Rona Mackay and MSPs meet health chief over Stobhill Hospital cancer unit

Rona Mackay and MSPs meet health chief over Stobhill Hospital cancer unit

THE CAMPAIGN to bring a chemotherapy unit to an East Dunbartonshire hospital has been stepped up by local MSP Rona Mackay and fellow MSPs from North Glasgow.

The delegation of MSPs, along with long-running campaigner Tom Herbert from Lenzie, met with Robert Calderwood, the chief executive of Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board to discuss the potential of bringing an outpatient chemotherapy clinic for certain types of cancer to Stobhill Hospital.

Rona Mackay MSP (Strathkelvin and Bearsden), Bob Doris MSP (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) and Ivan McKee (Glasgow Provan) made the case to Mr Calderwood on the desperate need for cancer treatments closer to the homes of people living in East Dunbartonshire and the north of Glasgow to avoid them having to make the tiring and stressful journey to the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.

Ms Mackay said: “We acknowledge that the Beatson will always be the centre of excellence for certain cancers and stages of the disease, but we stressed that equality of local care provision for patients was not being met at present. This facility is available at the New Victoria Hospital on the south side of Glasgow, which has an identical catchment area and demographic.

“While Mr Calderwood was not positive about his resolve to progress this facility, citing lack of clinical facilities such as an aseptic pharmacy at Stobhill, we now know a lot more about how we can move forward with the campaign.

“I will fight tooth and nail to get accessible treatment for my constituents and am currently researching ways of achieving the funding that is needed to make Stobhill fit for purpose. This facility should have been built in to the hospital from the start, but we are where we are and the campaign will continue.”

Renewal of free eye tests in Scotland welcomed by Rona Mackay MSP

Renewal of free eye tests in Scotland welcomed by Rona Mackay MSP

RESIDENTS of Strathkelvin and Bearsden are to continue benefiting from free eye tests.

Rona Mackay MSP has supported the move by the Scottish Government which said it has saved constituents money, improved health and helped detect more serious illnesses.

Health secretary Shona Robison also announced a review to consider the role that community eye services play within the wider NHS and whether more can be done to improve the level of care for patients.

It comes a decade on from the successful introduction of free NHS eye examinations, which has seen a 29 per cent increase in the number of tests carried out since 2006.

Over two million eye examinations a year are now carried out in Scotland, providing both a sight test and an eye health check that can identify treatable conditions at an early stage in their development.

Rona Mackay said: “It is vital we continue this good work to ensure people in Strathkelvin and Bearsden and indeed across the whole of Scotland have the best access to eye-care as they possibly can.

“The free service allows this easy access and helps improve public health and often discovers more serious illnesses long before they otherwise would have.

“I’m very thankful to the Scottish Government for this continuation and also to our hard working opticians and their staff who deliver this service on the ground.”

The review is set to report to Scottish ministers by the end of the year.


Notes to Editors

In 2006/7 the number of eye examinations carried out was approximately 1.51 million. In 2014/15 this had risen to 2.04 million.

Anyone who wishes to share their view on current community eye-care services in Scotland can do so by contacting the Review team by email at the following address:

More information is available on the Scottish Government website:


Rona Mackay speaks out as research shows impact of Brexit £11bn/year to Scots economy

Rona Mackay speaks out as research shows impact of Brexit £11bn/year to Scots economy


RONA Mackay MSP has raised concerns about the economic impact of Brexit to Scotland after new research was revealed.

Today, Scottish Government analysis drawing on research from a range of external organisations showed that leaving the EU could cost the Scottish economy as much as £11.2 billion per year by 2030.

The figures, which also showed Scotland’s public finances could fall by as much as £3.7 billion per year, are further evidence that in order to protect jobs and livelihoods across East Dunbartonshire, Scotland’s position in the EU must be maintained. The analysis points to damage to exports, reductions in investment and reduced economic growth as major concerns.

The Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP said: “This analysis by the Scottish Government makes it perfectly clear why it is absolutely imperative that Scotland’s position in the EU is secured. If not, then it is obvious that jobs, investment and growth will be threatened.

“To see that up to £11.2 billion could be lost from Scotland’s economy every year is very worrying indeed – and shows how unbelievably misguided the Tory government’s plans are.

“The towns and villages of Strathkelvin and Bearsden benefit massively from Scotland’s membership of the European Union, opening up markets and making it easier for businesses to invest in our skilled workforce. This research has shown that the only way to protect the economy of East Dunbartonshire is for Scotland to protect our relationship with the EU.

