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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 03 December 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Covid-19 (Vaccine Delivery), Committee of the Whole Parliament, Scottish Parliament (Assistance for Political Parties) Bill: Stage 2, Meeting of the Parliament, Solicitors in the Supreme Courts of Scotland (Amendment) Bill: Final Stage, Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 02 December 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Urgent Question, Scottish National Investment Bank, Burntisland Fabrications, Business Support, Urgent Question, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, International Whole Grain Day.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 01 December 2020

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Covid-19, Valuing the Third Sector, Mental Health Support for Young People, Decision Time, Carers (Support After Bereavement).

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 26 November 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Independent Review of Grouse Moor Management, Violence against Women, Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 25 November 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Covid-19 (Roll-out of Testing Programme), Policing (Complaints Handling, Investigations and Misconduct Issues) (Independent Review), Legal Advice (Publication), Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Inverclyde Royal Hospital (Intensive Care Provision).

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Meeting of the Parliament 24 November 2020

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Covid-19, Supply and Demand for Medicines, Business Motion, Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, Business Motion, Decision Time, National Adoption Week 2020.

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Meeting of the Parliament 19 November 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Covid Vaccine, Youth Football, Coronavirus (Scotland’s Strategic Approach), Point of Order, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 18 November 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Business Motion, Portfolio Question Time, Safe Schools, Declaration of a Nature Emergency, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

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

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Covid-19, Social Security Benefits, Veterans and Armed Forces Community, Decision Time, Musicians and Music Industry (Covid-19).

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 12 November 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21, Environment Bill, Pre-release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Medicines and Medical Devices Bill, Point of Order, Decision Time, Correction.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 11 November 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, University and College Students (Support), Covid-19 Testing (Health and Social Care Workers), Covid-19 Support (Tourism and Hospitality), Urgent Question, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Housing Market (Islands).

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 10 November 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Covid-19, Remembrance Commemorations, Business Motion, Decision Time, World Stroke Day and Stroke Care (Covid-19).

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 05 November 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Young Persons Guarantee, Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament 04 November 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints, Care Homes, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Scottish Guardianship Service (10th Anniversary).

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 03 November 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Burntisland Fabrications Ltd, Fireworks, Winter Preparedness in Social Care, Arts Funding, Decision Time, Care Homes and Covid-19 (Amnesty International Report).

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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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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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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-33748: George Adam (Paisley)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 3 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the COVID-19 legislation in place.

Answered by: John Swinney on 3 December 2020

Answered by: John Swinney 3 December 2020

Amending Regulations have today been made to the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations 2020, these Regulations provide for the rules and restrictions which will be in place for the short period from 23 to 27 December inclusive. Guidance about keeping safe in the festive period was previously published at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-festive-period/ .

The Regulations also allow holiday accommodation to be used in Level 4 areas if required when attending a marriage ceremony, civil partnership registration or for the purpose of facilitating shared parenting arrangements. It also allows holiday accommodation in level 4 to be used for the purposes of enabling a person to attend a holiday gathering within the local authority area where the accommodation is located.

The Regulations have been published at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/415/made .

