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Covid-19 Lockdown: Next Steps

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Richard Leonard Richard Leonard Labour

Yes. People have seen a glimpse of a different kind of future, and there is demand for change.

Let me turn, finally, to the crisis in our care homes. That crisis, the unnecessary deaths in our care homes and the anxiety and fear of their staff have not gone away. As lockdown measures are eased, there is a real risk that they will increase and intensify.

The Government was too slow to take responsibility for care home residents for the first two months of the crisis. Now, as lockdown is lifted, they must be a priority. That is about the protection of their physical health through testing and personal protective equipment but it is also about their mental and emotional wellbeing, which we know will have been damaged by months of fear, isolation and—not least—separation from their families.

As the rest of the country gradually returns to some kind of normality, how will the Government ensure that the rights, wellbeing and dignity of our care home residents are respected and upheld?