Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Bill Kidd Bill Kidd Scottish National Party

I thank Linda Fabiani for shining a light on this year’s Marie Curie great daffodil appeal. The appeal runs throughout March and provides members of the public with the opportunity to support Marie Curie by donating money for a daffodil pin. The pins are worn in memory of someone who has died, or to show support for Marie Curie’s invaluable services and research.

As an organisation, Marie Curie cares for people in one of the most precious periods of life—their final years, months or days. By being provided with the best possible support at that time, patients are shown love, care and respect. That type of care—care in its truest sense—is incredibly important for people in that precious and important time in their lives, and many people in Scotland need palliative end-of-life care.

Raising awareness and donating money are relevant to the vast majority of Scots, because they directly benefit them or one of their loved ones. Of the 12,650 people who die in Glasgow every year, 75 per cent need palliative care. That high proportion of palliative-care need among the dying is the same in Scotland as a whole. We can see from that statistic that the great daffodil appeal is an incredibly meaningful movement.

Services that are provided by Marie Curie and its partners give dignity to people by providing choice to patients and by listening to them about their needs and preferences. There are many examples that illustrate the impact of that. One such example comes from the area that is covered by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, where 97 per cent of patients who are supported by Marie Curie are able to die in their place of choice, rather than having no options.

Facilitation of care and support at home is done by the fantastic Marie Curie nurses. They often stay with patients for hours on end—even through the night—to provide the care that is necessary to allow the patients to remain in their home. That nursing service is run by Marie Curie through the national health service, so it is free. It means that people are given dignity by being able to choose at-home care, should that be their preference, and it means that the overall cost of care is minimised. Therefore, people from all backgrounds are able to make end-of-life care choices that suit their needs and wishes. The Marie Curie hospices in Glasgow and Edinburgh are examples of that provision of choice and dignity.

Marie Curie also works in collaboration with partners including Macmillan Cancer Support nurses. They combine their efforts to offer exceptional support and pain-management advice to patients with terminal cancer. I acknowledge the work of all the Macmillan Cancer Support volunteers at the Beatson west of Scotland cancer centre in my constituency. They work with Maggie’s and Marie Curie to provide the best possible support for cancer patients from across Scotland.

As my colleague Linda Fabiani said, in order to keep all that fantastic work going, Marie Curie needs our support—it must raise £15 million every year in order to run all its services in Scotland. The great daffodil appeal is a fantastic way to contribute to that, so I encourage everyone to donate and pick up a daffodil today in support of the nurses, volunteers and researchers, and in memory of loved ones who have passed away.