S5W-33695: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the levels of scepticism regarding vaccine safety or efficacy, and what impact it anticipates this will have on the uptake of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33699: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether day carers who support foster carers and families will be eligible for the £500 one-off "thank you" bonus.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33681: Annie Wells (Glasgow)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will outline the scientific justification for its decision to not permit spectators, who would be situated outside and socially distanced from one another, at semi-professional football matches in areas subject to Level 3 restrictions.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33698: Dean Lockhart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has received in Barnett consequentials arising from UK Government expenditure on Brexit preparedness, and how much it has allocated to its Brexit preparedness work, broken down by directorate.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33693: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to counter any misinformation regarding a COVID-19 vaccine that may reduce uptake.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33697: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether people who have worked in the social work sector over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic but who have since left that sector will be eligible for the £500 one-off "thank you" bonus.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33684: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to ensure that (a) people on low incomes, (b) older people and (c) vulnerable people are supported to (i) acquire, (ii) install and (iii) maintain in working order the smoke and heat alarm equipment specified in the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (Tolerable Standard) (Extension of Criteria) Order 2019.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33696: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether people serving in RAF bases who have Christmas leave will be subject to COVID-19 travel restrictions outwith the 23 to 27 December period.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33694: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the anticipated uptake of a COVID-19 vaccine by (a) NHS staff and (b) the public.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33687: Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what criteria are followed when considering whether to grant the (a) building of new and (b) recommissioning of former intensive poultry units, including how the proposed facilities will be able to control potential (i) diseases, including avian flu and (ii) environmental risks, particularly near residential and/or farming areas.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33700: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether (a) NHS, (b) social care and (c) emergency workers who will be working over Christmas will be permitted to form an equivalent of the five-day festive bubble following the holiday period.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33671: Jeremy Balfour (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) meetings, virtual or otherwise, and (b) other electronic communications it has had with the British Pregnancy Advisory Service regarding abortion services in each of the last five years.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33668: Jeremy Balfour (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what impact the introduction of the telemedicine abortion service has had on the volume of calls to helplines from women undergoing an early medical abortion compared with the period immediately prior to its introduction.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33679: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason casinos are included on the list of businesses required to close in areas within Level 2 of COVID-19 restrictions, and whether it will provide the scientific advice that informed its decision.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33712: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the British Business Bank having a published rate of return that the UK Government has set, whether it will set a rate of return for the Scottish National Investment Bank.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33686: Alex Rowley (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what percentage of NHS staff have received the flu vaccination, and how this compares with the same period in 2019, broken down by NHS board.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33674: Jeremy Balfour (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how it is ensuring that the voices of women who may have experienced coercion either to continue or to terminate a pregnancy are being represented in its current consultation, Early medical abortion at home.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33680: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether battery-operated fire alarms will be allowed to be installed by property owners, or whether contractors will be required, once the new regulations on their installation come into force.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33685: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-32799 by Joe Fitzpatrick on 10 November 2020, whether the scientific evidence on transmission mentioned in the answer will be published.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33705: Murdo Fraser (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when it will announce details of its financial assistance to tenants in the private rented sector who have been impacted by COVID-19.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33678: Murdo Fraser (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether any formal Ministerial Direction was issued in relation to its legal position in the case of Alex Salmond vs Leslie Evans & Scottish Ministers.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04841: Richard Lyle (Uddingston and Bellshill)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with North Lanarkshire Council and the Glasgow City Region City Deal regarding dualling the A723 Carfin by-pass.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04827: Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it is having with local government regarding flytipping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04832: Patrick Harvie (Glasgow)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure that recycling and food waste collection services suspended by local authorities due to the pandemic are resumed.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04844: Gordon Lindhurst (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what provision it has made to ensure that both publicly- and privately-owned public transport continues to operate viably, in light of reduced passenger numbers and changing working patterns following COVID-19.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04846: Beatrice Wishart (Shetland Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how it has supported Shetland's internal ferry services.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04848: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its plans to improve the A83 at Rest and Be Thankful and A82 at Fort William.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04834: Willie Rennie (North East Fife)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will review the financial support for businesses in the rural economy and tourism sector that are affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04845: Gillian Martin (Aberdeenshire East)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what investment it is making in travel infrastructure to help reduce the carbon footprint of the people of the north east.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04825: Jamie Greene (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the Climate Emergency Response Group’s interim assessment of progress report, which was published in November 2020.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04831: Linda Fabiani (East Kilbride)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what importance it places on local initiatives to reach environmental and emissions targets in the surrounding communities.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04838: Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what it considers the potential economic impact will be on rural and island economies of rewilding measures.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04830: Alasdair Allan (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the impact of the devolution of Crown Estate revenues to coastal communities.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04839: Johann Lamont (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how it will support the recovery of the tourism sector in Glasgow, in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04840: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how it is preparing to facilitate tourism activity and events in Edinburgh over the course of 2021.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04829: Jeremy Balfour (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on whether it has met its climate change targets that were set during session 3 of the Parliament.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04836: Annie Wells (Glasgow)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to NFU Scotland’s call for Less Favoured Area Support Scheme payments for 2020 to be fully reinstated to 2018 rates.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04837: Sarah Boyack (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its importance to the tourist industry, what additional support it plans to provide to the hospitality sector.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04842: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is regarding free bus travel for all.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04826: Annabelle Ewing (Cowdenbeath)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what the allocation formula will be for local authority funding for flood defences.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04828: David Torrance (Kirkcaldy)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its progress in meeting its target of achieving net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04833: Colin Beattie (Midlothian North and Musselburgh)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what guidance it is providing to the holiday accommodation sector regarding the relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions over Christmas.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04835: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what support it has provided for hotels during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04847: Christine Grahame (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its winter preparedness for the road and rail network.

