25/05/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


With Gary Robertson. Andrew Neil is joined by communities secretary Eric Pickles, Labour MP Diane Abbott and Ukip's Patrick O'Flynn to discuss the local and European elections.

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Good morning and welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Senior Liberal Democrats say the public has lost trust in Nick Clegg.


They call for him to go after Thursday's local election meltdown


and before a likely Euro vote catastrophe tonight.


That is our top story. Labour and Tories struggle to cope


with the UKIP insurgency as Nigel Farage toasts his party's success


and declares the UKIP fox is in the Westminster henhouse.


And we all have to eat, but should politicians wait until the cameras


are switched off? Coming up on Sunday Politics


Scotland. After the fire in the landmark Mackintosh Building at


Glasgow School of Art, we'll speak live to the Culture Secretary Fiona


Hyslop. hour.


Cooped up in the Sunday Politics henhouse, our own boot should --


bunch of headless chickens. Nick Watt, Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh. The


Liberal Democrats lost over 300 councillors on Thursday, on top of


the losses in previous years, the local government base has been


whittled away in many parts of the country. Members of the European


Parliament will face a similar comment when the results are


announced tonight. A small but growing chorus of Liberal Democrats


have called on Nick Clegg to go. This is what the candidate in West


Dorset had to say. People know that locally we worked


incredibly hard on their councils and as their MPs, but Nick Clegg is


perceived to have not been trustworthy in leadership. Do you


trust him? He has lacked bone on significant issues that are the core


values of our party. This is how the party president


responded. At this time, it would be foolish


for us as a party to turn in on ourselves. What has separated us


from the Conservatives is, while they have been like cats in a sack,


we have stood united, and that is what we will continue to do. The


major reason why is because we consented to the coalition, unlike


the Conservatives. We had a vote, and a full conference.


Is there a growing question over Nick Clegg's leadership? Different


people have different views. My own view is I need to consult my own


activists and members before coming to a conclusion. I am looking at


holding a meeting for us to discuss the issue. I have been told by some


people they do not think a meeting is required, they think he should


stay, and other people have decided he should go. As a responsible


Democrat, I should consult the members here before coming to my


conclusions. What is your view at the moment? I have got to listen to


my members. But you must have some kind of you. Because I have an open


mind, I do not think he must stay, I am willing to say I have not made my


mind up. From a news point of view, that is my official position. I can


assure you there is not much news in that! I said earlier I am not going


to say he must go must stay, I am consulting my members. But you must


have some kind of view of your own before you have listened to your


members. There are people who are wrongfully sanctioned and end up


using food banks, I am upset about that, because we should not


allow... I do not mind having a sanctioning system, that I get


constituents who are put in this position, we should not accept that.


I rebel on the issue of a referendum on membership of the EU. I am also


concerned about the way the rules have been changed in terms of how


parents are treated in their ability to take children to funerals out of


school time. There are questions about the leader's responsible T for


those policies. Nick Clegg has made it clear he is a staunch


pro-European, he wants the Liberal Democrats to be in, he does not want


a referendum, if you lose a chunk of your MEPs tonight, what does that


say about how in June you are with written public opinion? There are


issues with how you publish your policies. I do not agree 100% with


what the government is doing or with what Nick Clegg says. I do think we


should stay within the EU, because the alternative means we have less


control over our borders. There is a presentational issue, because what


UKIP want, to leave the EU, is worse in terms of control of borders,


which is their main reason for wanting to leave, which is strange.


There are debate issues, but I have got personal concerns, I do worry


about the impact on my constituents when they face wrongful sanctions.


You have said that. A fellow Liberal Democrat MP has compared Nick Clegg


to a general at the Somme, causing carnage amongst the troops. I am


more interested in the policy issues, are we doing the right


things? I do think the coalition was essential, we had to rescue the


country from financial problems. My own view on the issue of student


finance, we did the right thing, in accordance with the pledge, which


was to get a better system, more students are going to university,


and more from disadvantaged backgrounds. But there are issues.


But Nick Clegg survive as leader through till the next election? It


depends what odds you will give me! If you are not going to give me is,


I am not going to get! If you listen to John hemming, he has got nothing


to worry about. He does have something to worry about, they lost


300 seats, on the uniform swing, you would see people like Vince cable


and Simon Hughes lose their seats. But nobody wants to be the one to


we'll be nice, they would rather wait until after the next election,


and then rebuild the party. Yes, there is no chance of him walking


away. Somebody like Tim Farron or Vince Cable, whoever the successor


is, though have to close the dagger ten months before an election, do


they want that spectacle? If I were Nick Clegg, I would walk away, it is


reasonably obvious that the left-wing voters who defect had


towards the Labour Party in 2010 will not return while he is leader.


And anything he was going to achieve historically, the already has done.


Unlike David Miliband, sorry, Ed Miliband or David Cameron, he has


transformed the identity of the party, they are in government. Had


it not been for him, they would have continued to be the main protest


party, rather than a party of government. So he has got to take it


all the way through until the election. If he left now, he would


look like he was a tenant in the conservative house. What we are


seeing is an operation to destabilise Nick Clegg, but it is a


Liberal Democrat one, so it is chaotic. There are people who have


never really been reconciled to the coalition and to Nick Clegg, they


are pushing for this. What is Nick Clegg going to do, and Tim Farron?


