Eurozone style currency union with us, even although we had just told them that we didn’t want to be in the same country as them.

“The Nationalists are trying to do on membership of the pound what they did on membership of the EU or NATO – asserting that everything would be ok, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
“Alex Salmond is asking us to take a huge gamble with our money. The only way to guarantee that we keep the UK pound is to vote to stay in the UK.”


Notes to Editors
The full UK Treasury report can be found here –

Congratulations to NHS Fife

Immediate Release 24/04/13
Congratulations to NHS Fife

NHS Fife’s innovative work in reducing urinary tract infections associated with the use of catheters has been nationally recognised in the shortlist for this year’s Patient Safety Awards.

The awards singled out Shirley Magee, Clinical Effectiveness Facilitator, in the Infection Control and Hygiene Category for her work at NHS Fife. Building on previous work to create a system that helps staff and patients across services to minimise the risk of urinary infection caused by urinary catheters, staff now use a care bundle approach, a structured process followed when inserting and maintaining a patient’s catheter.

Piloted in community hospital wards, the success and learning from this initial work is now being spread across the whole organisation. The implementation of the new practice has reduced the number of infections, which in turn lessens other associated risks for patients.

Shirley said: “NHS Fife staff have worked hard and are committed to providing the best possible care to their patients. The introduction of the care bundles ensures that patients are given the right care, every time.

“Reducing these infections prevents other patient safety risks which can unnecessarily increase a patients’ length of stay.”

Dr Richard Simpson, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, and also Scottish Labour’s Public Health spokesperson said: “It is truly excellent to see such innovative working coming from within Fife’s NHS hospitals. I hope that this national recognition means their best practice will go on to help patients all over Britain, as well as those currently benefiting in Fife. I send my sincere congratulations to Shirley Magee, her team, and all at NHS Fife, and the best of luck for the final stages of the awards!”

The Patient Safety Awards are organised by the Nursing Times and Health Service Journal with the ceremony to be held at the beginning of July.


Stirling hosts Malawian MP

Immediate release

Stirling hosts Malawian MP

Scottish Labour’s Dr Richard Simpson, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, played host to Malawian MP Mr Kaphamtengo Yona as part of a pairing scheme run with the Scottish Parliament. Dr Simpson chose to use his day to show him part of the constituency, sampling industry, local governance and culture.

The group met with Johann Boyd the leader of Stirling council, Mike Robbins Stirling Provost and Craig Miller, head of Dr Simpson’s parliamentary office at the council chambers, and discussed some of the challenges facing the council at the moment. As a member of the Malawian Finance Committee, moentary balance was of particular interest.

They went on to visit the McRobert Art’s Centre at Stirling Universty as an insight into both culture and entertainment in Scotland, but also a brief chance to view our Higher Education system.

Mr Yona is also a farmer in Malawi and visited Graham’s dairy which is now the seventh biggest Dairy in Scotland. The group were given a tour by owner, Mr Robert Graham senior and Mr Yona commented;
“I was impressed by the dairy, especially the production of gold top jersey milk. The high level of protein in jersey milk could be valuable in my country.”

Dr Simpson also briefed Mr Yoni on the work he is doing with a volunteer, Robin Anderson, promoting Intercare, a charity which collects unused but in date medicines handed in to GP surgeries. These valuable medicines are dispatched on specific orders from clinics in sub-Sahara Africa, instead of being incinerated. Both elected representatives hope the project could be expanded due to the great benefits it could have in countries where medication is not easily accessed.