Awaiting answer

S5O-04843: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 December 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to upgrade the Edinburgh City Bypass.

Awaiting answer

S5W-33161: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 11 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) hospital and (b) ICU admissions there have been for people presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 who have not tested positive for the virus.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

This information is not held centrally.

Information on the number of hospital admissions and ICU admissions where individuals have tested positive for Covid -19 are published daily at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-daily-data-for-scotland/ .

S5W-33313: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many people have accessed virtual pulmonary rehabilitation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

This information is not held by the Scottish Government or Public Health Scotland. It may be available on request from individual health boards.

S5W-33261: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what caused the technical fault that resulted in invite letters for cervical screening appointments not being sent to approximately 15,000 patients; what safeguards have been put in place to prevent this happening again, and how might the prioritisation of these patients impact on the management of the backlog of appointments resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 2 December 2020

The issue arose in an automated process to transfer files between the third party IT and letter suppliers, which prevented the letters being issued. The root cause of this failure is still being investigated. Daily checks have since been implemented to ensure information is transferred and received as expected.

NHS National Services Scotland have worked closely with Health Boards to ensure sample taking locations are supported to prioritise affected participants without impacting existing services. Where necessary, additional funding has been provided to enable this, for example to allow running additional clinics.

S5W-33298: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure that good quality public health information regarding local COVID-19 levels is accessible for people who are more susceptible to infection.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

The new five level framework for COVID 19 allows for rapid but proportionate response on both a local and national basis using a transparent range of measures and options. https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-19-scotlands-strategic-framework/ A summary of this publication is available in BSL, Mandarin, Gaelic, Arabic, and Polish, as well as Easy Read and audio versions .

We encourage people to adapt this advice to make it right for them. It is a personal decision how to balance the benefits of protection with quality of life. To do this in practice, people told us they needed information about infection rates in local communities, level of risk specific to their health conditions, and how to manage risks on a day to day basis.

We are therefore providing information, advice and tools to enable and empower those who are clinically most at risk to make decisions about their day to day interactions and activities including:

  • Data on neighbourhood infection levels
  • Advice on specific clinical conditions
  • Information on high and low risk activities
  • Workplace risk assessments
  • Information on how to shop and undertake other activities safely

Various methods used to make as many people as possible aware of the guidance and support available to them.

  • The Scot.gov website contains the most up to date information and is highlighted in written communication from the Chief Medical Officer to those on the shielding list. Information is regularly.
  • The Public Health Scotland website also provides a detailed cases by local neighbourhood map of areas that allow people to check in on the number of cases in their area.
  • People are directed to the website and other support by means of television and radio adverts. We also suggest that people watch the daily briefings of the First Minister to keep up to date with developments
  • National mailings, sent via Royal Mail, are sent in one format but we signpost additional languages/formats which are available within it. As part of this information a QR code was supplied to make for easier access to these formats
  • For example, several areas of key information and guidance are available in an accessible format for the visually impaired.
  • We are also working with stakeholders to signpost and disseminate this information within their communities, to ensure that individuals with language or communication requirements are aware that there is guidance available in a format they can access.