-- what is Vince Cable going to do? Vince Cable is in China, on a


business trip. It is like John Major's toothache in 1990. What is


Tim Farron doing? He is behind Nick Clegg, because he knows that his


best chances of being leader are as the Westland candidate, the person


who picks up the mess in a year. Vince Cable's only opportunity is on


this side of the election. But you say they are not a party of


government, but what looks more likely is overall the -- is no


overall control. You might find a common mission looking appealing.


They could still hold the balance of power. A lot of people in the Labour


Party might say, let's just have a minority government. 30 odds and


sods who will not turn up to vote. If they want to be up until 3am


every morning, be like that! When you were in short trousers, it was


like that every night, it was great fun! The Liberal Democrats will not


provide confidence to a minority government, they will pull the plug


and behave ruthlessly. Does Nick leg lead the Liberal Democrats into the


next election? Yes. Yes. Yes. I am sorry, Nick Clegg, you are


finished! We will speak to Paddy Ashdown in the second part of the


show to speak about the Liberal Democrats. The UKIP insurgency could


not deliver the promised earthquake, but it produced enough shock waves


to discombobulated the established parties. They are struggling to work


out how to deal with them. We watched it all unfold.


Behind the scenes of any election night is intensely busy. Those in


charge of party strategy and logistics want their people focused,


working with purpose and rehearsed to make sure their spin on the


results is what viewers remember and take on board. A bit of a buzz of


activity inside the BBC's studio, kept and primed for the results.


What this does not show due is the exterior doubles up for hospital


dramas like Holby City, there are doorways that are mock-ups of


accident and emergency, but the electorate will discover which of


the parties they have put into intensive care, which ones are


coming out of recovery and which ones are in rude health. We joined


David Dimbleby. Good evening, welcome to the BBC's new election


centre. When three big beasts become for on the political field, things


have changed. Eric Pickles says we will be seen off next year, we will


see you at Westminster! This party is going to break through next year,


and you never know, we might even hold the balance of power. Old


messages that gave voters in excuses to go elsewhere on the ballot paper


exposed the older players to questions from within their ranks.


In the hen house of the House of Commons, the fox that wants to get


in has ruffled feathers. The reason they have had amazing success, a


rapid rise, partly what Chuka Umunna says about being a repository, but


they have also managed to sound like human beings, and that his Nigel


Farage's eight victory. For some conservatives, a pact was the best


form of defence. It would be preferable if all members of UKIP


and voters became Tories overnight. That seems to be an ambitious


proposition. Therefore, we need to do something that welcomes them on


board in a slightly different way. Labour had successes, but nobody but


they're wizards of Spain was completely buying a big success


story. Gaffes behind the scenes and strategic errors were levelled at


those who have managed the campaign. They have played a clever game, you


shuffle bedecked around, and if UKIP does quite well but not well enough,


that helps Labour get in. That kind of mindset will not win the general


election, and we saw that in the tap ticks and strategy, and that is why,


on our leaflets for the European elections, we chose deliberately not


to attack UKIP, that was a bad error. Not so, so somebody who has


been in that spotlight. If you look at the electoral maths, UKIP will


still be aiming at the Tories in a general election. They are the


second party in Rotherham, Labour will always hold what the room, it


is safe, there is no point being second in a safe seat. UKIP have


taken Castle Point, a Tory seat they will target. The question for the


next election, can they make a challenge? The Tories will be under


the gun from UKIP. The substance of these results is UKIP not in


government, they do not have any MPs, they do not run a single


Council, at dismissing them ceased to be an option. The question is,


who will they heard most and how do you smoke the keeper's threat?


Joining me now, day about and Patrick O'Flynn. Do you agree not


enough was done for the elections? No, we have very good results around


Hammersmith and Fulham, Croydon, Redbridge, and we picked off council


wards in Haringey meaning that Lynne Featherstone and Simon Hughes worked


on. The Ashcroft polling shows that in key marginals, we are well ahead


and on course to win in 2015. I will be putting Mr Ashcroft's poll to


Eric Pickles shortly. On the basis of the local elections your national


share of the vote would be just 31%, only two points ahead of the Tories,


only two points ahead of Gordon Brown's disastrous performance in


2010. Why so low? National share is one thing but I am talking about


what we are doing in the key marginals. Clearly some were taken


away from others like Rotherham but we have got many voters back. You


are only two points better than you were in 2010 and use of your worst


defeat in living memory. That is the totality. What matters


is seat by seat, that is what the Republicans found in the


presidential elections. Patrick O'Flynn, you performed well in the


local election but it wasn't an earthquake. It is definitely true


that Labour did well in London but that is a double-edged sword because


you have an increasing disconnect between the metropolis and the rest


of the country. Our vote share was somewhat depressed not just because


London is one of our weakest part of the country but because most of the


warts in London were 3-member wards and we were typically only putting


up one candidate. Even when they fared well, it still tracked down


the projected national share. I think we did well, and what was


particularly good was getting the target seat list becoming clear


before our eyes. Suzanne Evans said that basically smart folk don't vote


for UKIP. I think that is a tiny fragment of what she said. She said


London is its own entity and is increasingly different from the rest


of the country. One of the things that is different from London as


opposed to Rotherham is that we have very big parties. I have a few


thousand people in mind, Rotherham has a few hundred. People don't go


and knock on doors and talk to people, in London we have always had


to do that. London is full of young voters, full of ethnically diverse


voters, that is why you are not doing well, you don't appeal to live


there. I think London in general has a very different attitude to mass


uncontrolled immigration. Londoners know that if an immigrant moves in


next door to you, to use Nigel Farage's phrase, the world doesn't


end tomorrow. People in the big cities know that, that is the point.


