COVID-19

 

About the Inquiry

This page contains information on the Committee’s work in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus Bill 2019-21 (UK Parliament)

The UK Government introduced the Coronavirus Bill 2019-21 in the House of Commons on 19 March 2020 and the Scottish Government lodged a Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Bill on 20 March 2020.

For full details of the Health and Sport Committee’s consideration of the Bill, including an evidence session with the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport on 24 March 2020, and our Report, can be found on our Subordinate (Secondary) Legislation and Legislative Consent Memorandum page.

Subordinate Legislation - Scottish Statutory Instruments (SSIs)

Full details of the Health and Sport Committee's consideration of COVID-19 related SSIs can be found on our Subordinate (Secondary) Legislation and Legislative Consent Memorandums page.

Timetable

The Committee's timetable of evidence sessions is:

Date (subject to change)   Evidence session
 28 April 2020  Professor Hugh Pennington
 7 May 2020  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
 27 May 2020  Testing
 4 June 2020  Care homes
 17 June 2020  Resilience and emergency planning

Evidence

To help inform our evidence sessions on testing and care homes, we launched surveys via Citizen Space, an online consultation platform:

COVID-19 and care homes

The purpose of this survey was to understand to what extent care staff, families and residents feel that care homes have contained and prevented cases of COVID-19 and to what extent residents have been protected.

The closing date was 20 May 2020.

COVID-19 Testing

The purpose of this survey was to understand the role testing should play in tackling the pandemic and what is needed to deliver an effective testing regime.

The closing date was 18 May 2020.

Resilience and emergency planning evidence session

The purpose is to understand how prepared we were for the pandemic and whether the Scottish Government could better manage future outbreaks of coronavirus or other pandemics. We have contacted relevant organisations directly, with the public evidence session on resilience and emergency planning scheduled to take place in June.

Submissions sent in through Citizen Space can be viewed here.

Correspondence

All general correspondence relating to COVID-19 and evidence sessions: 

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener to inform the Committee of a SPICe briefing that was lodged on the novel coronavirus by the Chief Medical Officer.

The Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, Europe and External Affairs wrote to the Convener to inform the Committee that the Scottish Government indroduced the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill into the Scottish Parliament.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener regarding ICU capacity and ventilators in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister for Mental Health wrote to the Convener to update the Committee on the feedback provided to NHS Boards regarding their mobilisation planning for COVID-19 from a mental health perspective.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener to inform the Committee of revised PPE guidance.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Presiding Officer regarding the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Commencement No1) (Scotland) Regulations 2020.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener regarding the impact of COVID-19 on work across the Health portfolio.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener to provide an update on plans to allow nursing students to have the opportunity to help the NHS at this time of national emergency.

The Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, Europe and External Affairs wrote to the Convener on the extension of social distancing measures.

Alison Culpan, Director of ABPI Scotland, wrote to the Convener to provide an update of the work on the pharmaceutical industry during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener regarding the COVID-19: Death in Service Benefit for NHS Scotland staff.

The Convener wrote to Professor Hugh Pennington following the evidence session on 28 April seeking further information.

We received a response from Professor Hugh Pennington on 6 May 2020.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener providing an update on the COVID-19: Death in Service Benefit for NHS Scotland staff.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener to inform the Committee of the publication of a further paper on COVID-19.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener regarding the shielding of additional groups.

The Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People wrote to the Convener of the Social Security Committee regarding the Carer's Allowance Supplement.

The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills wrote to the Convener of the Health and Sport Committee to inform the Committee that the Scottish Government published a further paper on COVID-19.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener to provide an update on the Death in Service Benefit for NHS Scotland staff.

Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive of Scottish Care wrote to the Convener regarding the Committee's inquiry into the impact COVID-19 in care homes.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener of the COVID-19 Committee to inform the Committee of intentions to include a Government amendment at Stage 2 of the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Bill.

The Convener sent the following response to the above letter on 13 May:

The Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, Europe and External Affairs wrote to the Convener of the COVID-19 Committee regarding the revised guidance on outdoor exercise.

Following the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport's evidence session regarding PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) on 7 May 2020, the Convener issued a letter seeking further infomation and clarification on a number of points: 

The Convener received a response to the above letter on 20 May.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener to provide an update on the Death in Service Benefit for NHS Scotland staff.