S5W-33381: James Kelly (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 18 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what evidence it considered when making the decision to close gym facilities in Level 4 areas.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 2 December 2020

Decisions on what sectors and activities to re-open on our route out of lockdown are guided by the principles set out in our Framework for Decision Making. Proposals are technically assessed using the best available evidence and analysis of their potential benefits and harms to health, the economy, and broader society to minimise overall harm and ensure transmission of the virus continues to be suppressed. This assessment process includes oversight of the assessed health risks in different settings by the Chief Medical Officer and input from the other Chief Clinicians as appropriate.

S5W-33314: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what additional funding it has provided to (a) NHS boards and (b) integration joint boards to support the roll-out of virtual pulmonary rehabilitation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

I shall reply to the member as soon as possible.

 

S5W-33375: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 18 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to gather updated hepatitis C prevalence estimates in order to (a) inform targets for NHS boards for hepatitis C treatment and (b) measure progress towards hepatitis C elimination.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 2 December 2020

Public Health Scotland (PHS) are responsible for gathering data on the prevalence of Hepatitis C infection in Scotland.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, PHS have advised that the gathering of data on the prevalence of the HCV infected population in Scotland has been paused and will be resumed in 2021.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has had considerable impact on sexual health and blood borne viruses (SHBBV) services this year, the Scottish Government and partners remain committed to eliminating Hepatitis C by 2024.

We have made two commitments in our 2020-21 Programme for Government that will directly impact our progress towards eliminating Hepatitis C by 2024. The first is to develop a Recovery Plan for SHBBV services to help respond to the impacts of COVID-19 in 2021. The second is towork with the Scottish Health Protection Network, third sector and people who use services to understand how the Tayside approach, which resulted in the elimination of Hepatitis C 11 years ahead of the 2030 World Health Organisation target in that health board area, can be replicated across Scotland.

S5W-33395: Johann Lamont (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 19 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what (a) monthly, (b) quarterly and (c) yearly targets it has set to determine the success of the uptake of the Young Person's Guarantee.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 2 December 2020

The Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work and Culture set out details on how the Young Person's Guarantee would be delivered, including details on the £60m of additional funding and how young people would be supported, in her statement to Parliament on 5 November.

Given the uncertainty around the labour market, with the extension of the furlough scheme and the impending impact of Brexit, no targets are being set.

The Scottish Government is supporting the commitment set out by Sandy Begbie, that within 2 years every 16-24 year old in Scotland will either be in paid employment for a period of between 12 and 24 months, enrolled in education, actively involved on an apprenticeship or training programme, or engaged on a formal volunteering or supported activity programme.

There is already a strong infrastructure in Scotland to deliver on the Guarantee. The Guarantee recognises the strengths in the existing work and programmes that support the needs of young people across many different sectors, at a local and national level. The additional funding will enhance existing support and provide more opportunities for young people.

Our commitment to producing a Measurement and Evaluation plan is set out in the activity plan , published on 5 November 2020. We are working with partners from Local Government, the Third Sector and business community to develop this plan which will help our understanding on how the Guarantee is working for Young People. It will also inform our assessment of the success of the Guarantee.

Scottish Government already publishes a quarterly national Statistics publication which measures labour market outcomes for young people. We will shortly publish a regular Youth Employment dashboard which will provide a breakdown of key employment indicators by Local Authority area and across Scotland.

S5W-33512: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 24 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) pupils and (b) teachers have contracted COVID-19 in schools in each month since August 2020.

Answered by: John Swinney on 2 December 2020

Answered by: John Swinney 2 December 2020

We do not hold information on pupils and teachers who have contracted Covid-19 in schools.

Information on the number and percentage of positive cases among people who report working in education/childcare, by week, is reported in the PHS weekly statistical report - https://beta.isdscotland.org/find-publications-and-data/population-health/covid-19/covid-19-statistical-report/ (see table 9).

Information on the number of positive cases among children of educational age, by week is reported here: https://beta.isdscotland.org/find-publications-and-data/population-health/covid-19/covid-19-statistical-report/25-november-2020/dashboard/ (see ‘trend charts’ and select ‘cases and testing among children and young people’).

