Thu 17 Sep, 2020

If we are going to avoid a second wave this winter, the Scottish Government needs to produce a new testing strategy which upscales the responsibilities of NHS Scotland so that we are not relying on the UK Government’s failed approach Alison Johnstone

The Scottish Government must produce an updated testing strategy which recognises that the UK-wide system is failing and increases NHS Scotland’s role, the Scottish Greens have said.

At First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Greens parliamentary co-leader and health spokesperson Alison Johnstone raised the fact that UK testing centres are struggling to cope with demand as cases rise across the country.

The UK Department for Health and Social Care has been forced to ration availability of tests in England as many people are being sent hundreds of miles to attend privately run drive-through test centres.

Commenting, Alison Johnstone said: “Test and protect will only work if people can get a test, but the UK-wide testing programme is collapsing. This is a system which accounts for two thirds of the tests in Scotland. Like many, I am deeply concerned that we’ll pay for this chaos in the coming weeks.

“The First Minister claims access to tests is not an issue, but so many constituents have told me otherwise.

“If we are going to avoid a second wave this winter, the Scottish Government needs to produce a new testing strategy which upscales the responsibilities of NHS Scotland so that we are not relying on the UK Government’s failed approach.”

Ms Johnstone also raised unfairness in the way the rule of six is being implemented.

“It is vital that the public have confidence in the public health measures we are being told to adhere to. For months now people across the country have made great personal sacrifices to play their part in reducing the spread of this deadly virus, so it is deeply unfair that they can see shooting parties heading to the hills in unrestricted numbers to kill wildlife when children can’t play with their friends and families cannot visit their loved ones in care homes.

“The First Minister told me they can review guidance. She needs to get on and do it.”

Get involved

More like this

Scottish Government cannot rely on UK testing system say Greens

Mon 19 Oct, 2020

Responding to reports of capacity issues and delays with the UK Government’s Lighthouse testing facility in Glasgow, Scottish Greens Health Spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“It’s been clear for some time that the UK Government’s privatised testing system is not fit for purpose. Now, once again, this shambles has left us with no idea about how many new cases there are in Scotland.

Scottish Greens call for old firm game to air on free tv

Wed 14 Oct, 2020

Showing this weekend’s Celtic vs Rangers game on free to air tv could be an important preventative measure to help reduce the spread of the virus, encouraging fans to stay at home and watch the match, Scottish Greens Health and Sport Spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP has said.

Government must avoid repeating mistakes of Spring say Greens

Tue 13 Oct, 2020

The Scottish Government must avoid repeating the mistakes of Spring which saw COVID-19 rip through Scotland’s care homes, Scottish Greens Health Spokesperson Alison Johnstone has warned.

The Lothian MSP issued the warning after it emerged that it took six days to test everyone at Redmill Care Home in Bathgate where there have now been seven deaths. This after it was revealed that it took seven days to test residents at Milford House in Edinburgh. 

Alison Johnstone MSP said: