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Older People (Support during Covid-19 Outbreak)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 4th June 2020.

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Photo of James Kelly James Kelly Labour

8. To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to support older people during the Covid-19 outbreak. (S5O-04371)

Photo of Christina McKelvie Christina McKelvie Scottish National Party

James Kelly is probably going to hear some of the information that we have already given in response to the previous seven questions.

Additional Covid-related funding for members of our older people’s strategic action forum totals almost £900,000 and includes around £700,000 for Age Scotland; £41,000 for Generations Working Together; £12,000 for Hourglass Scotland, which was formerly Action on Elder Abuse Scotland; £10,000 for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health and wellbeing sector for its older members; £17,000 for Outside the Box; £2,800 for the Scottish Pensioners Forum, which is putting out a great newsletter on social media every couple of days; and more than £110,000 for the Scottish Ethnic Minority Older People Forum.

We recognise that some people need additional assistance. We launched a national helpline on 14 April in response to that, to help people at risk access essential help—essential food and medication, emotional support and contact with local volunteer groups, who have done an amazing job—should they not have family or other support.

Photo of James Kelly James Kelly Labour

What is being done to support older people with Covid-19 medical conditions—[

Temporary loss of sound.

]—to ensure that those can get monitored and do not deteriorate—[

Temporary loss of sound

.]—and get appropriate follow-up?

The Presiding Officer:

I hope that the minister heard that question.

Photo of Christina McKelvie Christina McKelvie Scottish National Party

The sound was pretty intermittent, so I do not think that I did. I only caught something about health conditions.

The Presiding Officer:

It was about ensuring that people had the appropriate medical follow-up for underlying health conditions.

Photo of Christina McKelvie Christina McKelvie Scottish National Party

Yes, absolutely. One of the threads in our work with the older people’s strategic action forum is all about health and social care. As Jeane Freeman has explained on a number of occasions, we have obviously had to suspend a lot of our normal processes, such as screening programmes, and looking after older people is a big part of that work.

The work that we are now doing alongside health colleagues is to ensure that those programmes start to gradually build up again. The older people’s strategic action forum has been a key partner in ensuring that we do that right and that we start to open the right programmes soon.

If James Kelly has a particular interest in a local case in his constituency or region, I am keen to hear about it. We can address the issue if it is specific, so it would be helpful if James Kelly dropped me a note.

The Presiding Officer:

That is a good idea. I was going to go back to James Kelly’s question, but the line quality was pretty poor, so I did not want to extend our time. I thank all members and ministers for their contributions.

14:26 Meeting suspended.

14:30 On resuming—