What Diane Abbott is doing is try to convince London of its moral


superiority so I am delighted... It is a simple fact that immigrants do


not end the world if they move in next door. The economic recovery is


getting more robust by the month, you have a seriously to ship problem


according to many people on your own site. Maybe you're 31% of the vote


is as good as it gets. Those who go round bitching about Ed Miliband


have been doing that before the result. We have all polled very


well. Ed Miliband does not polled very well. He has actually fashioned


some really effective policies. Unemployment is tumbling, inflation


is falling, growth is strengthening, and you have a leader who claims


there is a cost of living crisis and he doesn't have a clue about his own


cost of living. I think that was poor staff work. That he doesn't


know what goes in his own shopping basket? I think his own staff could


have prepared him for that. My point is that the numbers are looking


better, we know that, but people don't feel better off. Then why are


all consumer index polls better? They are feeling confident. They may


be saying that, but people are worried about their future, their


children's future. That is not what you buy today or tomorrow. If you


ask people about their future and their children's future and


prospects, they feel frightened. What will be a good result for you


in the general election? We need to see Nigel Farage elected as an MP


and he mustn't go there on his own. How many people do you think will be


with him? Who knows, but we will have 20 to 30 target seat and if you


put together the clusters we got in last year's County elections with


the one we got this year, you can have a good guess at where they


are. A number of people who voted for you and Thursday say they are


going to back to the three main parties in general election. It


would be foolish of me to say that they are going to stay. Some have


said they have just lent their votes but voters hate being taken for


granted. It is up to us to broaden our agenda, and build on our


strengths, work on our weaknesses. Ed Miliband may have to do a deal


with him. We have been here before, but the UKIP bubble is going to


burst and that may happen around the time of Newark. Are you going to win


Newark now? We are going to give it a really good crack. We love being


the underdog, we don't see it as being the big goal -- the be all and


end all. If you're going to get a big bounce off the elections, not to


go and win your shows people who govern in Parliament, they don't


vote for you. It is Labour who have given up the campaign already so we


need a really big swing in our favour and we will give it a great


crack. The bubble will burst at the Newark by-election, trust me. Have


you been to Newark? Newark will see from local people... Where is it? It


is outside the M25, I can tell you that. My point is that we are set


for victory in 2015. I want to run this clip and get your take on it,


an interview that Nigel Farage did with LBC. What they do is they have


an auditor to make sure they spend their money in accordance with their


rules. You say that is if there is something wrong with it. Hang on,


hang on. This is Patrick O'Flynn, is this a friend in the media or a


member of the political class? Do you regret doing that now? What were


you doing? No, I was trying to get Nigel Farage to a more important


interview with Sunday Times that had painstakingly organised. He was on


there? I have told the LBC people next door that he was running over.


So you interrupted a live interview and you don't regret that? No,


because just between us I wasn't a massive enthusiast for that


interview taking place at all. I know what James O'Brien is like and


I knew it wouldn't be particularly edifying. But your boss wasn't happy


with the intervention. Sometimes the boss gets shirty. We all upset our


boss every now and again, but anyway you could be an MEP by this time


tomorrow and you won't have to do this job any more. You can then just


count your salary and your expenses. I will make the contribution my


party leader asked me to, to restore Britain to being a self-governing


country. Are you going to stay in the job or not? I would not be able


country. Are you going to stay in to do the job in the same way but I


would maybe have some kind of overview. We will leave it there.


Yesterday Michael Ashcroft, a former deputy chairman, produced a mammoth


opinion poll of more than 26,000 voters in 26 marginal


constituencies, crucial seat that will decide the outcome of the


general election next year. In 26 constituencies people were asked


which party's candidate they would support, and Labour took a healthy


12 point lead, implying a swing of 6.5% from Conservatives to Labour


from the last general election. That implies Labour would topple 83 Tory


MPs. The poll also shows UKIP in second place in four seats, and


three of them are Labour seats. Michael Ashcroft says a quarter of


those who say they would vote UKIP supported the Tories at the last


election. As many as have switched from Labour and the Lib Dems


combined. The communities Secretary Eric


Pickles joins me now. The Ashcroft Paul that gives Labour a massive 12


point lead in the crucial marginal constituencies, you would lose 83


MPs if this was repeated in an election. It doesn't get worse than


that, does it? Yesterday I went through that Paul in great detail,


and what it shows is that in a number of key seats we are ahead,


and somewhere behind, and I think is Michael rightly shows... You are


behind in most of them. This is a snapshot and we have a year in which


the economy is going to be improving, and we have a year to say


to those candidates that are fighting those key seats, look, just


around the corner people are ahead in the same kind of seat as you and


we need to redouble our efforts. The Tory brand is dying in major parts


of the country, you are the walking dead in Scotland, and now London,


huge chunks of London are becoming a no-go zone for you. That's not true


with regard to the northern seats. Tell me what seats you have? In


terms of councillors we are the largest party in local government.


