Former husband of woman who died in crossing accident angry at delay in work at Raigmore Interchange


The former husband of the woman pedestrian who died after an accident at Raigmore Interchange has contacted Labour MSP Rhoda Grant expressing his anger at the lack of a firm date when a new traffic light crossing is set be installed there.

The man, who does not want to be named, has been pressing Transport Scotland for improved safety at the roundabout over the years since the accident.

The agency has moved to put up new signage, landscaping and a reduced speed limit on the roundabout and the roads feeding into it.

However, Highland Council, the lead authority on a new Raigmore Interchange scheme, has said it is putting together a programme of replacement for the 12 sets of junction and pedestrian crossings in Inverness, due to be completed within this financial year, and Raigmore Interchange is included and will be one of the first few to be addressed.

But it adds: “At this time we can give no further specific detail on dates as we still have work to do on materials and contractor availability.”

Mrs Grant, who represents the Highlands and Islands, said the lack of a definite date and the number of years since the woman’s death on the southbound A9 slip-road has angered her former husband and leaves the MSP concerned too.

“My Labour colleague, David Stewart, who retired as an MSP at the election, did a lot of work on this issue, meeting Transport Scotland and council officials, asking questions and contacting Police Scotland on constituents’ behalf,” she said.

“People are still concerned about safety there and her former husband is very angry about the delay and you can understand why.

“Surely, it is time to give a date and stick to it? After all, this has been going on for years and we still haven’t seen a solution to the south bound slip-road having no pedestrian crossing linked to traffic lights to stop the traffic flow and make it safer.”

Previously, Transport Scotland said that traffic lights could be installed at all four entry points to the roundabout under a planned new scheme, which would provide “an equitable split in green time between vehicles and pedestrians and cyclists”.

It added that what the system would provide, at all times, in the traffic light cycle was a green man phase for pedestrians to cross each traffic flow safely in turn.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, speaks in debate on maternity services highlighting Moray and Caithness

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, supported a Scottish Parliament cross-party members’ debate yesterday about the downgrading of the consultant-led maternity unit at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin.

“It is a huge disappointment that the service at Dr Gray’s has not been reinstated, and we need to see more tangible action now,” she said.

“I pay tribute to the Keep MUM group, which has led the campaign to restore the service. I wish the group well and offer my support to its campaign until we get the services reinstated at Dr Gray’s.”

She said the Scottish Government must carry the responsibility for the situation.

“It has failed to train sufficient staff to enable women to give birth closer to home. It needs to turn the situation around and ensure that medics are trained—and, more important, trained in a rural setting,” she said.

Mrs Grant also mentioned the same service was no longer available at Caithness General. She has campaigned for many years to highlight and resolve the concerns of the community and pregnant women, many of whom are faced with a 200-mile round trip to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

“The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion, with the mother surrounded by her partner and family,” she told MSPs.

“It is not an illness; it is a life event that requires to be cherished. That is why giving birth in the setting that the mother desires, with access to family, is crucial.

“We all know that things can go wrong and that intervention can be required to save both mother and child. Having obstetricians and paediatricians on hand to intervene at short notice gives confidence to parents and to midwives.

“That should be the case in Dr Gray’s hospital in Elgin. Indeed, it was the case until staffing shortages forced what was supposed to be a temporary change. Unfortunately, three years later, the change appears to be permanent.”

She added: “The service is no longer available at the Caithness general either, and there appears to be no will on the part of NHS Highland to look again at the matter.

“The issue is the lack of paediatricians. When the situation in Caithness was assessed, it was suggested that obstetric support alone might lead to a delay in transfer in an emergency, which would mean that a baby who was born in difficult circumstances would not have paediatric support.

“The lack of both sets of professionals is forcing women in labour who get into difficulty to be transferred by ambulance while they are in labour.

“Many women in that situation have given birth in even more dangerous circumstances. The case of the twins who were born in two different counties illustrates that; only the quick thinking and dedication of staff saved the day.

