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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-36016
Asked by: Emma Harper, South Scotland, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 11 March 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government whether the NHS will continue on the emergency footing that the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport announced on 10 September 2020.

Current status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 18 March 2021


Answer

I want to thank our health and care system for their magnificent work over this winter. It has been an enormously challenging period where they have had to manage a resurgence in cases, the emergence of new variants and the on-going demands of providing vital services to those requiring care.

The last few months have highlighted the nature of this pandemic and the continued requirement that NHS Scotland and its partners are able to be agile in their response to the new and emergent challenges we face.

We now have our Strategic Framework in place to help signal our direction of travel as a society and how we can support people and the communities in which they live, back toward the normality of life that we all wish for. That is, however, a journey that will take a number of months and, all the while, we must be mindful of the challenges that may still lie ahead. That may mean the need for further action to be taken on either a local, regional or national basis to support our health system. I am also committed to supporting and protecting the staff who have worked so hard, and for such a long time, in response to this unprecedented pandemic.

With this in mind, I have decided that NHS Scotland will remain on an emergency footing until at least 30 June 2021. It will, of course, be a matter for any incoming Health Secretary and their Government to review this when they take office following the election.