After four years in power... You are smiling but no political party has


ever done that. You haven't got a single councillor in the great city


of Manchester. We have councillors in Bradford and Leeds, we have


more... You haven't got an MP in any of the big cities? We have more


councillors in the north of England than Labour. A quarter of those who


say they would vote UKIP and did vote UKIP supported the Tories at


the last election. Why are so many of your 2010 voters now so


disillusioned? Any election will bring a degree of churning, and we


hope to get as many back as we can, but we also want to get Liberal


Democrats, people who voted for the Lib Dems and the Labour Party. If we


concentrate on one part of the electorate, then we won't take power


and I believe we will because I believe we represent a wide spectrum


of opinion in this country and I believe that delivering a long-term


economic plan, delivering prosperity into people 's pockets will be felt.


On the basis of the local election results, you would not pick up a


single Labour seat in the general election. You make the point that it


is about local elections. Seats that Labour should have taken from us


they didn't, which is important... I am asking what possible Labour seat


you would hope to win after the results on Thursday. Local elections


are local elections. The national election will have a much bigger


turnout, it will be one year from now, we will be able to demonstrate


to the population that the trends we are seeing already in terms of the


success of our long-term economic plan, they will be feeling that in


their pockets. People need to feel secure about their jobs and feel


that their children have a future. Maybe so many of your people are


defecting to UKIP because on issues that they really care about like


mass immigration, you don't keep your promises.


We have reduced immigration and the amount of pull factors. Let me give


you the figures. You have said a couple of things are not true. You


promised to cut net immigration to under 100,000 by 2015, last year it


rose by 50,000, 212,000. You have broken your promise. We still intend


to reduce the amount from non-EU countries. I want to be clear, I


have no problem with people coming here who want to work and pay their


national insurance and tax, to help fund the health service. What I have


objection to our people coming here to get the additional benefits. You


made the promise. It is our intention to deliver it. People


defect to UKIP because mainstream politicians to -- like yourself do


not give straight answers. Can you be straight, you will not hit your


immigration target by the election, correct? We will announce measures


that. People factor. Will you hit your target? It is a year from now,


it is our intention to move towards the target. Is it your intention, do


you say you will hit your target of under 100,000 net migration by the


election? We will do our damnedest. But you will not make it. I do not


know that to be fact. They also vote UKIP cos they do not trust you and


Europe, David Cameron has promised a referendum, he has vowed to resign


if he does not deliver one, but still your voters vote for UKIP.


There were reasons why people voted for UKIP. A great deal of anger


about the political system, about the Metropolitan elite that they see


running programmes like this and the political programmes. We


I don't know what our position will be tonight. If you do come third, it


will be because they don't trust you? Next year, there will be a


general election about money in people's pockets and who will run


the country. Your colleague on the backbenches, David Davies, wants to


get the voters to trust you on the referendum. He is a very clever guy,


but in terms of negotiating a better deal to give the population a better


choice, you require two years to be able to do that. You are an Essex


MP, it must be really depressing that Essex man and Essex women is


now UKIP? I don't have any UKIP in my constituency. The usual high


Essex... The Tory party does not resonate with Essex man in the way


that it did under Thatcher. We need to connect, that is for sure. Voters


want to know about their children's future, will they get a good


education? When it comes to collecting and national government,


Essex man does not want to see Ed Miliband in office. In terms of what


government you get, do you want to see David Cameron or Ed Miliband as


Prime Minister? Last general election, you did not get Essex man


vote in this same quantities as under Margaret Thatcher or a and


major. As you said at the beginning, it is where you deliver those votes.


We have our campaign where we are looking at key marginals. We know


where we are not doing as well as we should. Does he do these polls to be


helpful? He is a good conservative and the publication was one of the


best things that happened to our party. You are down to 22% of the


vote. If you had a pact with UKIP, you could do much better. I am a


Democrat. I believe you should put your policies out there and people


can decide how they want to vote. Would you stop a local pact? There


will be no pact with UKIP. None. Thank you.


You are watching the sandy politics. We say goodbye to viewers in


Scotland. Good morning and welcome to Sunday


Politics Scotland. Coming up on the programme. Flames from the landmark


Mackintosh building at Glasgow School of Art on Friday. We'll speak


to the Culture Secretary live. This former nurse worked in the NHS,


but as a patient she struggled to get her complaint addressed. We'll


look at what can be done to ease the process.


