MSP joins Heart Rhythm Charity call for screening of people at risk of atrial fibrillation (AF)
Colin Beattie MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh has pledged to work with the Arrhythmia Alliance and its sister organisation, AF Association, to demand the creation of a national screening programme for people over 65 at risk of AF. Currently, one in three of all people with AF have not even been diagnosed and are at an increased risk of suffering an AF-related stroke.
At a Know Your Pulse event held in Holyrood hosted by the Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association on Wednesday 22nd February, Colin Beattie MSP supported our call upon the Scottish Parliament to debate the need for an AF screening programme for people over 65 in Scotland.
This event raised awareness of the importance of a simple manual pulse check in helping to detect AF, Parliamentarians who attended had a pulse check and an ECG hand-held recording.
Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder & CEO, Arrhythmia Alliance, who hosted the event, said: “Manual pulse rhythm checks are a simple, cost-effective way to identify people with irregular heart rhythms, such as AF, which is why we are calling for a debate in the Scottish parliament on the value of screening for AF. A manual pulse check, is so simple to do, takes less than a minute and does not cost the NHS – but the benefits in preventing AF-related strokes and unnecessary deaths are enormous. Everyone needs to be aware of their pulse and how to manually check for an irregular rhythm.”
Colin Beattie MSP added: “I was shocked to hear about the numbers of people walking around today completely unaware that they have AF and who could be at risk of a debilitating or life-threatening AF-related stroke. I fully endorse the work of the Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association and their call for a national debate on AF screening in Scotland. The pulse check I had taken showed just how simple and easy it is to identify someone who may have AF.”
AF is the most common heart rhythm abnormality, and is associated with a third of ischaemic strokes, which are typically more severe and debilitating for the patient. Data from stroke registries show that both unknown and untreated or under treated AF is responsible for most of these strokes. The tragedy is that most could be prevented if efforts were directed towards detection of AF before stroke occurs, through screening or case finding, and the provision of oral anticoagulant medications to prevent clots being formed in the heart, dislodging to be carried to an artery of the brain, blocking the circulation and causing an AF-related stroke.
For more information about the Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association, please go to: www.heartrhythmalliance.org
Colin Beattie MSP has encouraged Midlothian Council and East Lothian Council to apply for a share of the Scottish Government’s £11m fund to deliver energy efficiency improvements to homes, businesses and public buildings and community projects.
The second wave of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) pilot fund will help local authorities test new and innovative energy-saving approaches which can then be taken forward when SEEP is rolled out fully in 2018, once the Scotland Bill brings further devolution of energy efficiency powers.
SNP MSP Colin Beattie, Midlothian North and Musselburgh said:
“The Scottish Government’s £11m funding pot to help improve energy efficiency in homes, businesses and public buildings in Scotland is a great opportunity for local communities, supporting local projects that build on the successful work already carried out and ensuring Scotland leads the way in energy efficiency.
“I am calling on Midlothian Council and East Lothian Council to submit proposals on how they’d use this funding to help meet local energy needs more efficiently and at a lower cost, whilst also helping tackle climate change.
“The SNP Government has delivered almost one million energy efficiency measures to almost one million Scottish households since 2008 and invested more than £650 million over the last eight years. I’d encourage as many communities as possible to come up with their own proposals to make use of this vital funding to help transform energy efficiency in their area.”
Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, today welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s rejection of the Article 50 Bill meant to begin the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. This follows a vote that took place yesterday evening, which saw an overwhelming victory of 90 to 34 in favour of rejecting the bill. The final vote on the Article 50 Bill is set to take place today, 8 February 2017 in Westminster.
Commenting on the vote, Mr. Beattie said:
“I am sure that this overwhelming victory for Scotland will send a message to the Tory government at Westminster that we are not willing to be forcibly removed from the EU.
‘The people of Scotland have a voice, and through this vote we have raised it to remind Westminster that we are here, that we matter, and that we are not going to take this dismissal of Scotland’s views sitting down.
‘The people of my constituency have made it known that our involvement with the European Union is vital to our continued success. The voting results from the EU Referendum show that in East Lothian, over 64% voted to remain in the EU while just over 62% voted the same in Midlothian. These numbers are not insignificant! The people have spoken, and it is our duty to listen.
‘The funds my constituency receives from EU funding is also significant. Between the years 2014 and 2020 alone, the Tyne-Esk local action group which covers rural East Lothian and rural Midlothian, has allocated £3.49 million for the 2014-2020 LEADER programme which is designed to support rural communities and businesses.
‘Another example of the funding received through the EU is the €2.7 million that has been allocated to projects in East Lothian and Midlothian from Horizon 2020, the EU’s main funding programme for research and innovation.
‘These two examples alone constitute a large sum of money for our constituency, and there’s no guarantee that this, or any other funding will be replaced coming out of the EU.”