Scottish Parliament Debate

Scottish Parliament Debate

Thursday 24th September 2020

Yesterday, Scottish Parliament held a debate on an Early Day Motion brought forward by David Stewart MSP on Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week 2020.

The Early Day Motion was selected for Members Business Debate and was called in the Chamber to be debated by Members of Scottish Parliament (MSP). 

Mr Stewart’s opening speech mapped the cardiovascular landscape in Scotland. Mr Stewart identified the prevalence of the disease in Scotland, with approximately 130,000 Scots over 65 living with moderate or severe heart valve disease, and called for an increase in stethoscope checks - with 80% of Scots over 60 reporting rarely or never being checked with a stethoscope check by their GP.

Mr Stewart also identified inequalities in access to treatment. With only 1,117 valve surgeries last year - with low levels of surgical and minimally invasive interventions treating less than 1% of heart valve disease patients.

There were insightful inputs from across the Chamber, with Brian Whittle MSP supporting Mr Stewart’s motion, and stressing the need to improve regional inequalities in access to treatment and the impact of postcodes on treatment pathways. And Jo McAlpine MSP who shared her experience of her partner's heart valve disease treatment, and stressed the need for increased awareness of the impact of heart valve disease on younger people.

The key issues highlighted in the debate spurred the Scottish Public Health Minister Joe Fitzpatrick to signal the Scottish Government’s support for heart valve disease patients and its ambition to strengthen and expand the provision of care for heart valve disease patients

We welcome this lively debate and will continue to work with healthcare professionals, policymakers and patients in Scotland to improve detection of heart valve disease and ensure we move towards timely diagnosis and treatment of the condition.

Thank you to all the MSPs who contributed to making this debate happen.

Thank you in particular to the following MSPs who supported David Stewart's Early Day Motion and secured the debate in the Chamber.

Kenneth Gibson, Bill Kidd, Mark McDonald, David Torrance, Stuart McMillan, Brian Whittle, Sandra White, Alex Neil, Monica Lennon, Gil Paterson, Mary Fee, Clare Adamson, Anas Sarwar, Fulton MacGregor, Alexander Stewart, Alex Rowley, Stewart Stevenson, Colin Smyth, Jackie Baillie, Sarah Boyack, James Kelly, Lewis Macdonald, Neil Findlay