Covid-19 Lockdown: Next Steps

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

Alert me about debates like this

The First Minister:

Some very important issues are contained in those questions. If I do not cover all the detail in them, I will ask the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport to write to Joan McAlpine with additional detail.

The data that she asks about is not currently collected on death certificates. We are working with National Records of Scotland and the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory to ascertain whether the data from death certificates can be linked with census data to give an indication of how many deaths related to Covid-19 have been of people with learning disabilities or autism.

All social care and social work staff who work with vulnerable people in the social care system—in care homes, care at home and children’s services including residential and secure care—and social care personal assistants are in priority group 1 for testing. That testing will continue to be routed primarily through NHS testing at local NHS facilities.

We are working with clinical advisers to develop guidance on minimising the distress of testing for people who might be anxious about being tested. We are also very conscious of the need to ensure that appropriate visiting of people is possible, even within the current restrictions.

As I said earlier, I will ask the health secretary to write to Joan McAlpine with additional detail on the key points that she raised in her questions.