“The alternative is inductions and elective caesarean sections, which are not without risk. There has been a marked increase in those procedures. Risk assessments are needed in relation to the increase in caesarean sections and the risks of travel while in labour, especially on poor roads in wintry conditions.”

Mrs Grant added: “In the interim, the Government needs to consider how to get specialists to the mother and baby, rather than expecting a mother in labour to travel to services. It needs to enable ScotSTAR—the Scottish specialist transport and retrieval service, which provides emergency stabilisation and retrieval—to consider how it can extend the service to obstetric and associated paediatric support.”


  • MSP Douglas Ross’s members’ business debate was on the motion

That the Parliament understands with concern that, following a decision in July 2018 to downgrade the consultant-led maternity unit at Dr Gray’s in Elgin, many local expectant mums have to travel out of Moray to give birth; praises the efforts of midwives and all the staff who provide an outstanding service for those who can give birth there, but believes that too many women are made to travel outwith Moray to give birth; understands that the Scottish Government has commissioned an independent review of maternity services at Dr Gray’s to consider how best to restore the consultant-led service; commends the Keep MUM group and the local campaigners who are fighting hard to have the service restored; understands that the community was originally told that the downgrade would be temporary for up to a year, but notes that, almost three years on, the service has still not been restored, and notes the calls on the Scottish Government and NHS Grampian to urgently seek a resolution to this issue and to provide families in Moray with the locally-based maternity services that they deserve.

Rhoda Grant MSP calls for lessons to be learned as 104 die from Covid in the region’s care homes

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has called for lessons to be learned as statistics have revealed the number Covid-related deaths in care homes across the Highlands and Islands. (including Moray)

Statistics from the Care Inspectorate have revealed that between 16th of March 2020 and the 21st of March 2021, 104 Covid-related deaths were recorded in care homes across the region.

All 104 Covid-related deaths were recorded in care homes that exist solely for the care of older people.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has called for lessons to be learned from the tragic deaths so that the people of the Highlands and Islands are kept safe in any future pandemic.

Commenting, Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said:  

“What happened in Scotland’s care homes during the pandemic was a tragedy.

“Those responsible in government must be held to account and lessons must be learned.

“Our heroic care home and NHS staff went above and beyond during the pandemic, and our relative low numbers of deaths compared to other regions is testament to their work.

“However, the 104 Covid-related deaths that occurred in Highlands and Islands care homes were tragic.

“But not only must those responsible be held to account, we also need reform of our care system and a National Care Service.

“That’s why Scottish Labour will continue to fight for the people of the Highlands and Islands and I will continue to call for reform of our care system.”  

Regional MSP submits parliamentary motion to congratulate Shopper-Aide  

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP has submitted a Parliamentary Motion to congratulate Shopper-Aide in Campbeltown for being honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.


Shopper-Aide are one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups who have been honoured with this award – which is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.


Mrs Grant visited the charity back in the summer of 2018 and she learned about the charity and the work that they do. Since then, she has remained supportive of the charity and has given her written support for funding.


Rhoda Grant said: “This charity are so deserving of this award and I’m proud of all of the volunteers. When I visited them back in 2018, I felt so inspired by the staff and volunteers and their commitment to fighting isolation in the Kintyre area. This charity is truly an asset to the area.”


Mrs Grant continued: “Isolation in an issue nationally, especially in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, but it is particularly concerning in rural areas where resources are limited. To see a charitable organisation tackle this issue head on and for that to be recognised is great to see.”


Shopper-Aide helps those over 60 who suffer from isolation by offering shopping services, housekeeping and by planning social activities like Elderberries where clients meet up  for lunch and take part in activities like art and crafts, quizzes and bingo.

Motion Number: S6M-00239
Lodged By: Rhoda Grant
Date Lodged: 03/06/2021

Title: Shopper-Aide, Campbelltown, Awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Motion Text:

That the Parliament congratulates Shopper-Aide in Campbeltown on it being honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which is the highest award that a UK voluntary group can receive; notes that it is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive this prestigious award in 2021; understands that its volunteers help people aged over 60 with shopping and housekeeping and hold social activities in the Kintyre area to tackle isolation; congratulates everyone involved with this work, and wishes them, and Shopper-Aide, all the best for the future.