Information on the number of pupils who have been identified as Covid-19 cases in Term 1, by week can be found here: https://publichealthscotland.scot/downloads/covid-19-infections-among-school-pupils-in-scotland/

S5W-33405: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 19 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what time on 11 December 2020 non-essential shops and other closed businesses in areas subject to Level 4 COVID-19 restrictions will be permitted to reopen.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 2 December 2020

Non-essential retail and other businesses currently closed following the implementation of the level 4 restrictions can reopen at 6pm on Friday 11 December. Businesses that reopen must do so in line with the mitigations for the level that their Local Authority moves into, outlined in Scotland's Strategic Framework and in the relevant guidance.

S5W-33299: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what action is being taken in response to reports of an increase in nosocomial infections.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

COVID-19 transmission is taking place in the community and – as is the case with any infectious disease – transmission is more likely where people are in closed settings, including within hospitals. As a result, we are seeing a rise of definite hospital onset cases.

Health Boards, supported by expert advice from the COVID-19 Nosocomial Review Group (CNRG) established by the Scottish Government in May, are implementing a range of measures to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission in hospitals. Based on the latest infection prevention and control guidance from National Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI) Scotland, these measures include:

- the appropriate use of PPE,

- extended use of face masks and coverings

- physical distancing,

- outbreak management,

- risk assessed patient care pathways to help guide the implementation of measures for safe and effective care, and

- staff and patient testing

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have and continue to work hard to ensure IPC measures in hospital and other care settings are robust.

S5W-33321: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to statement by the First Minister on 10 November 2020 (Official Report, c.25), whether it will confirm the (a) brand name, (b) type, (c) capacity and (d) cost of each fridge used to store Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine; where these will be located, and whether they will be portable.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

I shall reply to the member as soon as possible.

 

S5W-33509: Liz Smith (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has carried out of the collection methods for glass containers under the Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 2 December 2020

It is for the businesses with responsibility for delivering Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), and in particular any scheme administrator(s), to determine how containers returned under Scotland’s DRS will be collected.

As per the answer to S5W-33510 on 2 December 2020, the DRS Full Business Case, published on 08 May 2019 ( https://www.gov.scot/publications/deposit-return-scheme-scotland-full-business-case-stage-1/ ), was developed on the basis of glass being collected whole under Scotland’s DRS.

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-33355: Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 18 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how it is responding to the findings of the Independent Review of Complaints Handling, Investigations and Misconduct Issues in Relation to Policing.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 2 December 2020

Dame Elish’s very significant and substantial report contains a wealth of evidence and recommendations, covering many aspects of complaints, investigations and misconduct issues. It is right that we now take time to digest this carefully and engage with the partner organisations involved. A Scottish Government response to Dame Elish’s report will be published in the new year and will indicate the way forward in terms of implementing recommendations.

S5W-33296: Beatrice Wishart (Shetland Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what consideration has been given to permitting faith groups to sing indoors while wearing face coverings, particularly those based in areas living under level 1 of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 2 December 2020

I recognise how difficult it has been for Scotland’s faith communities to be unable to come together and sing within their places of worship and understand the important role that singing has in congregational worship and supporting spiritual wellbeing. We do not want restrictions to last any longer than is necessary but must ensure that people who enter places of worship to undertake congregational activities will be safe.

Unfortunately we are currently advising that indoor congregational singing is avoided in all places of worship at all of the levels (0 – 4) specified in the Strategic Framework and irrespective of whether face masks are worn. This is because scientific studies indicate that singing is likely to generate a particular transmission risk, and there is an absence of evidence for the efficacy of face masks in suppressing this additional risk. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) report recommends that further research of the risk of transmission from singing and playing wind instruments is needed.

In certain circumstances, it may be possible for professional singers to sing indoors, in places of worship located in local authorities with protection levels 0 & 1, provided additional mitigations and safeguards are in place in accordance with performing arts guidance.

