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Inside Holyrood: The work of a woman honoured as a "Local Hero" in the Scottish Parliament is highlighted by a Highlands and Islands MSP

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Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant pays tribute to Mary Ramsay for her work in campaigning to improve the lives of people with Essential Tremor:

This month has been a busy one and it has been a great mix of both constituency and parliamentary work.

Last week was a special one as I got to see Inverness local Mary Ramsay honoured as a "Local Hero" in the Scottish Parliament opening ceremony.

Mary has Essential Tremor, a condition she has lived with her entire life but which was not diagnosed until she was 48.

For the past few years she has, in conjunction with Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, worked tirelessly to raise £2.3 million for a focused ultrasound device.

This technology will help those with Essential Tremor and other conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.

She is also the chairwoman of the Scottish Tremor Society and, locally, campaigns for disabled rights and voices local concerns on behalf of the disabled community.

I have enjoyed working with Mary these past few years and as a friend it was lovely to see her be honoured in the parliament.

Watching the news has been particularly difficult this month.

Ahead of what is set to be a difficult winter, the Citizens Advice Bureau reached out to me to highlight their services and ability to conduct a free financial check on anyone who is struggling with rising bills.

There are many grants and benefits available but the system is far too complex for most of us to understand.

If you are struggling financially, I would urge you to reach out to them for help.

There has been a debate on issues surrounding the ambulance service.

I think all MSPs agree that paramedics and ambulance staff work tirelessly in very difficult circumstances to provide lifesaving care.

But sadly it has come to light that people are waiting hours for help due to lack of resources within the service itself, and there are longer waiting times to get patients admitted when they arrive at hospital.

Scottish Labour obtained FOI information on the ambulance service locally.

According to the information provided in the first half of 2021, 156 patients waited for more than an hour to be transferred from the ambulance to Raigmore Hospital.

Although shocking, it’s worth noting that the picture across the country paints a harsher picture, with numbers sitting in the thousands in some hospitals in the central belt.

I welcome moves from the Scottish Government to tackle the problem but the question of why it had to be spotlighted for them to try to tackle it remains.

I will end with a bit of good news. I am expanding my team and I have a temporary full-time position for a Parliamentary and Research Assistant. You can find more about this on my website or on my social media pages.

Inverness health campaigner meets the Queen

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