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Debates and questions

These are the official transcripts of what people said in:

  • the Chamber the place where Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) meet to debate and make decisions
  • committee meetings - committees are small groups of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) from different political parties

This part of the website also includes written questions and answers. 

Debates and Questions Listing

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Chamber

Official transcripts of what MSPs said in the Chamber. This is the place where all MSPs meet to debate and make decisions.

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 29 October 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Point of Order, Brian Taylor, Portfolio Question Time, European Union Exit (Further and Higher Education), UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Points of Order, UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 28 October 2020 Draft

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Miners’ Strike Review, NHS (Winter Preparedness), Energy Inquiry, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Reunification of Germany (30th Anniversary).

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 27 October 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Inward Investment Plan, Covid-19: Scotland’s Strategic Framework, Decision Time, Student Paramedics (Bursary Support).

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 08 October 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan, Reducing Covid-19 Transmission, Trade Bill, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 07 October 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Covid-19, Scottish Qualifications Authority National Qualifications 2020-21, Urgent Question, United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, South-west Scotland Transport Infrastructure.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 06 October 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Business Motion, United Kingdom Budget Delay, Topical Question Time, Coronavirus Legislation, International Development (Covid-19), Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time, Miscarriage.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 01 October 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament 30 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Point of Order, Portfolio Question Time, Supporting Students through the Global Pandemic, Family Care Givers, Agriculture Bill, Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Albion Rovers FC (Mark Millar Donation).

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 29 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Business Motions, Scottish Budget Update, Topical Question Time, Complaints against MSPs (Committee Bill Proposal), Social Security Administration and Tribunal Membership (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Social Security Administration and Tribunal Membership (Scotland) Bill, Sentencing Bill, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Mossmorran (Just Transition).

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 24 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan 2021-22 to 2025-26, Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 23 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, Prioritising Education, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 22 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Covid-19, Minority Ethnic People and Communities, Decision Time, Residential Outdoor Centres.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 17 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Employment Support, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament 16 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Sustainable Aviation beyond Covid-19, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Museum for Human Rights.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 15 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Migration and Care Workers, Decision Time, World Suicide Prevention Day 2020.

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Meeting of the Parliament 10 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Scottish Parliament (Assistance for Political Parties) Bill: Stage 1, Internal Market, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 09 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Presiding Officer’s Statement, Point of Order, Portfolio Question Time, Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, Fisheries Bill, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Dirty Camping.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 08 September 2020

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Baroness Cumberlege Report, Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution, Business Motion, Decision Time, Alcohol Foetal Spectrum Disorders.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Virtual) 03 September 2020

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time.

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Committee

Transcripts of committee meetings are uploaded as soon as they've been checked for accuracy. This may be a few days after the meeting has taken place.

Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints

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COVID-19 Committee

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Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee

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Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee

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Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee

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Education and Skills Committee

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Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee

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Equalities and Human Rights Committee

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Finance and Constitution Committee

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Health and Sport Committee

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Justice Committee

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Justice Sub-Committee on Policing

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Local Government and Communities Committee

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Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee

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Public Petitions Committee

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Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee

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Social Security Committee

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Solicitors in the Supreme Courts of Scotland (Amendment) Bill Committee

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Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee

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Written Questions

These are questions that MSPs have asked the Scottish Government about its work. It also includes any answers to these questions.

S5W-32545: Rona Mackay (Strathkelvin and Bearsden)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 14 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when the role of the Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (INWO) for NHS Scotland will be established, and when the new Whistleblowing Standards, developed by the SPSO, will come into effect.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 15 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 15 October 2020

The role of the INWO will be implemented with effect from 1 April 2021. This new role, which is the first of its kind in the UK, will provide a mechanism for external review of how a Health Board, primary care or independent provider has handled a whistleblowing case.

The role was originally due to go-live in Summer 2020 but this was revised in view of the current pandemic and in consultation with the Scottish Public Sector Ombudsmen. We have continued to engage with the SPSO and we have balanced the need to timeously deliver the commitment of the INWO whistleblowing measure with the need for our Health Service to prepare for its implementation, particularly in view of the remobilisation plans, the ongoing pandemic and winter pressures.

The Public Services Reform (The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman) (Healthcare Whistleblowing) Order 2020 extends the powers of the SPSO, to take on the role of the INWO. These powers also allow the SPSO to set a ‘model procedure’ for handling whistleblowing concerns raised by staff and others delivering NHS services. The Standards have been developed by the SPSO who engaged closely with key stakeholders from the NHS, Scottish Government, whistleblowing specialists as well as whistleblowers.

The Standards will be formally published when the INWO goes live on 1 April 2021. For NHSScotland staff, these will form the ‘Once for Scotland’ Whistleblowing Policy that will go-live at the same time. In view of the legislative requirements that Health Boards will need to prepare for there will be an implementation period of 3 months, supported by SPSO in advance of the INWO go live date.

SPSO and Scottish Government continue to liaise with stakeholders to prepare for implementation.

Until 1 April 2021, the current processes and procedures remain in place and both the Scottish Government and SPSO will be working on communications to ensure this is understood.

S5W-32492: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, based on scientific projections, how much lower it expects the COVID-19 R number will be by the end of October 2020 following the so-called circuit-breaker, and how this compares with the projected number if no further interventions were made.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32479: Pauline McNeill (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether, under the current COVID-19 restrictions, brides and grooms must wear face coverings during wedding ceremonies.

Answered by: Ash Denham on 28 October 2020

Answered by: Ash Denham 28 October 2020

The First Minister announced on 15 October that the Scottish Ministers would change the regulations on face coverings to exempt the couple getting married for the duration of their wedding ceremony. This is provided that the couple maintain physical distancing from others present. A partition can be used as an alternative, if such physical distancing is not possible. The amended regulations came into effect on 16 October.

 

S5W-32525: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to respond to demand for child and adolescent mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32519: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how may staff in each cancer centre have been tested for COVID-19.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

Health Boards been routinely testing healthcare workers in key areas (oncology, long stay elderly care and mental health wards where the length of stay is over three months) since 8th July. This includes staff working on Specialist Cancer Wards and Treatment Areas.