Where it is essential to an act of worship for an individual to sing or chant indoors, one individual (non-professional) may sing or chant behind a plexiglass screen without the need for a face covering to be worn. Any screen used should be cleaned regularly and extended physical distancing should be considered.

Officials in Scottish Government’s Connected Communities Division work closely with faith group representatives from across Scotland on the provision of appropriate guidance on restrictions necessary for safe worship and the scope for removing or alleviating such restrictions as soon as possible.

In the meantime, we appreciate your understanding and compliance with ongoing restrictions, which are vital to stay safe, protect others and save lives.

S5W-33307: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a time limit for the level 4 restrictions to be in place for non-retail businesses to allow for effective planning.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

The Level 4 restrictions currently in place in the eleven Local Authorities will remain in force until 18:00 on 11 December 2020. This information has also been made available on the Scottish Government’s website.

S5W-33404: James Kelly (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 19 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government under what circumstances door-to-door sales will be permitted under Level 4 COVID-19 restrictions.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 2 December 2020

Any retail business with a shop or store which has been required to close due to level four restrictions is not able to sell goods door-to-door. A retailer that does not operate from a shop or store can sell items door-to-door provided the transaction takes place outside the customer’s house.

S5W-33359: Liam Kerr (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 18 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will clarify the methodology of the daily and weekly update statistics published by the Scottish Prison Service regarding prisoners who either have COVID-19 or are self-isolating, in light of the daily update on 17 November 2020 stating that 38 people were self-isolating and the weekly update published on 13 November 2020 stating that 591 people were self-isolating.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 2 December 2020

I have asked Teresa Medhurst, Interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), to respond. Her response is as follows:

SPS currently publishes a daily update on our website which includes:

  • The number of people who are self-isolating in our prisons;
  • The number of prisons that this total is held across; and
  • The number of people in our care who have tested positive for COVID-19.

SPS also publishes a weekly update of this data. This is published on a Monday, and details the position of the previous Friday. This data is broken down to establishment level. Information on the impact of COVID on staffing levels is also provided as part of this weekly update.

The reason for the difference in the figures is because a large number of people were self-isolating as a precautionary measure at HMP Barlinnie on Friday 13 November came out of isolation over the weekend and therefore the number on Monday 17 November was significantly reduced.

S5W-33366: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 18 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the inquiry covering the rest of the UK, what its position is on using the powers that it has to hold a public inquiry into the activities of undercover police officers in Scotland, including the so-called spycops, who had reportedly been monitoring political and social justice campaigners from 1968 onwards.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 2 December 2020

The Scottish Government believed that a single inquiry across the UK would have been the best option for a comprehensive and coherent investigation into the activities of undercover police officers in Scotland. As the UK Government refused our request for this, we directed HMICS to carry out an independent review of undercover policing in Scotland.

The Scottish and UK Governments have been Judicially Reviewed regarding the Scottish Government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into undercover policing in Scotland and the UK Government’s decision not to extend the Undercover Policing Inquiry to Scotland. Lady Carmichael reached a decision in November 2018 to dismiss the petition on all counts.

S5W-33514: Pauline McNeill (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what scientific evidence it received to support the closure of indoor group exercise in areas under Level 3 COVID-19 restrictions, while gyms remain open.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 2 December 2020

Decisions on what sectors and activities to re-open on our route out of lockdown are guided by the principles set out in our Framework for Decision Making. Proposals are technically assessed using the best available evidence and analysis of their potential benefits and harms to health, the economy, and broader society to minimise overall harm and ensure transmission of the virus continues to be suppressed. This assessment process includes oversight of the assessed health risks in different settings by the Chief Medical Officer and input from the other Chief Clinicians as appropriate.

Indoor fitness classes for over 18s are permitted if the area is in levels 0, 1 and 2 of our strategic framework. Outdoor exercise classes are permitted in levels 0, 1, 2,3 and 4 of the framework. You can find out more information on COVID protection level for each local area and get information on what you can and cannot do at each level here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/ .