And I'm on the mound in Edinburgh where the General Assembly of the


Church of Scotland has been meeting. Commissioners have been arguing for


and against independence. What role for the kirk in a different kind of


constitutional set-up? Good morning. Curators at the Glasgow School of


Art will be assessing what can be saved over the next few days after


the fire at the building on Friday. Last night, it emerged the library,


which was designed by Charles Rennie Macintosh, has been destroyed in the


blaze. Firefighters say they'll be scaling back their operation and


teams will now investigate the cause of the fire. Both the UK and


Scottish governments have said they will contribute to the restoration


of the Mackintosh Building. Joining me now is the Culture Secretary,


Fiona Hyslop, and Neil Baxter from the Royal Incorporation of


Architects in Scotland. What is your understanding of the


scale of the damage? I was the yesterday. It is quite remarkable


what they did standing as a firewall on the stairwell, protecting the


east end of the building. Their assessment that 90% of the building


and 70% of the content is safe is remarkable. We walk a lot to them.


The loss of the library is tragic. But McIntosh worked in precious


ideas as well as materials. And we know that we can work with other


agencies to ensure we can use state of the art documentation and start


the process of recovery and restoration. There is hope for the


future. A big loss, but we have to recover.


What did firefighters say to you about the potential cause? That is


what the investigation has two assays. There is no if statement on


that yet. -- must assess. The firefighters were on site within


four minutes. They have often been in the building. I cannot emphasise


enough that we or the saving of this building to our firefighters.


Glasgow School of Art seeing it is tragically ironic that a new fire


suppression system was due to be fitted under the dash over the


summer. In terms of what you can do with a listed building, you have to


be very careful. Sprinklers can also cause damage. It is very sad that


system was not in place. Tell us about the Scottish Government's


involvement. How much money will you have two hand over? In terms of


immediate response, we were on site immediately. The immediate


conservation is very important, capturing what is there. The Royal


commission of ancient monuments, their experts in photography and


fair and work is taking place on that. Textiles are being removed,


with the help of conservators. All that needs to be done will be done.


But we will have to work in partnership, under the leadership of


the Glasgow School of Art. They have worked very hard and will continue


to work hard. The building is important, but the students work is


also very important. Continuity of support for them is very important.


The Education Secretary has been in touch to make sure we can continue


that support for students. Do you welcome the statement from the


Westminster government that they stand ready to make a financial


contribution? Of course, and we have been in touch to find out what they


can provide. International interest has been phenomenal as well. We have


to look at the covering both of the building but also to help support


the students and staff. But the outpouring of response shows how


precious this building is. It's not just the building itself, but what


it does for the life, building and heritage of Scotland. Tell us about


how important this building is. It is unique, but that does not make


it great. It's not simply good, it is a building of the first


international importance. It has been described as one of the first


truly modern buildings in the world. Its influence in terms of the


architects that it has nurtured, and who have come from all over the


world, creators and artists. This is about a place that is more than its


architecture. Charles Rennie Mackintosh created something that


was an all embracing work of art, every element. It is an


extraordinarily comprehensive and complete police. What was his vision


when he set out to mark the building was built in two faces so you see a


transition in McIntosh as well. The first phase is looking a bit


backwards, to the arts and crafts movement of the time. By the time we


get into the second phase, and the library was the epitome of that


second phase, he is very much at the top of his game. He is a truly


great, international architect. He has travelled, he has been involved


in the European architectural movement of his time and he is


synthesising a whole number of ideas. This was a time of great firm


and internationally of architectural ideas and innovation and he brings


that together. You have a technical and artistic tour de force. And the


materials that he used, that is going to be very important when it


comes to designing. He used the materials that were available. It


should be emphasised that the skills in Glasgow at that time were


extraordinary. Glasgow have this tremendously strong tradition of


shipbuilding and a lot of that is brought in and used in this


building. It uses some of the contemporary Glasgow-based


technology of working with metal. A lot of the struck, the reason why


the building has stood solid is it is very solidly built. While we saw


the destruction of a lot of internal timbers, and thank heavens that 70%


of the internal fabric is intact, quite remarkable given the pictures.


On Friday, people are standing crying in the street because we all


felt that they were watching the death of something that was


incredibly dear to us. The fact is, as the Cabinet Secretary has said,


we must now do everything we can to help and participate in the


resurrection of the building. Because it has been so meticulously


studied, there are superb measured studies of every aspect and the


library, perhaps, more than any other part. The information is


there. The archaeological work that is no ongoing and the meticulous


working through of the deeply will all contribute to the remaking.


Hopefully, there will be elements that can be used again in that


process. Is possible to put a time frame on this? We will leave that to


the experts. What happens in the immediate aftermath in terms of


documenting what is there, as well as the records we have, I should


also point out that the recent conservation work carried out by


Historic Scotland has met that the archive was protected because it had


been recently moved to a new state of the art archive so a lot of the


records that people thought had been lost were in a conservation archive.


So that is something to be thankful for. But it is about going forward.