The Scottish Government has been working closely with Health Boards to develop key data on the testing of NHS staff to ensure robust and reliable information. We are working to ensure the data is robust and aim publish this data once this is confirmed.

S5W-32504: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what proportion of people in Scotland who have tested positive for COVID-19 following a routine test have been asymptomatic.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32493: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, based on scientific projections, what changes it expects to see to the doubling time rate of the COVID-19 virus by the end of October 2020 following the so-called circuit-breaker, and how this compares with the projected rate if no further interventions were made.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32480: Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that each NHS board has sufficient measures in place to ensure that pregnant women can be accompanied by their partners when attending pregnancy, maternity and neonatal services, particularly couples who have previously experienced a loss.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

The Scottish Government has published ‘ COVID-19 maternity and neonatal settings visiting guidance’ that is designed to sit and be read alongside the ‘ COVID-19: visiting guidance for hospitals in Scotland’ to provide clarity on what families can expect when attending a maternity or neonatal setting for care.

The guidance outlines that pregnant women can be accompanied to antenatal, postnatal and clinic or scan appointments, and have their birth partner present throughout their entire labour and birth. In addition the birth partner can attend the postnatal ward after delivery. We expect and all Boards to be working towards finding solutions to implement this guidance wherever possible.

 

S5W-32483: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to help people of all ages who have become unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32501: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a breakdown of the financial support that it has provided to food redistribution charities in each year since 2013.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32484: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many young people it estimates need employment support; what progress it has made on developing the Young Person Guarantee and Kickstart schemes in Scotland, and how many young people in Scotland it estimates will be helped through each of these schemes.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32481: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how much additional funding it is providing to local authorities to assist them with local economic recovery plans, and what specific support it has provided to (a) West Lothian, (b) Midlothian and (c) the City of Edinburgh Council.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop on 27 October 2020

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 27 October 2020

Communities, including those affected by the COVID-19 restrictions in West Lothian, Midlothian and the City of Edinburgh, continue to be supported by investment through the Scottish Government’s Communities funding package. Details of funding allocated by local authority area can be found using the Scottish Government’s Communities Fund Mapping Tool .

The tool highlights that since the start of the pandemic over £24.5 million has been allocated to support communities in West Lothian (£6m), Midlothian (£3.1m) and the City of Edinburgh (£15.4m). These areas also benefit from wider investments including those set out in recent correspondence to the Communities Committee . On 20 October 2020 the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People announced a further £30 million of funding to tackle financial insecurity across the winter period and continue the provision of Free School Meals during school holidays, allocations for this funding will be made available once formally agreed with COSLA Leaders.

To support businesses affected by the temporary restrictions put in place from 9 October, I announced the COVID-19 Restrictions Fund on 13 October, making an initial £40 million available. An increase to the value of grants through the scheme was announced on 21 October, with increased funding available to support businesses affected by the extension of restrictions.

These measures are part of the wider £2.3 billion package of support for business, including an estimated £972 million worth of COVID reliefs to reduce business costs during the pandemic, over £1 billion worth of business support fund grants and almost £160 million of additional grant support for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and newly self-employed people.

Statistics on grants awarded by Local Authorities through the Small Business Grant Scheme and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme are published on the Scottish Government website at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-business-support-fund-grant-statistics/ .

Statistics on the grants for the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund (PERF) and Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund (CTHEHF), and Bed and Breakfasts Hardship Fund (B&BHF) are published at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-hardship-and-resilience-funds-statistics

Statistics on relief awards by Local Authority will be available in the Non-domestic rates relief statistics publication scheduled for release on 30 November 2020. Grant awards through the COVID-19 Restrictions Fund will be reported in due course.

This unprecedented and fast-moving support recognises the crucial role that local authorities have during the Covid-19 crisis, and that the Scottish Government is committed to continue to deliver for businesses, communities and especially the most disadvantaged in our society.

 

S5W-32477: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to increase the number of secondary breast cancer nurses and patients' access to them.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32508: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many public waste bins each local authority has had in each year since 2014.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32497: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government which hospitality sub-sectors it has prioritised for support to reduce food waste; what best practice guidance has been developed for them, and what proportion of businesses in each of these sub-sectors has received such guidance in the last 12 months.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32486: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether Scottish Enterprise will rehire directly its cleaning staff whose contracts have been terminated by Sodexo because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop on 22 October 2020

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 22 October 2020

This is an operational matter for Scottish Enterprise. I have passed your query to Linda Hanna, the Interim Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, who will provide an answer to you directly.

S5W-32521: Emma Harper (South Scotland)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on trades people’s ability to enter private homes, combined with loss of earnings, whether it will consider a one-year delay to the implementation of the amendment to the Housing (Scotland) Act (1987) that requires home owners to pay an average of £220 by February 2021 to comply with the new fire safety regulations.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart on 27 October 2020

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 27 October 2020

Yes. Improving fire safety remains a key priority for the Scottish Government, and our intention is that everyone should benefit from the same level of protection, whether you own your home or rent from a social or private landlord. However, the Scottish Government recognises the challenges, due to COVID-19, that affect home owners and the work needed to meet the new safety standards for fire and smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Therefore I intend to bring forward regulations shortly which, subject to Parliamentary approval, will amend the commencement date for new minimum standards to 1 February 2022.

S5W-32524: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to Youthlink Scotland’s finding that one in two youth workers believe that young people’s mental health will be detrimentally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered by: Richard Lochhead on 28 October 2020

Answered by: Richard Lochhead 28 October 2020

We are aware mental health is a particular concern right now and it will be more so as we come out of this crisis. Our recently published Transition and Recovery Plan, ‘Mental Health - Scotland's Transition and Recovery’, sets out a number of actions to progress improvement on access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) including the implementation of our CAMHS Service Specification and the restarting of our improvement programme of work. In the Plan we have also committed to developing a population health response to the issues affecting the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people and their families. This includes continuing to develop mental health and wellbeing support in education and schools, and a response to support children, young people and families experiencing heightened distress.