MSP Rhoda Grant asks NHS Highland what is happening with Migdale Hospital?

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has again asked NHS Highland to tackle continuing community concerns over the future of Migdale Hospital in Bonar Bridge.

Mrs Grant has supported constituents worried about changes at the hospital since 2019 and recently saw the report of Lairg Community Council’s further concerns.

She has previously voiced her frustration by the “lack of transparency” over changes that have happened over many months to the hospital’s Strathy ward, even before Covid hit.

NHS Highland then told Mrs Grant that to “create capacity to respond to Covid-19, the Strathy ward has now been “reconfigured to accept and manage general patients” but stressed it had not closed.

The health authority said mental health provision was also “reconfigured and consolidated” within New Craigs Hospital in Inverness, where the service continues to be delivered.

Mrs Grant has written again to NHS Highland’s Chief Executive, Pam Dudek, asking for more community consultation and it was raised at the health authority’s MSP briefing on Friday.

When the Sutherland hospital opened in 2011 it had 22 beds with two units – the Strathy ward, for older people with mental health problems, and another offering a range of in-patient services, such as palliative care, general medicine and rehabilitation services.

“This just rumbles on and on and it’s about time NHS Highland spoke directly to community representatives who are obviously still worried about the situation at Migdale,” said Mrs Grant.

“When this hospital opened much was made of research into dementia and official visits to other hospitals providing dementia care to build on good practice.

“I certainly hope that those aspirations to provide that sort of service in a rural area have not gone and that Coronavirus is not being used as cover for mental health staff and resources to be diverted by the back door.”

Mrs Grant says constituents do not want to see more centralisation of services.

The MSP previously discovered there were nearly five nursing posts vacant on the Strathy ward and patient admissions were temporarily halted before the ward reopened again and then the health authority moved to transfer patients to Inverness due to Covid, sparking more community concerns,



Highland and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant is delighted to acknowledge Mental Health Awareness Week as one of her first acts in the new term of the Scottish Parliament by lodging a motion marking the week.


Yesterday (13th May) on the same day Mrs Grant took the Oath in the Chamber of the Scottish Parliament, she lodged a motion which highlights the campaigns that Mental Health UK and Mind are undertaking this year to mark the week. The motion also notes that the coronavirus pandemic has put pressure on NHS services and charitable services.


Mrs Grant has been campaigning for better adult and child mental health services across the Highlands and after she received appeals from local people last year who were worried about the number of suicides in Caithness.


Rhoda Grant MSP said: “Although a small general gesture, I want to signify how important this issue is to me and how it will be a priority of mine in this new Parliamentary term.


“There is to be an injection of funding for children and young people’s services through Highland Council, but we have a long way to go to fill the gaps that exist, especially for adult mental health services.”


Mrs Grant continued: “I’m currently trying to arrange a meeting with NHS Highland on adult services with community representatives in Caithness and I hope that,  moving forward, better services will come to the region as a whole.”


Mental Health UK are is asking the public to immerse themselves in the “5 Ways to Wellbeing” while also reconnecting with nature. This includes connect, take notice, give, be active and keep learning. The UK wide charity Mind are asking people to take to social media and describe why they are fighting for mental health, to help create a movement for change.


Motion Number: S6M-00009
Lodged By: Rhoda Grant
Date Lodged: 13/05/2021

Title: Mental Health Awareness Week

Motion Text:

That the Parliament acknowledges Mental Health Awareness Week which runs from Monday 10 May to Sunday 16 May 2021; believes that Mental Health UK is asking the public to immerse themselves in the “5 Ways to Wellbeing” while also reconnecting with nature; understands that the “5 Ways to Wellbeing” include connect, take notice, give, be active and keep learning; notes that Mind is also asking individuals to share on social media why they are fighting for mental health, to help create a movement for change and, in addition, is asking people to donate to their cause; further notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has put pressure on NHS services and charitable services such as Mental Health UK and Mind, and wishes everyone who takes part in this endeavour all the best.