In terms of expertise, we have offers of support from all over the


world. In terms of the expertise we have, Glasgow School of Art and


Historic Scotland are experts in digital documentation and are using


those skills to see the rebirth and BB King of the building. --


remaking. NHS professionals are missing


opportunities to improve patient care due to poor handling of


complaints according to Scotland's public services ombudsman. In a


strongly worded report, Jim Martin says some NHS boards fail to learn


from their mistakes after complaints are made, leading to unnecessary


distress for patients. The report comes as figures released to this


programme show the number of compensation claims made against


boards have increased by a quarter over the last five years. Megan


Paterson reports. Dorothy is a retired nurse with more


than 20 years service in the NHS. As a nurse, she was proud of the care


she provided. As a patient, she was disappointed with the handling of


concerns about her treatment. Very frustrated. Nobody was listening. I


thought, somebody has got to listen. I was sure that I was imagining that


people could be so bad and it wasn't taken on board. I worked in


psychiatry, and I was frightened that they were going to say there


was something wrong with my rain. It is complaints like this that is


causing concern. In his report, Jim Martin has said that complaints and


delays in dealing with complaints can lead to stress for patients and


their families. It seems fair litigation is a problem. For many


health care professionals, the major fear is the consequence of admitting


to a problem is that they will be sued. Even if they turn out not to


have been negligent, it can put a huge strain on their profession.


There is still a residual sense in which some people believe that they


will be litigated against if they admit to something having gone


wrong. That puts a barrier between openness and frankness and the


apology that people are looking for. In fact, few complaints lead to


financial compensation. Over the last five financial years, health


boards have spent ?42.4 million in compensation, less than 1% of the


overall health budget. The number of compensation claims has risen by


26%, with 560 made in total. The financial compensation is not what


they are looking for. They are looking for an apology, a sense that


the health service act sets its responsibility and hopefully learns


from whatever goes wrong. The money is there to make sure that people


can survive in a comfortable way. In a statement, the Health Secretary


Alex Neil said the government was committed to developing a culture of


openness in the NHS. The V on planes are handled really is widely across


the country. I think it does take time. The NHS is a large and


bureaucratic organisation. Sometimes you will find that in particular


areas, they can be EV sieve. People are pleased to see work in the area,


but do not think of sharing. Staff and patients are becoming more


willing to share their views on websites and forums. Complaints have


to be handled at board level. It is at that level where decisions are


taken about how to handle complaints. Some health boards


handle complaints brilliantly, but most don't. They need to change


their attitudes towards complaints and use them as learning


opportunities. Dorothy hopes for forming -- hopes her former employer


does not miss those opportunities. We have to acknowledge that when


things go wrong for patients it can be catastrophic? Yes, if something


goes wrong, they make a complaint, it is not handled well and


emphasises the problem that they face. We have to recognise that and


welcome the report. It is helpful in driving forward an agenda of


improvement, and continuing, in the health service.


There has been a rise in the complaints and compensation paid


out, Richard Simpson, is that of a concern to you? We have a new system


with the Patients' Right Act. It is addressing the system in a different


way by having four levels. There is a system to allow compliments and to


identify good practise as well as complaints. Below that there is


comments where there is something minor going on, one of concerns, and


only finally complaints. What is disappointing is that the ombudsman


report in April had a large number of complaints not upheld. That


indicates that the boards are not handling the process as well as they


should be. That is because they need to actually see the patients as


partners in co production, so that the patients can spot what is


happening that is not good and that can be addressed. There are some


boards doing that. That is the difficulty. That has


been highlighted in a report that the kind of response you get from a


health board depends on the area you live in? That is true. There is no


point denying it. The report identified a number of strengths in


a number of areas but then went on to say that must be rolled out


across the country. That show it is is not an even service we are


getting. But we have done many things, the Scottish Government


introducing the Patients' Right Act. And the patient opinion website,


that is Welsh Assembly to provide people with an opportunity to


provide feedback and also with the support and the advice service


through Citizens' Advice Scotland. So a lot of point of contact for


feedback. But the difficulty is that if there is not the direct


information about what is going on, where, and why, when we get that


information they can react and hopefully properly.


The point being made though is that many people want acknowledgement of


something going wrong and an apology. They are not always looking


for litigation but because of the fear of being sued health boards


maybe don't offer that apology as quickly as they should? You are


right. People want a nod and an apology. They also want to see


change as a result of their complaint. So that it is better for


the next patient. One final part of the jigsaw we have been discussing


since 2006, that is no fault compensation. Sheila McLean has done


the report to the Government. The Government have consulted on it, the


results have been published. The Government must get on quickly with


introducing a no fault compensation system. I hope that happens even


before the end of the Parliament. That removes the fear of litigation.


That is the point you were making. Once you get rid of the fear you


begin to change the culture as the health professional staff and


management are able to respond positively.


The point that Pennie Taylor was making that those on the front line,


the medics, they would like to offer the apology and move on but it is


perhaps higher up the tree, the managers stopping that happening. Is


that a fair point? I think it was a fair point. I have an experience of


making a complaint, many years ago, I have to say. The first point of


contact was whether or not a lawyer was needed. But it was not so. We


were looking for it to be better for the next patient. Things have moved


on but not as quickly as it should have. Work must be done. There must


be a stepping back, allowing the individuals, the doctors, the


nurses, to make that apology, to make it right and for the local ward


managers and managers to get the chance to correct the system


locally. That would be welcome. But I agree we have to make progress on


making sure that litigation is not the first thing that people think


about. When the Health Secretary talks


about a culture of openness, how do you foster that feeling? I think it


must come from the top. A problem in Parliament is that when something


goes wrong, for example Lothian and the waiting times, the opposition


attack, the Government responds by holding an inquiry, then people feel


they are being blamed for things going wrong. It must go from the top


to senior management, to not operate on a blame culture. To welcome the


things being said by their staff. I am get getting correspondence from


staff, even though there is a whistleblower line, I am getting


complaints from staff saying that they will have to go public. There


must be a change in the culture, it has to be from the top.