During the Covid-19 pandemic we also have continued to invest in a range of measures to support children and young people’s mental health. This includes providing enhanced digital resources on mental health and wellbeing available via Young Scot’s website and social media, and the introduction of a new Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Services for 5-24 year olds.

S5W-32482: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what plans are in place to ensure that additional resources allocated to economic recovery go to those who need it most and are used to alleviate poverty, improve health outcomes and build stronger communities.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop on 29 October 2020

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 29 October 2020

We understand the economic and social impact that restrictions are having on businesses and communities, that is why we have put in place a package of package of support worth over £2.3 billion to limit the impact of COVID-19 and this month we also confirmed £48 million of new support through our Covid-19 Restrictions Fund to help affected businesses and protect jobs.

With local businesses playing a key role in building stronger communities, we have awarded a number of to support small business through this challenging time. Statistics on grants awarded by Local Authorities through the Small Business Grant Scheme and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme are published on the Scottish Government website at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-business-support-fund-grant-statistics/ . Statistics on the grants for the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund (PERF) and Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund (CTHEHF), and Bed and Breakfasts Hardship Fund (B&BHF) are published at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-hardship-and-resilience-funds-statistics

We are increasing our investment in the Parental Employability Support Fund by £2.35 million for those most at-risk of poverty, including disabled, young, and ethnic minority parents. We are also extending the Fair Start Scotland service for a further two years to March 2023. This will provide support for unemployed disabled people, those with health conditions and/or other barriers to moving into fair and sustained work.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Fair Work Joint Statement also outlines our expectations regarding fair work practices in restarting Scotland’s economy: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-fair-work-statement/ .

 

S5W-32489: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many people in high-risk cohorts were eligible for the flu vaccination at the beginning of October 2020, and how many have received the vaccination so far.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32496: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how business advice and support services to identify and demonstrate the value of food waste to the hospitality sector have been expanded since 2019.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32513: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether golf clubs can suspend their licence to sell alcohol and continue to operate restaurant facilities under the most recent COVID-19 guidelines.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32520: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what percentage of staff in each cancer centre are tested weekly for COVID-19, and when this testing began.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

Health Boards been routinely testing healthcare workers in key areas (oncology, long stay elderly care and mental health wards where the length of stay is over three months) since 8th July. This includes staff working on Specialist Cancer Wards and Treatment Areas.

The Scottish Government has been working closely with Health Boards to develop key data on the testing of NHS staff to ensure robust and reliable information. We are working to ensure this data can be published.

S5W-32490: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, based on scientific projections, how many fewer hospital admissions it expects to see by the end of October 2020 following the so-called circuit-breaker, and how this compares with the projected number if no further interventions were made.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32491: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, based on scientific projections, how many fewer daily COVID-19 infections it expects to see by the end of October 2020 following the so-called circuit-breaker, and how this compares with the projected number if no further interventions were made.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32502: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its plans to develop advice and support services for community food redistribution projects; what services have been developed; where they have been deployed, and which projects have benefited from them.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32494: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has instructed its appointed office equipment supplier in its procurement framework not to deliver IT equipment and supplies to people working from home and, if so, when that instruction was given, and when it plans to rescind it.

Answered by: Kate Forbes on 26 October 2020

Answered by: Kate Forbes 26 October 2020

The Scottish Government has not instructed its framework suppliers of IT equipment not to deliver equipment and supplies to people working from home.

Scottish public sector organisations using these frameworks can directly engage with suppliers to discuss their specific order, build and delivery requirements. The procurement frameworks have the flexibility to accommodate requests for bespoke delivery, including home delivery.

S5W-32515: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to ensure that personalised stratified follow-up is introduced with a digitalised IT remote monitoring system to all suitable prostate cancer patients as pathways recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32517: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the (a) membership and (b) remit of the Care Homes Clinical and Professional Advisory Group.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

The Clinical and Professional Advisory Group (CPAG)is co-chaired by the National Clinical Advisor on Ageing and Health, Chief Medical Officer Directorate, and the Depute Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Nursing Officer Directorate in the Scottish Government.

Group membership includes clinical advisers with expertise in gerontology, nursing, general practice, academia, public health, and representatives from RCPE, RCN, RCPSG. Professional representatives include care home providers, social work, Care Inspectorate, SSSC, Scottish Care and third sector organisations.

The CMO and CNO commissioners have agreed with CPAG chairs an extension of remit to all adult social care and are currently reviewing membership to ensure alignment.

S5W-32500: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its consultation on an obligation for food retail sites over a certain size to redistribute edible food; when it expects to implement such measures, and what the criteria will be for site inclusion.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32495: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide details of the effect that its advertising campaigns have had in increasing uptake of tools to prevent food waste among consumers and householders.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32506: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how much (a) it and (b) its agencies have spent on tackling litter in each of the last five years.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32507: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has carried of the (a) frequency and (b) quantity of litter in each year since 2014.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32512: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many incidents of fly-tipping have been recorded in each year since 2014.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32498: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide details of the methodology and source of the behavioural change science used in developing its consumer food waste prevention schemes, and how often this scientific advice is refreshed.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32503: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on what its position is regarding having regular and routine COVID-19 testing on people who are asymptomatic.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

As set out in our strategic framework for the pandemic published on 23 October, our plans to develop the testing element of Test and Protect in the next three months are focussed on building capacity within NHS Scotland and deploying expansions in UK Government testing capacity and capability to its maximum effect in Scotland.

These increases in capacity will primarily be required to meet demand from people with symptoms of Covid, both those infected with Covid, and those with colds or flu, or other illness with similar symptoms and for clinical patient care. As testing capacity builds and in line with clinical and public health priorities identified though the review of our testing strategy, we will also extend routine weekly testing of asymptomatic groups in a way which focusses on protecting those most vulnerable to the most harm, including those at highest risk of mortality.

Further details on the Framework can be found here:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-19-scotlands-strategic-framework/

Regular testing of this type sits alongside other measures such as strong emphasis on symptomatic individuals immediately self-isolating and arranging testing, use of appropriate PPE, physical distancing, environmental optimisation and decontamination and good social hygiene.

