Page last updated at 15:54 GMT, Wednesday, 27 October 2010 16:54 UK

Health Committee

Palliative care expert Dr. Richard Scheffer has told the Health Committee that funding for palliative care should be ringfenced.

Dr Scheffer from Dignity and Dying said, if the government did not ringfence this area, the financial pressure on health and care services meant money would not be prioritised for palliative treatment.

The committee was considering the Palliative Care Bill at the first stage of its parliamentary scrutiny on 27 October 2010.

The legislation, if passed, will require palliative care to be provided to anyone with a life-limiting condition and to the patient's families.

But many of the witnesses giving evidence said there was much work to be done to educate workforces on what conditions qualified for palliative care.

David McNiven from the MS Society Scotland, said that many suffering from MS or Alzheimers are losing out on palliative care, because many workers did not understand what it was.

The bill will also require health boards to report on the provision of palliative care to be made to the Scottish Parliament.

Irene Mckie from Strathcarron Hospice said, unless the bill brought funding with it, there would be no point in it.

MSPs also quizzed Dr David Oxenham from Marie Curie Hospice Edinburgh and Dr Colin Barrett and Jacquie Lindsay from St Margaret of Scotland Hospice.

The committee also questioned Sandra Campbell from the Royal College of Nursing Scotland; Katrina McNamara-Goodger from the Association for Children's Palliative Care; Professor Scott Murray from the Association of Palliative Medicine and Dr Robert Euan Paterson from the Royal College of General Practitioners; David McNiven from MS Society Scotland and Jenny Henderson from Alzheimer Scotland.

Health Committee membership

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