MSP Meets First Minister with Clydeside Action on Asbestos

Stuart McMillan MSP met with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Phyllis Craig MBE from Clydeside Action on Asbestos today to discuss important developments in the diagnosis and treatment of asbestos related diseases in Scotland.

General Practitioners are set to gain access to a new learning resource and reference on how to deal with the scourge of asbestos in a move that’s received the backing of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

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Clydeside Action on Asbestos (CAA) is a charity which was formed in 1985 to provide advice and assistance to those suffering from an asbestos related disease and their families. CAA provides specialist advice on claiming industrial injuries benefits and state compensation.

Stuart McMillan MSP is an honorary member of Clydeside Action on Asbestos and was instrumental in progressing the Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases (Scotland) Bill.

Commenting, Stuart McMillan MSP said:

“I was delighted to meet with the First Minister alongside Clydeside Action on Asbestos to discuss this vital new resource for GPs.

“The legacy of asbestos use in Scotland is well documented and the consequences of this legacy are felt across all communities in Scotland. Some 150 people per year in Scotland are diagnosed with mesothelioma, the most serious form of asbestos related cancer.

“Sadly, the numbers of those diagnosed with this fatal condition are set to rise in the future.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon underlined her support for CAA’s new learning resource.

She said:

“Clydeside Action on Asbestos has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of this illness and its consequences for individuals, and I am delighted that this new educational resource for GPs and their practice staff is now available. This is an important issue for the people of Scotland, and I entirely agree that we have to make sure that there is information and support available for not only those who are living with an asbestos related disease, but also for our GP’s.

“There are many issues for GP’s to consider in relation to a potential diagnosis of an asbestos related disease, and I believe there is a real demand for there to be specialist information available for GP’s to access.”

Commenting on the learning resource that will be provided for GP’s, Phyllis Craig MBE

“It’s wonderful to have the backing of the First Minister who has consistently shown that the awful legacy of asbestos related illness in Scotland is something she takes extremely seriously.

“It is important for our victims, that family GP’s are able to identify early symptoms of an asbestos illness, in order that a referral to a specialist can be made. This resource will allow doctors a better understanding of the emotional, legal and financial strains that victims and their families encounter.”

Phyllis Craig added

“Over the past five years there has been a steady increase in the number of women with mesothelioma contacting CAA for advice.  Although it is often assumed that their exposure is from their husbands or fathers overalls, this is not the case.  Women were exposed to asbestos in a variety of occupational settings including in schools, factories, hospitals and through renovations to their work space.  We need to raise awareness of this, as a mistaken assumption about exposure can negatively impact on their ability to pursue compensation.

“We are currently raising awareness of this, and the issues surrounding a diagnosis through the GP module, and through events throughout the country.”

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