S5W-32475: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government for what reasons collecting secondary breast cancer data will reportedly not be prioritised as part of the cancer recovery plan or its cancer strategy.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32478: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what evidence it has that determined that contact sports such as football should not take place in a non-professional capacity under the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32474: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to reduce treatment times for secondary breast cancer.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32499: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when the Waste Data Strategy Board’s detailed monitoring and reporting timeline will be published.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32476: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to increase awareness among GPs of the potential symptoms of recurring breast cancer.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32510: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what behaviour-change marketing campaigns it has run since 2011 aimed at discouraging littering, broken down by the (a) cost of, (b) reach of and (c) outcome in litter reduction achieved by each campaign.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32518: James Kelly (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, it light of the potential benefits of outdoor team sports on mental and physical health and the positive impact that sports clubs can bring to communities, whether it will reconsider the COVID-19 restrictions on such activities.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32523: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to support national voluntary youth work organisations in Scotland, in light of a reported income loss of at least £20.5 million in 2020.

Answered by: Richard Lochhead on 28 October 2020

Answered by: Richard Lochhead 28 October 2020

The Scottish Government recognise all sectors will be finding this a challenging time, particularly third sector organisations and charities. We are engaging with CLD providers in colleges, local authorities and third sector organisations who are supporting vulnerable learners to understand the financial impact of COVID on their work. Prioritising the most vulnerable communities will be essential in order to ensure existing poverty gaps are not exacerbated and Scotland’s ambitions for Inclusive Economic Growth and a fairer society are maintained. We have taken a number of actions to support the CLD sector, financially, during this time. For example, Ministers have taken the decision to further extend the Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention & Adult Learning and Empowering Communities (CYPFEI & ALEC) fund to 31 March 2022. These funds support a variety of youth work organisations across Scotland. In addition, the government have adapted existing funding for the National Voluntary Youth Work Organisations Support Fund to be used flexibly to help third youth work sector organisations during the pandemic. The Scottish Government also made available an additional £350 million to councils, charities, businesses and community groups. We are pleased to note that hundreds of youth work sector organisations have been able to benefit through these measures.

S5W-32522: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to support the youth work sector to respond to an increased demand for youth work services.

Answered by: Richard Lochhead on 28 October 2020

Answered by: Richard Lochhead 28 October 2020

The Scottish Government recognises the adaptability, agility and innovation the youth work sector has shown by continuing to meet the needs of young people in these challenging times. Throughout the pandemic, Community Learning and Development services and organisations rose to the challenge, providing remote learning and mental health support to children and young people – and their families. We are investing £3m in youth work to support young people most disproportionately affected by the pandemic. This investment will allow services to build on this contribution by providing interventions to support education recovery, based on an assessment of local and individual needs. This £3m investment brings the Scottish Government’s total investment in youth work in 2020/21 to, at least, £12.5m – an increase of 30% compared to 2019-2020.

S5W-32505: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how much landfill tax has been recovered from illegally deposited waste by Revenue Scotland in each year since 2014.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32509: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its planned 2020 review of its national litter strategy, Towards A Litter-Free Scotland: A Strategic Approach To Higher Quality Local Environments.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32516: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what specific consultation the Care Homes Clinical and Professional Advisory Group has undertaken with the care home workforce regarding (a) care home visiting and (b) other staff health and safety matters.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

The Clinical and Professional Advisory Group is a multi-disciplinary group of care home providers, clinicians, nursing, GP, social work and social care, scrutiny and third sector representatives which considers and advises on issues during the pandemic. Meeting weekly, all members including workforce representatives have the opportunity to shape the agenda and to inform guidance to the sector, including on visiting. Infection Prevention and Control and visiting focussed sub-groups also include the care home workforce.

The CPAG co-chair and representatives regularly attend a workforce surgery call/ webinars to discuss visiting and clinical and professional practice with Scottish Care members and will continue to engage in a range of ways with the sector.

S5W-32488: Liam Kerr (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on making the desecration of war memorials a specific offence.

Answered by: Ash Denham on 28 October 2020

Answered by: Ash Denham 28 October 2020

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-31292 on 26 August 2020. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .

S5W-32511: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many fixed penalty notices for littering have been issued by each public body in each year since 2014.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32485: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 13 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason redundancies have been announced among the Scottish Enterprise cleaning staff; how many people are being made redundant, and whether this action is in line with its fair work guidance.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop on 23 October 2020

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 23 October 2020

This is an operational matter for Scottish Enterprise and no Scottish Enterprise staff have been made redundant. I have passed your query to Linda Hanna, the Interim Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, who will provide an answer to you directly.

 

S5W-32093: Liam Kerr (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 28 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the First Minister's statement and Scottish Government press release on 22 September 2020, which section of which coronavirus regulations excepts "non-cohabiting couples" from the new restriction on gatherings in private dwellings.

Answered by: Michael Russell on 13 October 2020

Answered by: Michael Russell 13 October 2020

The current coronavirus regulations define extended household as follows –

“extended household” means two households—

(a) which have chosen to be treated as a single household for the purpose of—

(i) these Regulations, or

(ii) the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020, and

(b) have not already chosen to be treated as a single household with any other household

The Scottish Government “Staying Safe and Protecting Others” guidance on extended households sets out the circumstances in which we advise extended households could be formed. There is a section in this guidance entitled “Couples who do not live together”, where more information on forming an extended household in these circumstances can be found.

S5W-32095: Pauline McNeill (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 28 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what the waiting list is for access to be seen by a (a) psychologist, (b) psychiatrist and (c) mental health professional.

Answered by: Clare Haughey on 13 October 2020

Answered by: Clare Haughey 13 October 2020

Public Health Scotland do not currently hold waiting times data for mental health services by individual clinical specialty (i.e. psychologist, psychiatrist, mental health professional). Public Health Scotland do hold aggregate information on Waiting Times for both Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Psychological Therapies which is published quarterly. The latest publication of these statistics was on 1 September for quarter ending June 2020.