S5W-33515: Pauline McNeill (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the significance of exercise, including group exercise, to the wellbeing of people during the COVID-19 pandemic and, in light of this, whether it will it consider relaxing the restrictions regarding such activity.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 2 December 2020

The Scottish Government fully recognise the importance of being physically active during COVID, both for physical and mental health. Group exercise is clearly part of this and we appreciate the social interaction which such classes provide. However, our priority is to ensure people can take part in group classes when it is safe to do so.

Decisions on what sectors and activities to re-open on our route out of lockdown are guided by the principles set out in our Framework for Decision Making. Proposals are technically assessed using the best available evidence and analysis of their potential benefits and harms to health, the economy, and broader society to minimise overall harm and ensure transmission of the virus continues to be suppressed. This assessment process includes oversight of the assessed health risks in different settings by the Chief Medical Officer and input from the other Chief Clinicians as appropriate.

S5W-33311: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many of the 2,000 building-snag issues identified at the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in 2019 remain outstanding.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

I shall reply to the member as soon as possible.

 

S5W-33302: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many obstetrics and gynaecology staff were redeployed to other areas of care during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic; whether this is happening in the second wave, and what steps it is taking to ensure that services continue as much as possible.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

I shall reply to the member as soon as possible.

 

S5W-33394: Johann Lamont (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 19 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when the Young Person's Guarantee web portal will go live.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 2 December 2020

The Young Person’s Guarantee web portal went live on 5 November, as I announced in my statement to Parliament on that date.

S5W-33369: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 19 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many patients have been treated at the NHS Louisa Jordan for COVID-19-related illness, also broken down by the number treated (a) during the first and (b) since the start of the second wave.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

The NHS Louisa Jordan was established to help ensure NHS Scotland had extra capacity to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and stood ready to do so since 20 April 2020. Building the NHS Louisa Jordan was a precautionary action and I was always clear that I hoped it would never be needed to treat a COVID patient. The NHS Louisa Jordan has not been required to treat COVID-19 patients because of efforts made to suppress the virus. If required, the hospital continues to remain ready to accept COVID-19 patients at a few days’ notice.

S5W-33308: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what criteria are applied when determining whether to move areas from level 3 under the COVID-19 restrictions to level 4.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

I shall reply to the member as soon as possible.

 

S5W-33312: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to mark World COPD Day.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 2 December 2020

The Scottish Government raised awareness of World COPD Day through our social media channels and key stakeholder networks.

COPD is a priority for the Scottish Government and we are committed to ensuring that those people living with long term lung conditions are able to access the best possible person-centred care treatment and support.

Our Respiratory Care Action Plan for Scotland will set out the main priorities to support the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of respiratory conditions including COPD.

S5W-33300: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how it is supporting cancer charities during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 2 December 2020

We are actively engaging with cancer charities across Scotland, with many involved in discussions regarding shielding and the drafting of the upcoming National Cancer Recover Plan. Alongside this, various charities are a member of the Scottish Screening Committee and the National Cancer Trials Resilience Group.

The Community and Third Sector Recovery Programme (CTRSP) opened for applications on 21 September and will run until March 2021. Over three hundred applications have been received to date and these are currently being assessed by our partners. By the end of this week (6 Nov) a total of 22 Organisations will be in receipt of grants totalling over £410,000 with a further 25 Organisations currently receiving Business Advice through the Adapt and Thrive Programme.

The Adapt and Thrive Programme aims to support organisational change, it offers tailored, specialist advice, as well as grants between £5 and £25k. Loans of £25K+ are also available.

Third Sector Organisations need to adapt to the challenges presented by COVID, to ensure that they continue to have a positive impact in their communities. Working with an advisor, organisations will be supported to develop a plan to operate sustainably post-COVID. This may mean developing new income streams, restructuring the organisation, or changing how services are delivered.

The contribution from community and third sector organisations has been an essential part of how communities have responded to the pandemic, the connections and partnerships made will continue to play an important role in recovery. Communities Recovery Fund aims to support either the delivery of community services that were suspended or reduced because of COVID, or the creation of new services that tackle new challenges presented by COVID.

