Covid-19 (Private Sector Assistance)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I agree 100 per cent. I hope that we know about the company that Pauline McNeill is talking about, but, just in case we do not, I would be grateful if she passed on the details.

Ivan McKee is chairing a working group that involves officials from the Scottish Government, the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and the national health service, which is co-ordinating efforts to mobilise the wider Scottish manufacturing base so that it can support work on NHS shortages of key manufactured products. Ventilators are very much at the top of the list of priorities, but, as I said to Richard Leonard, other products will fall into that category. Any company that feels that it has something to contribute should contact us.

We have been inundated with offers from individuals and companies. We have gin and whisky distillers making hand sanitiser. I have had offers of timber if we need to build things. I have had offers right across the spectrum, of everything that members could imagine. People in the entertainment and events industry have offered their skills and help if hospitals need to reconfigure their physical base.

There is so much good will out there, and we need to harness it. I am keen that there is, in the Scottish Government, a central point at which to collate all those offers, so that nobody’s offer of kindness or help falls through the cracks. I have asked for some work to be done on that. If members have been contacted in that regard, I ask them please to pass the information on to us.