At quarter end June 2020, there were 9,319 people waiting to start treatment within CAMHS and 24,094 people waiting to start treatment within Psychological Therapies. [Please note that the Psychological Therapies dataset includes CAMHS patients awaiting this treatment so there is an element of double counting (see the individual reports below for more information)].

CAMHS Waiting Times Publication

The latest publication on CAMHS waiting times is available here: https://beta.isdscotland.org/find-publications-and-data/conditions-and-diseases/mental-health/child-and-adolescent-mental-health-services-camhs-waiting-times/

CAMHS Data Quality Report

The latest CAMHS Data Quality Report is available here: https://beta.isdscotland.org/media/5327/data-quality.pdf

 

Psychological Therapies Waiting Times Publication

The latest publication on Psychological Therapies waiting times is available here:

https://beta.isdscotland.org/find-publications-and-data/conditions-and-diseases/mental-health/psychological-therapies-waiting-times/

 

Psychological Therapies Data Quality Report

The latest Psychological Therapies Data Quality Report is available here:

https://beta.isdscotland.org/media/5655/data-quality.pdf

S5W-32121: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 28 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it considers that Heriot-Watt University is at risk of being unable to continue as a stand-alone university.

Answered by: Richard Lochhead on 13 October 2020

Answered by: Richard Lochhead 13 October 2020

The financial pressures created by the Covid-19 pandemic have been unprecedented in all areas of society including the ability of our universities to generate income.

We continue to work closely with Universities Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council on how the sector can remain at the forefront of global education and research when we emerge from this crisis.

However, it remains vital that universities continue to develop their own mitigating strategies to minimise negative impacts on their short, medium and long term financial sustainability and we will continue to support them to do this.

S5W-32117: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 28 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government for what reasons Heriot-Watt University is reported to have financial challenges.

Answered by: Richard Lochhead on 13 October 2020

Answered by: Richard Lochhead 13 October 2020

Covid-19 has hit all of our universities hard and Heriot-Watt university is no exception.

Universities are reporting financial pressures for academic year 2020-21 and beyond largely due to the limited resources available to generate income. This includes a reduction in international students fees, and reduced demand for their accommodation and hospitality services, all of which contribute to annual income.

Along with the Scottish Funding Council and Universities Scotland, our universities are working relentlessly to maintain the message that they are open and welcome all students, including those from outside the UK, either remotely or on campus where it is possible and safe to do so.

As a Government we continue to monitor the economic condition of the university sector overall and at an individual institution level to ensure they remain sustainable throughout this crisis and beyond.

S5W-32459: Iain Gray (East Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 12 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will introduce testing for COVID-19 of all student teachers prior to them taking up school placements.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32460: James Kelly (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 12 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason it introduced COVID-19 restrictions on group exercise, and what evidence it considered when making this decision.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32466: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 12 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when it will introduce routine COVID-19 testing of staff and patients in hospitals.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32458: James Kelly (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 12 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how it will continue to communicate with the hospitality industry in relation to Test and Protect while businesses are closed.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 30 October 2020

Local authorities will utilise their contacts systems to ensure any hospitality businesses that are closed can be reached in the event Test and Protect services need to engage.

S5W-32467: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 12 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether the Scottish Ambulance Service has permanently closed its mobile COVID-19 testing site at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility and, if so, for what reason.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32463: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 12 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when it will introduce temperature checks in schools for staff and pupils.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32464: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 12 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when it will introduce temperature checks in hospitals for staff and patients.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

The evidence on temperature checks in hospital staff and patients has been reviewed by experts within the COVID-19 Nosocomial Review Group (CNRG) and the Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI) Scotland service. The following link provides the minutes of CNRG meeting: https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-19-nosocomial-review-group-minutes-4-june-2020/

The conclusion of the CNRG members was that there was a wide variation in the sensitivity of the various Infrared Thermal Imaging (ITI) devices and the limited evidence highlights multiple limitations of ITI for the routine detection of febrile patients in health and care settings. Members concluded that there is not enough evidence to recommend the use of ITI for the prevention of COVID-19 transmission in health and care settings.

The current evidence is available in the published report via: https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/web-resources-container/infrared-thermal-imaging-in-health-and-care-settings-for-the-prevention-of-covid-19-transmission/ .

The existing Infection Prevention and Control measures, including hand hygiene, effective use of PPE and extended use of face masks, remain paramount to reduce COVID-19 transmission in the health and care settings.

Here as elsewhere, emerging evidence is kept under review on a regular basis.

S5W-32462: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 12 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason it is reportedly not following the World Health Organization (WHO) advice to test, trace and isolate every case of COVID-19.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32473: Alasdair Allan (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 12 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will issue further guidance for tradespeople regarding safety measures when carrying out work and repairs in people’s homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered by: Christina McKelvie on 28 October 2020

Answered by: Christina McKelvie 28 October 2020

The Scottish Government is committed to working with and across sectors to review - and where necessary tighten - the guidance and regulation on operating practices. This work is underway and will include further clarity on working in other people's homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

S5W-32465: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 12 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when it will introduce routine COVID-19 testing of staff and pupils in schools.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32461: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 12 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason all NHS frontline staff are not being routinely tested for COVID-19, and when this will start.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

As set out in our Strategic Framework for the pandemic, published on 23 October 2020, and in line with clinical and public health priorities, we will extend routine weekly testing of asymptomatic groups in a way which focusses on protecting those most vulnerable to the most harm, including those at highest risk of mortality. As testing capacity builds over the next three months, this will include broadening our current targeted programme of regular testing of NHS staff.

Further details on the Framework can be found here:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-19-scotlands-strategic-framework/

Regular testing of this type sits alongside other measures such as strong emphasis on symptomatic health care staff immediately self-isolating and arranging testing, use of appropriate PPE, physical distancing, environmental optimisation and decontamination and good social hygiene to reduce the risk of staff who have COVID-19, but do not have symptoms, transmitting the virus to those they are caring for.