“The Scottish Government is quite rightly exploring all options in order to keep Scotland in the EU and to ensure that we are not dragged out against our will. It would be intolerable for this to happen, and the Scottish Government analysis shows the deeply damaging impact this would have on jobs, investment and prosperity in the constituency and across Scotland.”


Scottish Government research is available here:



MSP praises canal festival as vital ‘cultural and economic’ event to Kirkintilloch

MSP praises canal festival as vital ‘cultural and economic’ event to Kirkintilloch

KIRKINTILLOCH Canal Festival has been hailed as an iconic event by the town’s MSP.

Rona Mackay praised the event’s organisers and said the festival is “incredibly important” to Kirkintilloch.

The SNP MSP said: “It’s great to see the Kirkintilloch Canal Festival was such a success, as it is incredibly important to the town’s culture and economy.

“Well done to the organisers for making the programme of events run so well. It was great to see so many locals and visitors out and about enjoying themselves despite the disappointing weather.

“The festival is iconic and marks Kirkintilloch’s history on the watercourse very well – proving how the town really is the Canal Capital of Scotland.”

Kirkintilloch Canal Festival lasted a week, August 15 to 21. More information can be found about it online at:

VIDEO: Construction begins on Kirkintilloch facility for deafblind

VIDEO: Construction begins on Kirkintilloch facility for deafblind

CONSTRUCTION of a new facility for people living with deafness and blindness has begun in Kirkintilloch.

Rona Mackay MSP attended the official sod-cutting ceremony at the ‘Field of Dreams’ site by Deafblind Scotland on Tuesday, August 17.

The MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden praised the “tenacity” of the charity, which started fundraising in 2008 for the state-of-­the-art facility.

A video of the sod-cutting event has been uploaded to the Facebook page for Rona Mackay MSP, and can be viewed here.

Ms Mackay said: “It was a privilege to attend the construction opening ceremony of Deafblind Scotland’s new centre.

“The charity has worked so hard to get to this point and its members’ tenacity should serve as an inspirational to all. As their MSP, I’m so proud to represent such tireless campaigners.

“I wish Deafblind Scotland all the best for the future and look forward to the official opening ceremony of the building when it is finished.”

deafblind 4
Rona donned the hard hat and high-vis vest for the occasion.
deafblind 3
John Nicholson MP, Cllr Jim Gibbons and Rona Mackay MSP.

Ms Mackay has supported the project since she was elected in May and has met with charity representatives to discuss the benefits the new centre will bring

The work is being carried out by Clark Contracts, with the building expected to be finished by May 2017.

East Dunbartonshire economy should benefit from new government funding

East Dunbartonshire economy should benefit from new government funding

EAST Dunbartonshire’s economy could benefit from new government funding, Strathkevlin and Bearsden’s MSP has said. 
Rona Mackay welcomed the £100 million funding package to speed up health and infrastructure projects in Scotland on Wednesday, August 10. 
Ms Mackay also welcomed the establishment of a new service to provide information and support to businesses affected by the EU referendum. 
Projects will be assessed for accelerated funding against a range of criteria including how quickly work can start, the number of jobs that will be supported or created, the likely impact on the supply chain and geographic spread. 
Ms Mackay said: “People living in the constituency are my first concern here – we must protect the economy and secure their future.  There are multiple projects in the area I believe could potentially be included in this fund, such as the development of hubs and major roads. Speeding these projects up would certainly benefit the local economy.
“I’m glad to see the Scottish Government taking some initiative here — unlike the UK Government which has announced no such cash injection to the British economy. 
“The vote to leave the EU has seriously damaged the financial grit of the UK, and we’re doing what we can in Scotland to alleviate the harm to ordinary people.” 
East Dunbartonshire MSPs praise pupils and teachers on exam results

East Dunbartonshire MSPs praise pupils and teachers on exam results

EAST Dunbartonshire MSPs Rona Mackay and Gil Paterson have commented on exam results in the region announced yesterday.
In a press release to the media, the two MSPs heaped praise upon the pupils and staff for the results – read the Kirkintilloch Herald article here.
Rona Mackay, MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said: “A huge congratulations to school students and teachers in East Dunbartonshire. It is testament to their hard work that exam results continue to improve in the region.”
Gil Paterson, MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, said: “I am very pleased at these results, East Dunbartonshire is clearly a region of young achievers and talented teaching staff.
“I am proud to represent these young people in the Scottish Parliament and wish those moving on from school to new jobs, college and university all the best for the future.”
Measures to tackle child poverty welcomed by Rona Mackay MSP

Measures to tackle child poverty welcomed by Rona Mackay MSP

HARDENED measures to tackle child poverty in Strathkelvin and Bearsden have been welcomed by Rona Mackay MSP. 

