Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 15th December 2020.

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Photo of Daniel Johnson Daniel Johnson Labour

It was reported in the press yesterday that the advice that was provided to the Scottish Government by the director of public health for NHS Lothian regarding the city of Edinburgh prior to last week’s decision was

“DPH recommendation is for a move to Level 2.”

That is how the relevant document was quoted in the press.

I recognise that the decisions about levels are judgments. That is right—indeed, it is important, especially in the light of the changing circumstances. However, transparency requires that we understand not just what the decisions are, but how those decisions are arrived at. The published rationale for last week’s level decision for Edinburgh comprised just three bullet points; this week’s comprises just five, with no supporting opinion or advice provided, beyond statistics.

I ask the First Minister to publish advice from local directors of public health alongside Scottish Government levels publications. I also ask that the Scottish Government provide more published detail regarding the rationale and judgment for the level decisions, particularly when they differ from the advice of local directors of public health.