S5W-32452: George Adam (Paisley)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when NHS dental services will be available for patients to access a full range of treatments through the NHS.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 12 October 2020

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 12 October 2020

The pandemic has been an extremely challenging time for dentistry and the Government recognises NHS contractor efforts, patience and resilience throughout the period. The Government is committed to ensuring that the needs of patients to be seen for NHS dental treatment can be met, in a way that supports the good efforts of the dental community to maintain the high standards of health and safety needed to minimise the threat from COVID-19.

NHS dental services will be able to return to the High Street dental setting from 1 November to provide patients with access to the full range of treatments for all NHS patients. The Government is clear that this is not business as usual but by making available a full range of treatments for NHS patients, this enables dentists and dental teams to provide a wider range of NHS care for their patients, prioritised by clinical judgement and in line with wider public health protection measures.

S5W-32181: Neil Bibby (West Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 30 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has a target for the level of flu vaccine uptake among over 65s, and what it is doing to promote uptake of the flu vaccine among this group.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 12 October 2020

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 12 October 2020

The Scottish Government aims to vaccinate more people within groups with existing eligibility than ever before. Scotland has a reputation for high seasonal flu vaccine uptake and our working assumptions for the 65 years and over is 75% for this year’s flu season, which is in line with the World Health Organisation guidance. Those over the age of 65 are at high clinical risk from seasonal flu, therefore Scottish Government will seek to utilise vaccine supply in a way which allows as many of this group as possible to be vaccinated.

The Scottish Government have developed our public health marketing campaign for this flu season, which is firmly based on research and insight on effective messaging in light of Covid-19. This extensive campaign will also involve close partnership work with public, private and third sector organisations to amplify our message.

S5W-32202: Daniel Johnson (Edinburgh Southern)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 30 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what provisions it is making for local authority budgets in order to meet the cost of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Answered by: Kate Forbes on 12 October 2020

Answered by: Kate Forbes 12 October 2020

The Scottish Government have already taken exceptional measures in every area of government to deal with the challenges of COVID-19 and that is particularly clear in the support for local services.

In addition to the £382.2 million of direct funding already committed, £135 million, over the next two years, to help support the return to school and a total of up to £100 million to support the challenges in the social care sector which will be provided through Integration Authorities, the Scottish Government announced a package of financial flexibilities and extra funding on 8 October for local authorities to meet the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.

Scotland’s councils have been granted additional financial flexibilities to address the pressures caused by COVID-19 which could be worth around £600 million over the next two years. Working with COSLA and local authorities the Scottish Government will finalise a lost income scheme, including support for ALEOs, worth an estimated £90 million which when added to the recently committed £49 million consequentials will provide an extra £139 million of funding.

Taken together these measures will provide councils with an overall financial flexibility and funding package of around £750 million, this brings the value of the overall COVID-19 support package for councils to more than £1 billion.

S5W-32468: Angela Constance (Almond Valley)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 12 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to open up further options to enhance visiting in care homes.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 12 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 12 October 2020

Visiting is a fundamental part of the health and wellbeing of those who live in care homes and the Scottish Government recognises the impact that visiting restrictions has had on care home residents and their loved ones. It is committed to safely resuming visiting and everyday life activities for care home residents.

The Care Homes Clinical and Professional Advisory Group (a multidisciplinary group which has provided clinical and professional advice throughout the pandemic on care homes), and key stakeholders such as Scottish Care, has been actively working to develop guidance for the sector to re-introduce visiting in care homes through a staged approach. This being in as safe a way as possible, while COVID-19 remains in Scotland.

The plan commenced from 3 July, with care homes initially supporting outdoor visiting with one visitor once a week, increasing to 2-3 outdoor visitors from 10 August. Additionally, indoor visiting involving one visitor, once a week, has been implemented by care homes that have had visiting their plans approved by local Directors of Public Health.

Today I have published updated guidance for the sector to support residents and relatives to spend more time together as safely as possible. The guidance has been developed with input from family members, carers, and clinicians to offer greater flexibility in visiting arrangements and indoor visiting in particular, as winter approaches. It recommends extending indoor visits between residents and their designated visitor to up to four hours. Outdoor visits can be extended to up to an hour with up to six visitors from no more than two households, including children and young people. The new guidance also supports increased personal interaction, including hugs or hand holding, as long as strict PPE and infection prevention control measures are met. The guidance also recommends that hairdressers be supported to return to care homes, with safety measures in place. Guidance published on 3rd September also recommended that, from 7th September, routine, preventative and rehabilitative visits by health and social care professionals resume.

Care homes should only resume visiting when they have been free of COVID-19 for 28 days, are participating actively in the care home worker testing programme, and have had their visiting risk assessments approved by the local Director of Public Health (or delegated official). Any decisions about enacting the guidance to ease restrictions will be made by care homes in the coming weeks, based on local planning and risk assessment, and in collaboration with residents and families wherever possible, to ensure safe visiting for everyone. Until 31st March 2021, care homes can continue to access local PPE Hubs for support with additional PPE, including provision for visitors, should normal supply routes be unsuccessful.

The Scottish Government will continue to actively consider how we can best support safe visiting in care homes, and protect those who are at most risk from this virus.

Alongside changes to visiting guidance, the care home sector has been updated on the phased transition of the weekly care home worker testing programme from UK Government (UKG) laboratories to the NHS, which will continue over the coming weeks in line with work to bring three NHS Regional Testing Hubs online.

Care home providers will be kept up to date through the Transition Programmes communication group, including individual care home transition arrangements to reduce uncertainty for providers. Providers will continue to access weekly testing by their current route in the meantime.

The updated guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-adult-care-homes-visiting-guidance/ .

S5W-32423: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many avoidable death lawsuits have been made against the NHS in each of the last 10 years; how many were upheld, and how much was paid out in compensation each year.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

The Annual Reports for the NHS Clinical Negligence and Other Risks Indemnity Scheme (CNORIS) provide details of the scheme along with the number and value of claims made during each financial year and historical values.

