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

Save Murrayfield Ice Rink

Alison Johnstone MSP Sun 6 Dec, 2020

I was saddened to hear of the recent closure of the Murrayfield Ice Rink. For decades, the rink has hosted many and varied events, from professional ice hockey to disco skating to the closing ceremony of the first Commonwealth Games to be held in Scotland and has brought much joy to those who live in Edinburgh and further afield. Until the pandemic hit, people could flock to Murrayfield to watch sporting events but also take skating lessons or learn about the building’s fascinating history.

Greens: Abused women must be able to access help

Thu 26 Nov, 2020

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone has supported calls for all health services to be able to respond to and support women suffering from domestic violence, after the UN called violence against women the

Greens hail routine testing of healthcare workers

Wed 25 Nov, 2020

Moves to regularly test all public facing healthcare workers in Scotland has been welcomed by the Scottish Greens.