Labour candidate to continue to fight for chronic pain improvements

Labour’s Inverness and Nairn candidate and lead candidate for the Highlands and Islands Region, Rhoda Grant, has promised to carry on the work undertaken by her retiring colleague, David Stewart, to improve services for chronic pain sufferers in the Highlands if she is re-elected this week.

David Stewart has been pressing the Scottish Government to invest more in the service in the North and to tackle the shortage of chronic pain consultants nationally.

Mr Stewart said, “Having been contacted by constituents, I asked many questions relating to the funding of the service in the North and the shortage of consultants in general.

“Living with chronic pain affects every aspect of a sufferer’s life and many have to give up work as a result.”

Inverness resident, Colin Sutherland, who has suffered chronic pain for around 10 years and has himself been pushing for more staff for the service said “I am really pleased Rhoda will take up the case if she’s re-elected and I wish her every success in getting something done.”

The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2020/21 committed to developing and improving the current Scottish model for chronic pain.

“Before the outbreak of Covid last March, waiting times for the service in the North were excessive and that will only have been exacerbated further by the outbreak.” continued Mr Stewart.

Rhoda Grant said “In December last year, NHS Scotland’s update on national developments on chronic pain highlighted key challenges around workforce planning and education, but crucially the lack of consistent and sustainable funding for the service was also cited as one of the biggest challenges.

“We need to do more to highlight the issue and to get sufficient amounts of staff and funding in place to tackle the problem. I will continue to press for this if re-elected.” concluded Mrs Grant.

Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar comes to Inverness

I was delighted to welcome Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar to Inverness this morning to launch the Highlands and Islands manifesto. This covid recovery plan for our region identifies and tackles local issues. The weather behaved too which was an added bonus.
Use your second vote to vote for Anas Sarwar’s Labour and to fight for the issues that matter to the Highlands and Islands.

Scottish Labour’s Climate Recovery Plan

Later this year, Glasgow will host the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) summit. This will be a massive moment for Scotland where the eyes of the world will be on us. We want Glasgow to be synonymous with world leading action on climate change. But the first step we must take is to ensure that we are doing as much as we can, here at home, to make our contribution.

Without significant action, Scotland will not meet its climate target of reducing all greenhouse gas emissions to 100% by 2045, or its interim target of achieving a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.  There are more greenhouse gases in our atmosphere than at any point in human history and air pollution is killing 2,500 Scots every year.[1] Further to this, one in nine species is at risk of extinction. [2]

We must tackle the climate and nature emergencies while reducing the inequalities that Covid-19 has exposed and made worse. The transition to net zero is an opportunity to create thousands of jobs and address the current economic crisis caused by Covid-19. These measures, implemented immediately, would not just contribute to tackling the global climate emergency, they would kickstart Scotland’s economy, improve health, tackle unemployment and deal with the rising cost of living.

  1. Improve energy efficiency across Scotland

Scotland’s buildings are a huge driver of its climate emissions, contributing 23% of Scottish emissions. Nearly 75% of these come from residential buildings.[3] Only around half of all homes are energy efficiency rating C or higher and a quarter of Scottish households are in fuel poverty. Investing in energy efficiency measures will reduce living costs, create jobs and make a significant contribution to reducing our carbon emissions.

Scottish Labour has a plan to upgrade all homes to at least an energy efficiency rating of C or higher by 2030 and, where possible, zero carbon by 2045.

We would establish a national housing agency to work closely with local authorities and coordinate the roll out of measures including insulation, double glazing, boiler replacement,  forms of renewable heat, and heat networks

Our targets will require a significant step change in current activity: at least 80,000 homes would need to be renovated annually until 2030, more than double the current rate. Long term, it is estimated that at least 90% of homes will need to be fitted with a form of renewable heat such as heat pumps or heat networks.

Under our model, low and middle income households would be awarded grant funding while other households would be offered interest free loans to pay for the upgrades, up to the value of £18,000. Fuel poor and rural homes would be targeted first.

  1. Invest in Scotland’s natural environment

In order to draw more carbon from the atmosphere we need to invest in nature restoration. Scotland already plants a significant amount of trees, but this must increase from the existing 11,000 hectares a year to at least 15,000 hectares a year as recommended by the Committee on Climate change.[4]

Scottish Labour would plant at least 15,000 trees a year and increase peatland restoration to 20,000 hectares each year, alongside measures to end commercial peat extraction.

A Scottish Conservation Corps would be established, modelled on the Civilian Conservation Corps of the New Deal, to employ and train a new workforce dedicated to restoring Scotland’s natural environment. This could employ up to 10,000 people, forming an important part of Scottish Labour’s Jobs for Recovery guarantee and ensuring that roles are available across the country including in rural areas.

  1. Create real change in Scotland’s businesses through procurement and business support

The Scottish public sector purchases around £11 billion of goods and services each year.[5] We need to move away from a narrow focus on price and towards a broader view of the role the public sector can plan in making Scotland’s businesses greener.

Through our Better Business Scotland certification we will ensure that every business that wants to work with the public sector has a clear carbon reduction plan or a commitment to achieving net zero.

Scottish Labour would adopt a local first approach to procurement, reducing carbon emissions by ensuring goods and services are procured locally.

Where local suppliers don’t exist, the Scottish National Investment Bank would be used to invest to help existing companies diversify or support the creation of new local supply chains.

  1. Lead a Just Transition to net zero

Scottish Labour’s Just Transition would mean no person or community is left disadvantaged as we move to a low carbon economy.

Scottish Labour would deliver a statutory Just Transition Commission to focus on how the transition to net zero would benefit those who are unemployed, underemployed or who are at risk of unemployment as a result of the current economic crisis and the transition.

Scotland needs a bold industrial strategy to lay out how domestic manufacturing capacity must evolve to ensure that the growth in domestic renewable energy production leads to new jobs in Scotland.  Alongside this, we would establish the Scottish Energy Development Agency to coordinate the growth in renewable energy production including in skills and training. It would work closely with the Scottish National Investment Bank to invest in the development of the domestic supply chain.

Scottish Labour would only sign new contracts for offshore wind farms when a plan for supply chain manufacturing was in place and conditions on job creation in Scotland were met.

  1. Create greener communities

Covid-19 has brought into stark relief not only the value of green space but also the inequality of access to green space. Addressing this cannot wait. Progress to decarbonise our transport sector has also been too slow and emissions from road vehicles have continued to rise. Accelerating the decarbonisation of existing transport networks, and investing in the roll out of low carbon alternatives must be a priority.

Scottish Labour would adopt a new approach to development that puts public health and the environment first: Our national housing agency would be centrally responsible for the acquisition of finance, land and housing, and dealing with derelict and vacant land, and act as a prime mover in the delivery of housing. It would ensure the development of well designed communities with green space.

Scottish Labour would reinstate the ability of public authorities to acquire land at near use value. As a result the public sector would capture the uplift in the value of land that results when planning permission is granted, unlocking significant funds for infrastructure and development.

Existing communities can’t be neglected: We would invest in councils to create urban and rural safe active travel routes, green spaces and food growing places.

Scottish Labour will invest in interest-free government loans to help more low and middle income households to buy electric cars, establish more care sharing schemes, and accelerate the roll-out of electric charging points with an initial focus on underserved areas.

We will increase active travel spending to 10% of the overall transport budget, giving priority to encouraging and enabling people to get out of their cars and onto bikes and walking.

We will introduce free bus travel for under 25s and invest in the manufacture and widespread introduction of accessible green buses.




[4] zerothe-uks-contribution-to-stopping-global-warming/


Earlier today Scottish Labour’s Inverness and Nairn candidate and lead Highlands and Islands list candidate, Rhoda Grant, joined  her colleague and Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch Scottish Labour candidate, John Erskine, and other residents and trade unionists at the Highlands and Islands Workers’ Memorial in #Inverness to commemorate International Workers’ Memorial Day.
They gathered to honour every worker who has died from Covid-19 and other work related illnesses and injuries.
Remember the dead, fight for the living. #IWMD21