The annual reports, which also cover information available in terms of categorisation of claims, are published online at: https://clo.scot.nhs.uk/our-services/cnoris/frequently-asked-questions.aspx

 

S5W-32436: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-31924 by Roseanna Cunningham on 2 October 2020, for what reason information on turnover, jobs and the quantity of material reuse have not been updated since the publication of Making Things Last: a circular economy strategy for Scotland, and how progress has been measured in the absence of such an update.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32456: Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will ban electric shock collars, and what the reasons are for its position on this matter.

Answered by: Mairi Gougeon on 26 October 2020

Answered by: Mairi Gougeon 26 October 2020

Before reaching a position on the need for legislation in this area, the Scottish Government will consider the results of the review of its Guidance on Dog Training Aids and any recommendations the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission may make on dog training aids following the Commission's planned work on dog training in general.

 

S5W-32429: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many cancer referrals there have been in each week since 2 March 2020.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

Data collected on the Number of Urgent Suspicion of Cancer referrals is management information which is not validated and is not currently published. However we are currently working with Public Health Scotland to develop data set that will include referral data.

This unvalidated data indicates that Urgent Suspicion of Cancer symptomatic referrals have now increased from March 2020 and for week ending 18 October are 4% higher than the pre lockdown level.

Officials have regular engagement with NHS Health Boards to ensure Urgent Suspicion of Cancer referrals are closely monitored and provide enhanced support where required.

 

S5W-32425: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has allocated to the arts sector from the Barnett consequentials arising from the culture rescue fund that was announced by the UK Government in July 2020.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop on 23 October 2020

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 23 October 2020

We have announced dedicated support for the culture and heritage sectors of £96.47m, comprising:

  • £12.5 million for Performing Arts Events Venues Relief Fund (added to £10 million already made available by the Scottish Government, announced 3 July and fully distributed)
  • £2.2 million for Grassroots Music Venues (10/07)
  • £4 million for Museums Recovery and Resilience Fund (25/07)
  • £10 million for the Events sector (26/07)
  • £3.8 million for National Trust for Scotland to protect jobs (16/08)
  • £15 million for a Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund (28/08)
  • £21.3 million for Historic Environment Scotland (28/08)
  • £5.9 million to support heritage organisations (28/08)
  • £270,000 for the New Lanark Trust (28/08)
  • £5 million to address hardship faced by creative freelancers (28/08)
  • £5 million to support artists developing new creative work that will make a significant contribution to Scotland’s recovery from Covid-19 (28/08)
  • £3.5 million for independent cinemas (28/08)
  • £3 million of youth arts, including the Youth Music Initiative (28/08)
  • £4 million for historic environment sector recovery (17/09)
  • £1 million to support Scotland’s Science Centres (17/09)

Further announcements will be made shortly for the remaining funds available from the £107m which the Scottish Government has allocated to the culture and heritage sector. This may include the options of supplementing some of the funding already announced. We are in close dialogue with the culture sector to ascertain their needs so we can respond accordingly.

 

S5W-32432: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether the findings of the recent University of Lincoln study, "Efficacy of Dog Training With and Without Remote Electronic Collars vs a Focus on Positive Reinforcement" will inform its review of the training guidance that permits the use of electronic training aids, including electric shock collars.

Answered by: Mairi Gougeon on 26 October 2020

Answered by: Mairi Gougeon 26 October 2020

The review of the effectiveness of the Scottish Government Guidance on Dog Training Aids will consider all relevant information supplied by stakeholders, including the latest publication from the University of Lincoln researchers.

 

S5W-32428: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many complaints it has received regarding the human rights of care home residents in each month since April 2019.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

The Scottish Government has received a considerable amount of correspondence concerning care homes since April 2019 . Most of the correspondence has come from care home relatives who have raised a range of issues, mostly relating to the impact of the pandemic on care homes. Some people have referred to the human rights of their relatives.

We have clear standards regarding the quality of care that everyone should be entitled to across our health and social care services and these may be viewed at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/health-social-care-standards-support-life/pages/1/ . The Health and Social Care Standards set out what we should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland and these seek to provide better outcomes for everyone and to ensure that individuals are treated with respect and dignity and that the human rights we are all entitled to are upheld.

A framework of legislation protects the rights of individuals receiving care. The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that any person who has COVID—whether they are in a care home or their own home—should be treated as an individual with their human rights fully respected, protected and fulfilled.

 

S5W-32419: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what additional support it has provided to help parents of autistic children with home learning.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32431: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how much hospital waste has been stored in each month since April 2010, broken down by location.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 23 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 23 October 2020

NHS sites do not routinely store waste, waste that is generated on site remains on site until the next scheduled collection.

 

S5W-32407: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government which condition cohort has had the greatest number of people placed on the COVID-19 shielding list.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

The respiratory group is the one with the greatest number of people placed on the COVID-19 shielding list. A full breakdown of the shielding cohort by shielding group is as follows.

The following table provides the number of individuals on the shielding list by group (as at 10 June 2020)

 

Shielding Group

Number shielding

Transplant

6,724

Cancer

21,337

Respiratory diseases

80,180

Rare diseases

10,509

Immunosuppression

37,459

Pregnant with heart disease

70

Clinician identified

46,681

Total Individuals

179,728

Here is a link to the PHS report of 10 June which presented breakdowns of the shielding group.

https://beta.isdscotland.org/find-publications-and-data/population-health/covid-19/covid-19-statistical-report/10-june-2020/ .

 

S5W-32437: Murdo Fraser (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when regulations will be published regarding exemptions from low-emission zones under the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019.

Answered by: Michael Matheson on 29 October 2020

Answered by: Michael Matheson 29 October 2020

It is intended that Regulations regarding exemptions from low-emission zones under the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 will be laid in Parliament in late January 2021, with Regulations coming into force by late May 2021.

S5W-32433: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-27457 by Mairi Gougeon on 19 February 2020, whether it will provide an analysis of responses to its stakeholder survey, and when it expects to publish its review of dog training guidance permitting the use of electronic training aids, including electric shock collars.

Answered by: Mairi Gougeon on 26 October 2020

Answered by: Mairi Gougeon 26 October 2020

The Scottish Government expects to publish its review of the effectiveness of the Guidance on Dog Training Aids, including an analysis of responses to its stakeholder survey, before the end of this year.