The Committee received a letter from Professor Graham Ellis, National Clinical Advisor for Aging and Health to the Chief Medical Officer in NHS Scotland and Diane Murray, Depute Chief Nursing Officer for the Scottish Government. The letter references the publication of updated Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for care homes.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener to inform the Committee of  the progress of extending the free car parking arrangements at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and Ninewells Hospital.

The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills wrote to the Convener of the COVID-19 Committee to inform the Committee of the publication of COVID-19: Framework for Decision Making - Scotland's route map through and out of the crisis.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener and to NHS Board Chief Executives to inform them that the health service will remain on an emergency footing for a further 100 days.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener to provide an update on the shielding of kidney dialysis and splenectony patients.

The Convener issued a letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport seeking further information following the session on 27 May on testing.

The Convener received a response to the above letter on 11 August 2020:

The Convener issued a letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport regarding the delivery of primary care services since restrictions began on 23 March.

The Convener received a response to the above letter on 25 June.

The Convener issued a letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport seeking further information following the evidence session on 4 June on care homes.

The Convener received a response to the above letter on 29 June.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener regarding the planned resumption of National Health Services.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport to the Convener to advise of a letter issued to health boards by the Interim Chief Medical Officer on the use of serology (antibody) testing in Scotland. 

 The Convener issued a letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport seeking further information following the evidence session on 17 June on resilience.

The Convener received a response to the above letter on 28 July:

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener regarding plans to support phased return to visiting in adult care home services.

The Deputy First Minister wrote to the Convener of the COVID-19 Committee regarding an update on approach to physical distancing.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener providing an update on the digital response to the COVID19 pandemic including contact tracing apps throughout the UK

The Cabinet Secretary for Health wrote to the Convener regarding updates to Death in Service policy:

The Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Committee regarding guidance for businesses regarding collection of contact details as part of contact tracing efforts

The Deputy First Minister wrote to the Committee regarding the publication of the Scottish Government's position statement on surveillance and response to the COVID19 outbreak

 The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Committee regarding cancer services during the COVID-19 pandemic on 17 July 2020

The Committee received an additional submission from Allied Health Professionals Federation Scotland following the COVID-19 call for views.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener to make the Committee aware of enhancements to information published by Public Health Scotland.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener regarding plans to write to Local Authority Chief Executives and Integration Authority Chief Officers to provide an update on financial support to help the social cae sector meet additional costs related to COVID-19.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener to update the Committee on the removals of people from the shielding list.

The Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing wrote to the Convener to provide an update on plans for sexual health services in Scotland.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener regarding the Scottish Government's seasonal flu vaccination.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener to provide information about the launch of the automated, web-based Turas Care Management safety huddle tool.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener to provide information about the Scottish Government’s updated COVID-19 Testing Strategy.

The Deputy First Minister wrote to the Presiding Officer on 21 August 2020 regarding the review of local lockdown restrictions in Aberdeen.

Following the review on 23 August 2020, the Deputy First Minister issued a further letter to the Presiding Officer with an update on the restrictions in Aberdeen.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener to provide a further update on the Death in Service benefits under the NHS Scotland and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme 2020.  This has been extended to include students from Higher Education Institutes who undertake clinical placements on NHS premises.

The Deputy First Minister wrote to the Presiding Officer on 2 September 2020 regarding the review of restrictions in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board region. 

During our Committee meeting of 1 September 2020, the Committee scrutinised the following subordinate legislation:

• Scotland Act 1998 (Agency Arrangements) (Specification) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 (SSI 2020/776); and
• Scotland Act 1998 (Agency Arrangements) (Specification) (Coronavirus) (No 2) Order 2020 (SSI 2020/777).

While the Committee agreed to make no recommendation on the instruments, we wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport to seek clarification and further information on certain areas. 

The Deputy First Minister wrote to the Presiding Officer on 7 September 2020 regarding the review and extension of restrictions in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board region. 

The Deputy First Minister wrote to the Presiding Officer on 11 September 2020 regarding the restrictions in the Lanarkshire Health Board areas.

 
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