Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin

Tier System

The First Minister announced a new tiered system in an effort to tackle the rising cases of Covid-19.

With the virus resurging across the globe the Scottish Government acted quickly by implementing restrictions. The signs are they have made a positive impact with a slowing in the numbers of positive cases.

Current figures indicate that Glasgow will be placed in protection level 3. The Scottish Government have published guidance on the new framework system here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/ this sets out details for each level and information on what you can and cannot do.

These have been a tough few months but we need to stick with it and abate the spread. Please follow the FACTS – Face coverings, Avoid crowded places, Clean hands and surfaces regularly, Two metre distancing; and Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.

As always stay safe.

Flu Vaccination Programme

I continue to receive a considerable number of enquiries regarding the flu vaccine programme for over 65s. I participated in a meeting with representatives from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and laid bare the anxiety felt by constituents due to the way they had implemented the programme and the system adopted.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have now apologised which I had requested and they have assured me that they will be working hard to ensure that all remaining outstanding letters will be sent out this week with appointments scheduled before the end of November.

Care Homes Report

Public Health Scotland (PHS) have published their report on discharges from NHS hospitals to care homes in Scotland.

The Health Secretary commissioned this report because it is right that residents, families, staff, and Parliament, have accurate data and independent analysis on the transfer of patients to care homes and the impact that had in those care homes.

The data from this report gives a better understanding of the impact of discharges on outbreaks in care homes.

The PHS analysis does not find statistical evidence that hospital discharges were associated with care home outbreaks.

The Scottish Government will be taking forward the recommendations that PHS make in their report, and will continue to adapt the guidance and steps taken to protect care home staff and residents in line with the latest data, scientific evidence and clinical advice.

Covid-19 is the biggest public health crisis we have faced in our lifetimes and the impact on care homes around the world has been profound. Every life lost to the virus is a tragedy and a loss that will be deeply grieved by their loved ones.

You can access the full report here: https://beta.isdscotland.org/find-publications-and-data/population-health/covid-19/discharges-from-nhsscotland-hospitals-to-care-homes/

Nightclub and Soft Play Funding

Nightclubs and soft play centres that have been closed by law since March are to benefit from targeted funding provided by the Scottish Government.

One-off grants of up to £50,000 will be available to businesses in both sectors through the COVID-19 Contingency Fund with grants based on rateable value.

Businesses operating multiple premises will be eligible to claim one full grant plus grants of up to 75% on subsequent properties.

Guidance will be published this week to help soft play centres prepare for re-opening when it is safe to do so. The guidance has been developed in partnership with clinical experts, regulators, trade unions and industry representatives.

Face Covering Exemptions

The Scottish Government has produced a face covering exemption card, to support those who are unable to wear one to feel more confident and safe when accessing public spaces and using public services.

Physical and digital cards are available to request online from 29 October at www.exempt.scot or via a free helpline on 0800 121 6240.

Winter Heating Allowance

Families of disabled children will receive a new heating benefit by Christmas.

The Child Winter Heating Assistance is a new £200 payment to help families of a child on the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance for Children to heat their homes. There are more than 14,000 children expected to be eligible.

Payments will arrive with people from Friday 27 November and these are expected to be complete by Friday 11 December.

People do not need to apply for this payment. It will be made automatically by Social Security Scotland using information provided by the Department for Work and Pensions. Families will get a letter in advance to confirm that they will be getting this payment.

Miners Strike

Miners who were convicted during the 1980s strike are to be pardoned by the SNP Government following the publication of an independent review into the matter. This is very good news for those miners affected and their families.

It is believed about 1,400 miners were arrested across Scotland and more than 500 were convicted. A great number of miners across the country have suffered for years due to the excessive convictions handed out during the strike. The strike may have taken place 35 years ago, but there is still much anger in many of our local communities about how the miners were treated – and rightly so.

For decades, hundreds of men and their families have had to deal with the consequences of the strike and their heavy convictions.

This collective pardon also applies posthumously and is clear evidence of the SNP Government’s aim to right a historic wrong.

Bus Pass Under 19’s

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on new proposals to offer free bus travel for young people resident in Scotland aged under 19.

Over a third of people already benefit from free bus travel in Scotland. The proposed extension of free bus travel to approximately 770,000 young people will deliver on the budget agreement, as reaffirmed in the recent Programme for Government. At the same time the proposals help realise the vision proposed through the National Transport Strategy – contributing to a transport system with reduced inequalities and one that advances equality of opportunity.

All young carers will now benefit from the wider proposed extension to the National Concessionary Travel Scheme. As such, the Scottish Government does not intend to legislate for a specific extension to recipients of the Young Carer Grant. Legislation will also be put forward to offer free travel to companions of disabled children under the age of five as part of the extension to those aged under 19.

You can access the consultation here: https://consult.gov.scot/transport-scotland/consultation-free-bus-travel-for-people-under19/ Please ensure you submit your response prior to the closing date on 7 December.