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Poisoning in Parliament

 

No, not a grand crime, but news from Scotland of an important development in child safety policy.

Earlier this year, Child Safety Week saw the first meeting of the Cross Party Group on Accident Prevention & Safety Awareness in the Scottish Parliament. Under the chair of Clare Adamson MSP Central Scotland and with RoSPA providing administrative support, the group has a wide-ranging remit and will take a broad view of child safety.

Cross Party Groups are a vital part of the workings of the Scottish Parliament, giving politicians from across the political spectrum an opportunity to sit down round a table with experts and find ways through policy in a collaborative not adversarial way.

Unlike the crunching 19th century machinery of Westminster, the Scottish Parliament has a good track record of finding innovative policy answers.
Clare Adamson, MSP Central Scotland explains:

“Meeting for the first time in Child Safety Week got the Cross Party Group off to a good start. I was joined by the Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell, who has both an interest in and responsibility for this topic. We are enormously encouraged by the attendance and enthusiasm for the subject.

“The first meeting was attended by over 50 people from a wide range of organisations. There was a strong input from the voluntary sector and the meeting heard from Katrina Phillips of the Child Accident Prevention Trust. We had strong representation from the statutory sector – particularly Local Authorities and Health Boards – and it was good to have private sector input from Bitrex.

“The main contribution was from Mr. Haytham Kubba, ENT Consultant at Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, who has done much to highlight the growing concern around liquitabs/ The presentation triggered an interesting debate concerning the need not only for good statistics to raise awareness among parents, but the need for innovative responses to reduce the risk.

“The Scottish Parliament has no power to legislate on the content of products, which are sold across the United Kingdom, but we can advise and suggest and we can certainly encourage and support good practice.

“I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the inaugural meeting and took time away from other activities in Child Safety Week. The Cross Party Group got off to a great start and I’m looking forward to the series of meetings.”

Photo, from left to right:
Katrina Phillips (Chief Executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust), Clare Adamson MSP (Convener of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Accident Prevention & Safety Awareness), and Cameron Smith (Bitrex Business Manager).