 

S5W-32391: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-31840 by Jeane Freeman on 28 September 2020, whether it will issue an exemption card for people who are unable to use hand-sanitiser for medical reasons.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

Repeated cleansing and use of alcohol gel can result in increased dryness in hands which can worsen symptoms for those with eczema or other dermatitis conditions. Understandably, sufferers may be reluctant to use alcohol gels when entering retail, hospitality and any other indoor settings.

The Scottish Government is however not currently considering introducing an exemption card for people who are unable to use hand-sanitiser for medical reasons. In addition to physical distancing, good hygiene is the most effective measure in preventing the spread of Covid-19. Besides the use of alcohol gel, the guidance advises that washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, catching coughs and sneezes in a disposable tissue and placing this in a bin, and avoiding touching your face is effective in preventing the spread of the virus.

The Scottish Government is clear that the risk to the public from COVID remains significant, especially for those in higher risk categories. For this reason, it is critical that everyone follow our FACTS guidance, namely:

  • Face Coverings in enclosed spaces
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • Two-metre distancing; and
  • Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms

 

S5W-32421: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what support it will provide to soft play centres during the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 30 October 2020

Soft play centres are currently required to remain closed by law. We will soon be publishing provisional guidance for the re-opening of soft play centres to support soft play businesses to prepare for the day they can re-open.

The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture confirmed on 9 October that part of a new £11 million Contingency Fund would be used to support the soft play sector. More detail will be announced shortly.

 

S5W-32412: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what communications Ministers have received regarding a bullying culture in local authorities.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart on 20 October 2020

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 20 October 2020

The Scottish Government occasionally receives allegations of bullying and harassment within local government from individuals. However, as councils are independent corporate bodies responsible for the management of their workforces we have no power to investigate such allegations ourselves. Officials will refer those individuals to appropriate organisations for assistance. On rare occasions and, if the allegations are anonymous, details of an allegation may be referred to the Accounts Commission to consider in its scrutiny role and the council notified to ensure it is aware and takes appropriate action through their policies and practices.

We receive very few allegations and have no evidence of an endemic problem in local government. Where we are legally able to do so and have evidence of the need to intervene the Scottish Government will do so, such as amending the Councillors’ Code of Conduct to emphasise that bullying and harassment by Councillors is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

S5W-32417: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what advice it will provide for the public regarding taking vitamin D supplements over the winter months.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32455: Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when the review of the guidance on dog training aids will be completed.

Answered by: Mairi Gougeon on 26 October 2020

Answered by: Mairi Gougeon 26 October 2020

The Scottish Government expects to complete its review of the Guidance on Dog Training Aids before the end of this year.

 

S5W-32415: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making on introducing driver awareness courses as an alternative to penalty points for motoring offences.

Answered by: James Wolffe QC on 27 October 2020

Answered by: James Wolffe QC 27 October 2020

A working group comprising Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Transport Scotland, the Road Safety Programme and the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service is developing the infrastructure and guidance for the possible introduction of Speed Awareness Courses. The work of the group was paused due to the pandemic response but has recommenced.

The scope of the work means that it is not possible to provide a specific timescale for any final decision on speed awareness courses and their implementation.

 

S5W-32420: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government on how many occasions in each of the last five years non-ministerial MSPs have travelled with Ministers using the ministerial vehicle fleet, broken down by date.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32416: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what infrastructure projects are planned for Lothian in the next 10 years.

Answered by: Michael Matheson on 29 October 2020

Answered by: Michael Matheson 29 October 2020

On 24 September 2020 the Scottish Government published its draft Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) which sets out a clear vision for our future infrastructure from 2021-22 to 2025-26. The draft IIP is available on the Scottish Government website at https://www.gov.scot/publications/national-mission-local-impact-draft-infrastructure-investment-plan-scotland-202122-202526/ .

This draft Infrastructure Investment Plan details around £24 billion of major projects and large programmes that are ready to be confirmed now. Across Lothian region, our future investment will target improvements in Education, including four new schools that have already been confirmed under the Learning Estate Investment Programme, the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City (ESESC) Deal including improvements to the Sheriffhall roundabout, and investment in healthcare facilities, including the Edinburgh Cancer Centre and Livingston Elective Care Centre. Also as part of the ESESC Deal the Scottish Government will support regional housing delivery through working with local authorities to unlock key strategic sites; these include Edinburgh’s Granton Waterfront (City of Edinburgh Council), Blindwells (East Lothian Council), Shawfair (Midlothian Council) and Calderwood and Winchburgh (West Lothian Council).

 

S5W-32422: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when the upgrade to the Sheriffhall roundabout will commence.

Answered by: Michael Matheson on 29 October 2020

Answered by: Michael Matheson 29 October 2020

The Scottish Government is committed to delivering improvements to Sheriffhall as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

Following publication of draft Orders for the scheme, a significant number of representations, including objections, were received. As with all trunk road schemes, it is only right that those affected have an opportunity to express their views and this is a statutory obligation that cannot be ignored.

Transport Scotland is currently negotiating with objectors to try and resolve objections where possible. However, should Transport Scotland be unsuccessful in removing all objections, then a public local inquiry may be required. As with all trunk road projects this is the appropriate statutory forum for considering objections received and not withdrawn.

Delivery of the scheme itself can only commence if it is approved under the relevant

statutory procedures and thereafter a timetable for its progress can be set.

 

S5W-32426: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many dentists have stopped providing NHS services in each month since April 2019, broken down by NHS board area.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32427: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many complaints it has received regarding do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders in each month since April 2019.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32411: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 9 October 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many people with a diagnosis of a pre-existing respiratory condition have died after contracting COVID-19.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 30 October 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 30 October 2020

Of the 4,274 deaths occurring between 1 March and 30 September 2020 where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, in 631 cases the deceased’s main pre-existing condition was a respiratory condition.

The methodology used for analysis of pre-existing conditions is explained on NRS website here: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/files//statistics/covid19/covid-deaths-report-week-41.pdf