Green proposals to upscale testing wins parliamentary support

MSPs have unamously backed Scottish Green proposals to scale up Scotland’s COVID testing capacity to better control the spread of the virus.

At the debate on the latest measures in Holyrood, MSPs backed Alison Johnstone’s amendment to continue to build further capacity within NHS Scotland with the aim of providing weekly tests for front line staff, including hospital workers, social care staff, school and university staff and students.

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone said: “In April I published evidenced proposals for regular testing for all front line staff in hospitals and the care sector, and last month I made the case for NHS Scotland to be charged with delivering a programme of mass testing for Scotland as it became clear the privatised UK Government system was failing.

“That’s why I’m glad that these proposals have been supported by the Parliament and Government today. Mass testing is critical if Scotland is to get on top of this terrible virus, and a key part of this is weekly testing of those who are most at risk of infection such as NHS staff, carers, and school and university staff and students.

"Given people can pass this on without showing symptoms this is how we can significantly increase how many cases we identify, stop the spread of the virus and save more lives. It also gives front line workers, who we owe so much, the reassurance that they are not bringing the virus home to their families.

“Scotland must look at countries that have been successful in the elimination of community transmission of COVID-19 , such as New Zealand. We can’t afford to be held back by an outsourced UK-wide system.”