Category Archives: Parliamentary Event


©Iain McLean/cystic fibrosis trust

Richard Simpson MSP, Labour representative for Mid Scotland and Fife had their lung function tested to see how their result compared with someone with Cystic Fibrosis to highlight the devastating impact of the disease.

The event, held on 16th May organised by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, indicated to parliamentarians first hand how Cystic Fibrosis damages the lungs. The average lung capacity for an adult with Cystic Fibrosis is just 65.1% compared to someone without Cystic Fibrosis that would achieve results of 80% or more.  Mr Simpson achieved 97% on their spirometry test coming in 10th place amongst their fellow MSPs.

Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive disease with the average age of death for a person with CF of around 29 years old.  Despite this, because of advances in treatment and access to clinical expertise, many people with CF are living longer than ever before.

Richard Simpson MSP said:

“I am delighted to attend the event to show my support for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Having my lung function tested has shown me how much more effort people with CF have to make just to take a breath. I can see how arduous the burden of treatment is to try to stop lung function from declining. It highlighted to me just what a battle it is living with this condition that claims two young lives a week”.

Cystic Fibrosis is one of the UK’s most common inherited conditions, affecting over 9,000 babies, children and adults. CF is caused by a faulty gene that causes the lungs, digestive system and pancreas clogging them with a thick sticky mucus.

Claire Francis, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at the CF Trust said:

“Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that is difficult to comprehend as people with the condition can look healthy and active. Through our events in and around Cystic Fibrosis Week 2012 we hope to show politicians how the disease affects the body and how important daily treatment and expert care is to help people live longer lives and improve their quality of life.

“People with Cystic Fibrosis don’t get a second chance once the damage is done. Providing the best quality of care is crucial to maintaining lung function.

Indeed, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust is aware of worrying trends that amount to real-time cuts to Cystic Fibrosis services across the UK – to specialist nursing, physiotherapy and dietetics – that risk stalling the amazing progress that has been made. To ensure this doesn’t happen, we are calling on the Scottish Government to ensure Cystic Fibrosis services are adequately resourced with appropriate bed capacity suitable for people with Cystic Fibrosis”.

Cystic Fibrosis Week, which runs each year from the end of April to 1st week in May. More information can be found at


Dr. Richard Simpson Calls For Standards for Better Prostate Cancer Care

Dr Richard Simpson, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Constituency, has expressed support for a national set of standards of quality prostate cancer care.

After a wide-ranging consultation with people affected by prostate cancer, The Prostate Cancer Charity has compiled a draft set of standards that set out what good quality care looks like.  The Charity is calling on men who have been affected by prostate cancer and their partners, as well as healthcare professionals, to provide feedback on the draft to ensure it accurately reflects the needs of men.

Once finalised, The Prostate Cancer Charity will be asking the Scottish Government to implement the standards across the country, to ensure that men will have the same expectations of care wherever they live.

Dr Richard Simpson MSP said, “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Scotland, which is why I believe it’s essential we know exactly what people affected by the disease require and expect from our health service.

“I am therefore delighted to back calls for national standards of care, and would urge anyone with direct or indirect experience of the disease to feed back on The Prostate Cancer Charity’s draft document. Men everywhere deserve quality prostate cancer care, and delivering that is what this initiative is all about.”

Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: “It’s fantastic that Dr. Richard Simpson has backed our call, and look I forward working with him over the months ahead to make this a reality.

“We need national standards of quality prostate cancer care to ensure that healthcare providers and NHS staff know exactly what services and level of care they should be providing to patients. We also need to ensure that men who have, or are concerned about, prostate cancer know exactly what level of care and support they are entitled to receive.

“Before we finalize our standards we need to be absolutely clear that they reflect what men with prostate cancer want – which is why we want to hear from as many people with experience of the disease as possible.”

To view and feedback on The Prostate Cancer Charity’s draft standards of quality prostate cancer care visit:

Alternatively, to receive a hard copy by post, please call 0141 314 0050

Visit From St Mary’s Primary School

Last week St Mary’s Primary School in Dunblane came to visit the Parliament. Part of the visit involves the opportunity to speak with some of their MSPs.

In attendance were my Colleagues Willie Rennie, Murdo Fraser and Keith Brown. I think they will all agree that these pupils presented some excellent questions. They were well informed – questioning independence, MSP pay, job satisfaction and a variety of other concepts. All-in-all it made for a very interesting debate.

I thank St Mary’s for what was a very good visit and encourage any other schools in my Region to come and visit.