I would like to give a couple more facts about the great daffodil appeal, because it is on the hook of that appeal that we have this annual debate. Scotland raises about £700,000 each year through the appeal, which sounds like an awful lot of money, but Marie Curie needs to raise more than £15 million every year to support its activities and services in Scotland. In central Scotland alone, there are 48 Marie Curie nurses providing care in NHS Lanarkshire, which is a lot of home visits and a lot of people being supported.
Marie Curie does absolutely loads in my constituency, East Kilbride, and the fundraising group there has gone from strength to strength. The only reason that they are not here tonight is because they had already made the commitment to make 14 collections in the two Morrisons stores in East Kilbride. They do wonderful work.
I have a couple of asks of the Government, which I hope that the minister will respond positively to. Everyone recognises the need for palliative care and a palliative care plan, but we should never be complacent about that. I back Marie Curie’s call for a commitment to a new national action plan. David Stewart has previously talked about the need to ensure that each individual gets the care that is best for them and their family, whether that be at home or in a hospice. Let us commit to looking again at a national action plan and co-designing it with those who know best how to do it.
We now have health and social care partnerships, which are so important to every community. I want to look at the requirement on them to publish local palliative and end-of-life care action plans and to make such plans a high priority.
Our demographics are changing and people are living longer, which is welcome, but we need to look at how best to manage that to the benefit of everyone. Everyone who volunteers for the Marie Curie charity takes that very seriously—I thank them for that. [