And on the part of politicians too? Less finger pointing and less


blaming from the politicians? I try to tweet to praise my health boards.


Fife has introduced a system where the board gets a report on the


complaint system, every board. Then an approach to where they are doing


good practise and where there are concerns and they are put together,


and then they can change things. I would praise that. We have to be


positive where it is going well as well as negative when it is not


going well. We are making progress but perhaps not quickly enough. One


problems, I personally experienced in the '90s is not knowing where to


go, how to go to it and what the process was. There are now lots of


opportunities through the website, through Citizens' Advice Scotland


and others. I think that the fact that there are


now more opportunities to provide that feedback weather positive or


negative is partly responsible for the increase in the number of


complaints. But that is not a bad thing. If we are getting information


about mistakes being made, that is how to correct them. If the local


and senior managers don't know about it they cannot do anything about it.


I'm sure that Richard wishes we could do it quicker, as do I.


I wonder if the problem is not just confined to health boards. There are


lots of organisations that are bureaucratic and have similar


problems? And as we merge health and social care there are different


complaint systems. Another part of the jigsaw Labour would like to see


in place, we will percent vi with, we need an independent monitoring


system. We have health improvements, a report has done on this but we


need to do this without construction, to be able to go in,


to say what is happening here. To look at it. So we feel that should


apply to everything, not just the elderly, which we have been


inspection system on, and the environment and the health systems


but this must be beefed up, HIS, to be able to go in there and help on


this one. Is that something to support? I will


not redesign the entire Scottish complaints system across the


Scottish system on the programme, good though it is, the programme but


we need to consider much of what has been discussed. There are good


suggestion, the merger of Social Services and social health is


important. We have to get it right. If the complaints sector is shuffled


to ensure it is a lined properly, that will be done but the basic


problem is that we are doing good work but it is not across the whole


country. We recognise that, we welcome the report. We will be


pushing forward to ensure that people can get access to the


complaints system and hopefully get a proper response when they


complain. Thank you very much. This is Sunday politics, Scotland,


let's cross for the news with Andrew acre.


Good afternoon. Staff at the Glasgow School of Art will be assessing what


can be saved over the next few days after the fire at the building.


Attention is now also turning to the funding requirements for


restoration. The UK government has said it will give "millions" of


pounds if necessary and speaking on this programme the Culture Secretary


Fiona Hyslop said the Scottish Government would make sure that "all


that needs to be done will be done". The Danish Foreign Minister has told


the BBC that an independent Scotland would have to "deliver on certain


criteria" to join the European Union. Speaking to BBC Radio Four's


the "World this Weekend", Martin Lidegaard spoke about the Copehagen


criteria, which includes meeting the aims of political, economic and


monetary union. Better Together claims it "blows out of the water"


the suggestion that getting back into the EU would be "plain


sailing". The Scottish Government say Scotland ALREADY meets all the


requirements for membership outlined in the Copenhagen criteria. An


ambitious plan to work out who owns every part of Scotland is to be


completed in ten years, according to the Environment Minister. A mapping


project has been announced, days after a group published a report on


land reform. 62 recommendations have been set


out, among the suggestions, it called for a law to limit how much


land any single person can own. Finally, Paolo Nuttini and Katy


Perry are to head Radio 1's Big Weekend.


There have been performances by Cold Play andEd Sheeran.


Here is the weather. After a cloudy morning there are


sunny spells in the afternoon. But with the heavy showers, later they


could be slow moving with a risk of thunder and hail. Cooler in the east


with the on shore breeze. During the evening, the showers stay with us.


Drier conditions around it and the patchy mist and fog forming too,


continuing with the lighter winds. Now back to Gary.


Thank you. Dwindling congregations and a more


secular society has made the voice of the kirk minister from the pulpit


far quieter. The Church of Scotland has seen its role on the national


stage diminish. However, the debate on independence has given the kirk


the opportunity to once again get involved in serious constitutional


debate - as it also considers what its position might be if there's a


yes vote. Here is Andrew Kerr. Kirk and state, the Monarch's


representative Government and clergy came together at this year's general


assembly. In church speak, respectful dialogue on independence.


Douglas Alexander put the case for the union.


Reverend Doctor Doug Gay argued for a "yes" vote. Commissioners also had


their say. I and my fellow Church of Scotland


members can unite with the Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, and


look forward to an independent Scotland without sectarianism. An


independent Scotland where all are valued. I think independence is an


allusion to social change. I look forward to the debate being over,


resolved and then continuing conversation about how we bring


about the social change for everybody in these islands that I


think unites us and we all so desperately want to see.


One argues that the Kirk could benefit from the end of the union.


The role of the Kirk in an independent Scotland could be


considerable. I don't think it is something that


they should be fearful of or see in diminishing their ability about the


organisation. I think that the spotlight would be bigger on the


Church of Scotland. But the outgoing moderator wanted


clarity in the Kirk's position if there is independence, wary of a


secular, written constitution. I would like some kind of assurance,


ago the assurance has been in word form from various politicians, about


the future of not only our national church but indeed all religious


groups, about the place of religion and faith groups in a Scotland. If


we do have a "yes" vote, if we have a written constitution.