On Monday, August 8, the Scottish Government launched of The Child Poverty Bill consultation.

The bill, which will be introduced next year, will build on the SNP’s existing work, and will form part of our overall approach to tackling poverty and inequality in Scotland.

The consultation was launched in Dundee where the Cabinet Secretary for Equalities Angela Constance visited a Summer Family Fun & Food Programme, which aims to tackle the free school meals gap out of term time by providing a range of activities and lunch for families in Dundee. They are aiming to supply 20,000 meals over the summer.

Ms Mackay welcomed the move, and told how the Scottish Government has a clear ambition to eradicate child poverty and this Bill will set the framework for making progress towards this goal.

She said: “Young people in East Dunbartonshire and across Scotland need the best start in life as possible — going hungry, living in poor housing and the illnesses and detriments associated with struggling under the breadline are nothing but a scourge on our society.

“I welcome the move by the Scottish Government and fully support the Child Poverty Bill, as this hegemony of having youngsters grow up without opportunity has to change.”

These next steps will build on the range of work the Scottish Government already has underway to tackle poverty and inequality, for example: a commitment to promoting the Living Wage; free school meals; expansion of funded early learning and childcare; the Scottish Attainment Challenge, supported by the Attainment Scotland Fund of £750 million over the parliamentary session; new duties to tackle inequalities of educational outcome experienced by pupils as a result of socio-economic disadvantage.

The consultation asks for comments on proposals to introduce four statutory income targets.

It also asks whether there are additional or alternative measures of poverty we should consider; and how particular elements of our approach – including our existing measurement framework and advisory structure – could be strengthened.

Visit for more information.

Rona Mackay MSP is looking for budding snappers in Strathkelvin and Bearsden for new monthly showcase

Rona Mackay MSP is looking for budding snappers in Strathkelvin and Bearsden for new monthly showcase

EAGER photographers are being called upon to showcase their work with Strathkelvin and Bearsden’s MSP.

Every month, Rona Mackay will pick and display up to three of the best photographs sent in by local snappers.

Rona Mackay MSP’s Snaps of the Month will begin in September 2016.

Part of supporting and promoting the arts around the constituency, the MSP will show off the talent of her constituents.

Winning snaps will be showcased on Rona Mackay MSP’s website and social media where she will comment on what makes the image stand out.

In the future, the MSP will be selecting the best to print and display in her constituency office in Kirkintilloch.

Ms Mackay said: “I want to help promote some of the best and beautiful sights in the constituency with some of the community’s camera-savvy constituents. It’s a fun way of celebrating Strathkelvin and Bearsden, and we will hopefully see some great snaps come in.”

rona camera
Rona is hoping to attract some great entries from around the constituency.

Photos can be of anything, but as long as they are taken within the constituency. Only one photo can be submitted per photographer, and it must include the following:

  • Name of photographer
  • Name of photograph
  • What/who is in the picture?
  • Where was it taken?
  • Why is this a good photograph?
  • When was it taken?
  • Contact phone number and email

Just to clarify, the rules are:

  • Photographer must live in Strathkelvin and Bearsden Scottish Parliamentary constituency
  • Photograph must be taken within Strathkelvin and Bearsden
  • One photo only can be submitted per month

Snaps must be submitted to Rona Mackay MSP’s email, – to be in for a chance at being featured in September 2016, send them in by August 31, or the last day of the month thereafter.

Rona Mackay MSP encourages constituents to take bowel screening tests this month

Rona Mackay MSP encourages constituents to take bowel screening tests this month

SNP MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, Rona Mackay has called on her constituents to take the potentially life-saving bowel screening test this month – part of a nationwide drive to encourage people to return their test as soon as they receive it.

The Scottish Government drive comes as latest figures have shown that, on average, 43,500 bowel screening tests have been returned in August, but some people are still delaying doing their test as this is 8,500 fewer than the average for October.

All adults aged 50-74 are invited to take part in bowel screening every two years in Scotland. The test remains the best way of finding bowel cancer early, when survival is 14 times more likely. The number of participants between November 2013 and October 2015 was over one million.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, Rona Mackay said:

“The bowel screening test is the best way to catch bowel cancer early. I urge all constituents who have been sent a test to do it as soon as they receive it – with it being 14 times more likely to survive bowel cancer when it is caught early.

“Over a million people completed the test between November 2013 and October 2015, which is an uptake of 57.5%. Whilst this is positive, the Scottish Government will always work to try and secure greater and earlier uptake, to ensure we find even more cancers as early as possible.

“Returning the test early really could be a lifesaver.”