Tag Archives: Tayside

Petition launched to stop sale of so called “Legal Highs” in Angus

Angus Liberal Democrats have launched a petition calling on the sale of so called Legal Highs to end immediately. Following the news that the Montrose Evape-o-lution shop has been broken into for a second time, concerns have been raised that dangerous drugs are finding their way onto our streets.

The petition calls on the owners of the shops in Montrose, Arbroath and across Tayside to stop selling Novel Psychoactive Substances with immediate effect.

The petition can be found online by clicking here. If you want to share the address of the petition, Citi is http://bit.ly/StopLegalHighs

Montrose Legal High Shop after break in

There is no legitimate use of these products, which is why the UK Government has indicated that they will be banned in future. The owners should stop exploiting the vulnerable and stop selling them immediately.

With the Montrose shop is getting broken into repeatedly, these dangerous drugs are finding their way onto the streets and may lead to serious health issues for people living in Angus.

Lib Dem Montrose Cllr David May said,

“The shop was broken into twice today and this is at least the third time of being broken into. There is no doubt many of their products have been stolen. There are some very serious questions about security in the shop if the so called legal highs products can be removed so easily.”

“This is especially worrying as it is clear that the products so many of these types of shops sell are not safe and have led to deaths as well as real long term health problems for so many people.”

Campaign to end ‘lifetime’ NHS Consultant Bonuses gains support

During the 2010 General Election, I campaigned to scrap unfair, ‘lifetime’ bonuses within NHS Tayside.  I welcome the widening of the campaign to end the bonus culture within the NHS.

The Merit and Distinction awards are only available to the highest paid NHS staff, consultants, as part of their standard contract.  Shockingly, these are not one-off bonuses, but are added to consultants’ salaries, year after year, until they retire.  The NHS even increases their pension contributions accordingly.

It is expected that between 1/3 and 1/2 consultants will receive one of these bonuses during their career, worth up to £70,000 per year on top of their normal salary.  No such bonuses are available to other vital NHS staff such and nurses, junior doctors, cleaners or porters.  This is completely unfair and unjustified.

I am therefore delighted that the campaign is gaining wider support and the pressure continues to be applied.

Tavish Scott MSP, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, recently called for an end to consultant bonuses, saying:

“The [Scottish] Health Secretary is responsible for awarding £30 million of bonuses to the most highly paid personnel in the NHS – consultants.

“The payment of these bonuses is a totally devolved issue. There should be no payouts next year. People will find it an odd priority for the SNP to pay out £30 million in bonuses to those who are already the highest paid, while nurses are losing their jobs.”

Meanwhile, the issue is also creating waves in England, with a BBC investigation finding that a loophole means the bonuses continue to be paid, even when the consultants perform poorly:

Professor Alan Maynard, an expert in health policy at York University, was chairman of a local NHS trust for 12 years during which time he sat on the committee that handed out the awards. He said:

“They never get stopped, once they have them they have them for their lifetime. The system needs completely changing.

“The applicants provide very little information, but you can’t spend the money on anything else as it is earmarked for these awards. I would have preferred to spend it on providing more care.”

He said the evidence for performance-related pay was questionable anyway, but if there was to be an incentives scheme it should be much tougher.

Professor John Appleby, chief economist at the King’s Fund, agreed, saying:

“I think they are out of step with how the NHS should be paying staff. They should be abolished.”