The Scottish Government say in the white paper, that they propose no


change to the legal status and churches will be fundmental in the


process of drafting a constitution. A report about the general assembly


is not complete without the shot of John Knoxx standing outside where


the assembly has been meeting. A man no stranger to debathe and


controversy about the future of the Kirk. The leader of the Protestant


reformation in Scotland helped mould a national church in more turbulent


times than we do now. In modern Scotland, the religious ideas are


changing. Professor Tom Define -- Devine has been exploring these.


We have seen a complete met more foe sips. A change. The data that I have


is from 2012 in relation to attitudes towards independence, that


has been coming up at that time. 30% of the sample question of roam an


Catholics favoured independence. But interestingly as well, only 16% of


Roman Catholics interviewed were in any sense worried about the


consequences of independence. Back at the assembly, the moderator was


concerned about the prospect of division after the referendum. What


ever happens, the Kirk will meet here again next year.


I'm now joined in the studio by the Reverend Doctor Doug Gay who was


supporting independence at the Assembly this week and, from


Edinburgh, I'm joined by the Reverend Ewan Aitken. A former


Labour councillor in the city, he's a supporter of the union.


In having this debate this week, is the church leading on this issue, or


is it following? I think the church is taking part, which is what it


should be doing. I think some people are sometimes suspicious of the


Kirk, that it is trying to be a dominant or domineering voice in


Scottish culture. What we did on Tuesday was build a dialogue. We


have been trying to say that our voices and all voice as the Kirk


matters in this debate, but it matters alongside a range of other


voices. We want to play our part. That seems a bit of a change. On


other issues, the church has seen itself as being in a position where


it should be leading? Yes, but this is about how we organise society.


This is how to create spaces for that conversation can happen. In the


end, it is not the church that has a vote, it is about the people having


a vote. That is why we have run events across the country where we


have got people to have a dialogue about the values that make a society


before getting to the point of voting. And it is the capacity for


making those type of spaces that has met the church made a very different


type of contribution. If there is a yes vote, what sort of role do you


see the Kirk playing? I think the Kirk would continue to play an


important role, but the Kirk is a very democratic institution, it


values democracy in its own structures and in Scotland. It is


not wanting to impose itself. Do you share those reservations that we


heard about the potential for a more secular society after a yes vote?


Scotland is becoming a more secular society. But I am relaxed about


that. I think that if there is a vote for independence, there will be


a constitutional convention and the church and other faith traditions


will play there on that. What we are looking for is a democratic


solution. We support the democratic process. How do you view this


argument that an independent Scotland would be more in tune with


the values of the Kirk than perhaps the Westminster government? That is


a dangerous manifestation of an argument that Scotland is better and


fairer than England. I am unconvinced by that. It may be


better and fairer than under the Tories, but that is not balanced


argument. The church plays a role around Britain as a catalyst for


building communities where people look after each other. I think that


is more important than some of the other issues. Has this issue being


overplayed when people are asked for their attitudes on social and


political issues, they are not hugely at odds with people elsewhere


in the UK. My argument is not that Scots are better people than anyone


else. We have a unique opportunity to go on a journey of reform. We


have very similar issues for a more just and equal Scotland. I believe


that only independence offers us the level of self determination to push


towards that. The moderator is talking about a service of


reconciliation after the vote in September. Is that something that is


needed? Do you get a sense that this debate is that divisive? It is going


to be close which means that unlike other occasions there has been a


huge movement one way or other, there will be a sense of division


and people will feel they campaigned long and hard and not got what they


hoped for. In a sense, it is not saying... We went on a journey to


make a decision, we need to say that we take all those emotions and


energies back into a place of unity. I think that is why the


church wants to do that, to make sure we are quick about that, we do


not let any potential division fester for too long and really see,


let's work on this and whatever the journey is that we are alone. What


do you think? I think some people have suggested that the new


moderator has been overstating the degree of conflict or division that


there will be. I do not think this was his aim at all. It has been a


divisive contest and one of the things that concerns me is that


often relationships between the SNP, the party I support, and the


Labour Party have been better, but we are friends and we have a


respectful dialogue about this. A service of reconciliation is in that


spirit. Is you can also write -- Is Ewan also right that divisions will


be hard to heal if the result is close? I think some people will feel


jubilate, others will be disappointed. -- jubilant. We are


seeing that what ever the result, they will have to unite and go


forward and seek the common good of Scotland. Should there have been a


vote this week to clear things up for people? No, there should not.


The place for the vote is on the ballot box. That is right and


proper. Constantly forcing people into corners creates division. In


other parts of life, we take time to make big decisions. The time we have


got up until the September vote, that will make for a better


conversation and make less likelihood of huge division at the


point of the vote. Do you think the debate this week changed anybody's


mind? I obviously hope it did. I hope that some people were more


convinced about the case for independence. I think it is


important we have good conversations about this. There have been lots of


conversations about the type of Scotland we want to live in. Thank


you. That's all from the us this week.


The programme isn't on next week, so we'll be back at the same time on


Sunday June eighth. Goodbye.


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