Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin

Restrictions

Following the announcement on the review of the restrictions in place across the country Glasgow will from 6pm tomorrow go into tier 4 until 11 December.

I understand that this is not the news that many wanted to hear and will be a blow however, the rate of infection remains stubbornly high and this needs to be driven down to protect lives.

Details of what you can and cannot do in tier 4 can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/

General information covering everything from business support to travel guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

Please stick with the guidance. Our collective effort will protect ourselves and those we love from a potentially deadly virus.

Devolution

The masked slipped from the Prime Minister this week when he made clear what many of us already knew – utter contempt for Scotland, democracy and devolution.

In a call with Tory MPs, the Prime Minister claimed “devolution has been a disaster north of the border” and was a “mistake” – rubbishing tired unionist claims the UK could become a federal state by arguing he did not “see a case” for devolving more powers.

The Tory government is undertaking a full scale assault on Scotland’s devolution settlement with its power grab bill. The Prime Minister’s disdain only serves to underline the growing threat we face.

It is clearer than ever that the only way to protect Scotland’s interests is to become an independent country.

Schools

I have had a number of enquiries regarding the guidance on Covid-19 and schools remaining open. The Scottish Government have published the following paper from the COVID-19 Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues.

The paper looks at the risks posed by the virus to pupils and staff, and the benefits to children and young people of schools remaining open.

You can access the paper here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-evidence-on-children-schools-early-learning-and-childcare-settings-and-transmission-from-covid-19—summary-report/

Drug Consumption Spaces

During portfolio questions this week in Parliament I took the opportunity to highlight the recent charging of Peter Krykant who has been operating a drug consumption van across the city.

Mr Krykant believes offering a safe environment that drug users can access will cut the health risks of problem drug use and evidence collated supports this conclusion.

Safe drug consumption rooms have been proposed by Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership and have the unanimous backing of Glasgow City Council. A majority of cross-party MSPs and many MPs also support their use.

The Scottish Government continues to press the UK Government who hold the power to make changes to legislation to allow these safe consumption spaces to be set up without prosecution.

You can access the full exchange here: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12948&i=117025

Music Industry

I am acutely aware of the impact the pandemic has had on our music industry. From musicians to venues to promoters to production staff. They have all felt the full force of the actions necessary to suppress the spread of the virus and none more so than Glasgow our UNESCO City of Music.

This week in Parliament, I participated in a debate on this issue highlighting the devastating effects on the industry across the constituency, which is home to so many incredible grass roots venues and musicians.

You can access both my contribution and the full debate here: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12947&i=117022

Health

As NHS Scotland prioritises essential and urgent care as well as continuing to treat Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, new guidance has been published to ensure patients with the greatest need are treated first.

The Framework for the Clinical Prioritisation of Elective Care sets out six principles that Boards will follow when making decisions on elective care waiting lists. It also ensures they have appropriate COVID-19 safety and priority measures in place.

Patient cases will be categorised into four levels of clinically agreed urgency based on their particular clinical condition. This approach will support patients and their clinical team when discussing treatment plans and the categories will inform how quickly patients will be seen and treated, allowing boards to prioritise those most in need.

I know that there are many people across the constituency who have concerns regarding their care in light of the pandemic and the impact on NHS services and I hope that this framework will address some of those worries.

Keeping Connected

New funding has been announced to provide around 1,400 care homes in Scotland with digital devices to connect those receiving care with their loved ones.

The £1 million fund will enable all care homes in Scotland to access iPads to help care home residents stay connected with friends and relatives, and support the clinical management of health conditions remotely.

From this week, all care homes will be able to apply for up to two iPads to support their residents through combined Scottish Government funding from the Connecting Scotland programme, which has committed £500,000 to the initiative, on top of the £500,000 allocated in the Adult Social Care Winter Preparedness plan.

You can access further information on this initiative here: https://connecting.scot/for-organisations

Scottish Elections 2021

The Scottish Government have published a Bill which will provide assurance for the Scottish Parliamentary Elections to go ahead safely and fairly in May next year.

The poll is expected to go ahead as planned on 6 May and the Scottish General Election (Coronavirus) Bill has been drafted to provide powers, if needed, to conduct the election differently such as earlier postal ballots or polling taking place over 2 days.

The Scottish Parliament’s Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee want to know whether this is the right approach and the impact that this would have for those involved in the election.

You can participate in this gathering of views here: https://yourviews.parliament.scot/sppa/scottish-general-election-coronavirus-bill/ but please note you must submit by 22 November.

You can access detail of the Bill here: https://beta.parliament.scot/bills/Scottish-General-Election-Coronavirus-Bill

As always 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.

Stay safe.