Saturday, 10 March 2018

in solidarity with Peter Gordon's #SunshineAct for Scotland protest @ScotParl 22 March 2018

Two years of no sunshine: Hole Ousia blog post, Dr Peter Gordon:

"On Thursday 22nd March 2018 I will be standing outside the Scottish Parliament with this banner.

This will be a peaceful, one-man protest, two years to the day that my petition for a Sunshine Act was closed. My petition closed on a most positive finding: that the Scottish public, in an official consultation (by the Scottish Health Council) concluded that declarations of competing interests should be mandatory and recorded centrally in an open register.

I was hopeful that the campaign on Realistic Medicine might have encouraged some action before now as the issue of competing interests has been part of a number of health inquiries

However it is now two years on and the Scottish Government has provided no meaningful update. This is the reason for my protest."


I've supported Dr Peter Gordon and his Sunshine Act Petition since September 2013 when first submitted:
Sunshine Act Petition link

Here are blog posts I wrote in support of Dr Gordon's Sunshine Act for Scotland, I also spectated at Public Petitions Committee Meetings when his Petition was being discussed:

24 March 2016: #SunshineAct for Scotland: mandatory publication of payments to healthcare professionals from industry 

17 March 2016: Dr Peter J Gordon's feedback @ScotParl on his Sunshine Act for Scotland Petition: closed 8Mar16 

8 March 2016: Sunshine Act for Scotland Petition closed by @ScotParl 8Mar16: passing the buck @scotgov 

29 January 2016: at Public Petitions Committee Meeting @ScotParl 26Jan16 to hear Sunshine Act for Scotland PE1493 

22 January 2016: A Sunshine Act for Scotland Petition PE1493: 26 January 2016 Robert Burns Room @ScotPar

9 February 2016: "it is impossible for anyone to establish the scale of competing financial interests" #SunshineAct for Scotland 

9 January 2016: A Sunshine Act for Scotland Petition@ScotParl: Why no reference to Scottish Health Council Consultation?

9 June 2015: Dr Peter J Gordon's Sunshine Act for Scotland petition considered 9Jun15: @ScotParl to write to @scotgov

"I attended today's Public Petitions Committee meeting to hear the Sunshine Act for Scotland Petition PE1493 by Dr Peter J Gordon being considered by government ministers, for the 5th time."


8 June 2015: A Sunshine Act for Scotland PetitionPE1493 by Dr Peter J Gordon: under consideration 9 June 2015 @ScotParl 

23 April 2015: my#BMJ Response: 'Sunshine Act for Scotland: transparency, independence andaccountability' 

31 March 2015: A Sunshine Act for Scotland petition at Scottish Parliament 31 March 2015 

18 March 2015: 31 March 2015: Sunshine Act for Scotland Public Petition PE1493 @ScotParl.Again. I'm looking for action.
16 March 2015: Reblog: 'A Sunshine Act for Scotland' posts by Dr Peter J Gordon with Petition history, written Submissions & #omphalos Films 

28 January 2015: my tweets after watching #SunshineAct forScotland petition being discussed on @ScotParl video 27 January 2015

24 January 2015:Reblog: 'NHS Boards are not following existing guidance' by Dr Peter J Gordon #SunshineAct

23 January 2015: Sunshine Act for Scotland Petition GoesBefore Parliament a 3rd Time 

10 January 2015: Scottish Parliament Petitions? I wouldn't bother. Government ministers have not acted in respect of the Sunshine Act Petition. They don't have the nerve.

13 November 2014: Sunshine Act for Scotland petition Dr Peter J Gordon, Public Petitions Committee 11 Nov14 Scottish Parliament (outcome? ask Scottish Government)

"I was there to hear the proceedings, punctuated by a Remembrance Day commemoration in the Garden Lobby of parliament at 11am, and then at around 12 noon the topic came up.  It took two minutes mention of contacting Scottish Government to ask about the NHS Circular HDL (2003) 62 (Registers of Interest) progress.  My thoughts?  Swingball.  Pass the buck."

Waverley Station, Edinburgh 11Nov14
on Scottish Parliament building Royal Mile

Rebecca Ferguson - Superwoman

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

"I have declined your request to attend (Mental Health event)" #KennyMurphy, CEO Fife Voluntary Action

Emails received late afternoon from Fife Voluntary Action:

"Dear Chrys,

This is an automated e-mail from Fife Voluntary Action about your request for a place at the following event/session:

Help us shape mental health and employment services in Fife, Cupar, 15/03/2018 - Volunteer House

Unfortunately we have had to decline your request on this occasion.

This is normally done when you don't meet the criteria (for example, if the event is only for board members, or third sector staff, or there's a limit to the number of bookings from each organisation). There can be a range of reasons for declining booking requests. Sometimes, people accidentally book more than one place, so we decline any duplicate requests. If you'd like more information then please do contact us.

Thank you once again for showing an interest in one of our events.

Thank you,
The Team at FVA.

and from Kenny Murphy, Chief Executive


This raises a number of questions about Fife Voluntary Action in respect of governance, management, leadership, transparency, inclusion, equal opportunities, discriminatory practices, monitoring and evaluation of funding awards in relation to processes and outcomes etc.

I have Emailed Dr Margaret Hannah, Director of Public Health, NHS Fife, to ask for information about FVA funding and governance, as it was Dr Hannah who informed me of this event and recommended that I should attend.  And have copied in relevant others, including Fife Councillors who I know, my MSP and MP.

I plan to attend the 'Help us shape mental health and employment services in Fife' event in VONEF, Cupar, disregarding the unreasonable response from Mr Murphy. 

Monday, 26 February 2018

'Fight to outlaw the drugging of care home patients nears victory' #HunterWatson @pressjournal 26Feb18

'Fight to outlaw the drugging of care home patients nears victory' Hunter Watson article, in The Press and Journal, 26 February 2018, by Ben Hendry

"Hiding drugs in the meals of care home residents could soon be made illegal as an Aberdeen campaigner’s 20-year crusade nears completion.

Under present rules, carers are able to conceal anti-psychotic medicine in the food and drink of patients as a means of keeping them sedate.

Retired lecturer Hunter Watson has branded it a “disgraceful” human rights breach, and his plea for change will be heard by the Scottish Parliament this week.

His campaign was sparked after his mother was admitted to a care home with dementia, and was secretly drugged by staff.

On Thursday, the Holyrood Public Petitions Committee will look at Mr Watson’s call for a “wide review” into mental health legislation.

He said: “I’m greatly concerned by what goes on in care homes.

“That people can be medicated against their will, and without their knowledge, is an absolute disgrace and goes against their human rights.”

The petition has received backing from the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland and Scottish Human Rights Commission, which has given Mr Watson more hope that legislation will be brought in outlawing the practice.

He also believes people should be allowed to make “advance decisions”, while they have the mental capacity to, on the type of treatment they wish to receive in later life.

“I should be able to make the decision that, if ever I am in care home, then I must not have drugs concealed in my food and drink,” the 82-year-old added.

“If that becomes law, then I can ensure that doesn’t happen to me.”

A spokesman for the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland said: “We agree that, in the next three to five years, there should be a coherent, systematic and thorough process to review the legal framework in Scotland for non-consensual care and treatment, to ensure it remains effective and in line with developing human rights standards.”

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has also offered support, noting concerns around “covert medication, chemical restraint and forcible treatment”.

Mental health minister Maureen Watt stressed that the current system is compatible with human rights laws, but a review is underway into how it can be improved.

She said: “The Scottish Government is committed to creating a modern, inclusive Scotland which protects, respects and realises internationally recognised human rights.”