The fund will offer grants to enable organisations to reintroduce the delivery of services, adapt existing services or the develop new services to tackle new or exacerbated needs resulting from COVID.

S5W-33265: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to a Cerebral Palsy Scotland survey, which reports that a majority of the people with cerebral palsy who were surveyed reported a decline in their physical and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, including 58% reporting difficulty in accessing support from physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy services and 51% having to access healthcare services online or via telephone.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 2 December 2020

The Scottish Government recognises the impact that COVID-19 has had on people living with cerebral palsy and we recognise the importance of a consistent approach being taken forward in the community to support people with the management of their condition, including cerebral palsy across Scotland accessing the right support and services.

The pandemic has clearly impacted on the NHS but we are resuming services as quickly and safely as possible. NHS Boards have mobilised their activity including protecting critical neurological services and establishing mechanisms to support their local population including the use of telephone and video consultations to minimise face to face contact unless absolutely necessary.

The Scottish Centre of Technology for the Communication Impaired (SCTCI) is one way the services have adapted, SCTCI delivers an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) tertiary service across 11 NHS Boards, which includes NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde service have continued to operate their open referral system throughout the pandemic and have adapted their service delivery methods to ensure compliance with national and local restrictions while continuing to establish and maintain contact with those who need support.

We are already taking action to support those experiencing the longer physical and mental health impacts of COVID-19 – with our NHS delivering care tailored to the individual needs of people experiencing ongoing effects.

Work is underway to establish the National Advisory Board for Rehabilitation to implement the Framework for Supporting People through Recovery and Rehabilitation during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic . The Framework is aligned to the Re-mobilise, Recover, Re-design: the framework for NHS Scotland , and puts in place clear principles, priorities and objectives to support planning to meet increasing demand and to provide high quality person-centred rehabilitation in different settings.

S5W-33180: Stuart McMillan (Greenock and Inverclyde)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 11 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether the COVID-19 Test and Protect system has indicated hotspots or types of settings that people in Inverclyde have visited prior to testing positive for the virus.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

Contacts are traced from information collected and made available to Test and Protect by Incident Management Teams. This allows Test and Protect to contact those who may have been exposed to the virus in a particular setting, and request them to take appropriate steps to prevent potential onward spread.

Public Health Scotland has produced a table of settings and events that index cases have attended over the previous 7 days. This is based on interviews conducted with cases identified in the Case Management System and involves cases recalling where they have been in the 7 days prior to symptom onset (or date of test if asymptomatic).

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

However, Public Health Scotland cannot infer from the figures whether a specific setting or an event indicates where the COVID-19 transmission took place. This is because cases may have attended multiple settings or events within a short space of time, some of which may be low risk settings and events where it is highly improbable that transmission took place. In addition, it is possible that even though a case visited a few settings and events, transmission may have taken place within their home setting.

S5W-33341: Joan McAlpine (South Scotland)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it is consider introducing further punitive action that can be taken against illegal waste carriers.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 2 December 2020

It is already an offence to carry waste without being appropriately authorised. This year, SEPA took forward a campaign targeting waste carriers who were advertising themselves on social media and a number of investigations resulting from this campaign are ongoing.

The National Litter Strategy, which includes measures on flytipping, is coming to the end of its five year lifespan and we are considering how best to take forward a review of policy in this area.

S5W-33388: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 19 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what support it is giving to local authorities that have had to minimise or reduce concessions for disabled people who regularly use their public facilities, such as swimming pools.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 2 December 2020

It is the responsibility of each local authority to provide local facilities for sport and leisure, and to set a fair pricing structure for these facilities.

Many of these facility operators offer concessionary schemes, including a variety of membership options, discount schemes and free entry for certain groups. These decisions are the responsibility of the individual local authority and leisure trust.

It is important to recognise the difficult position that facility operators, such as leisure trusts, are in across the country during these challenging times.

S5W-33391: Johann Lamont (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 19 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how it will engage with (a) stakeholders, (b) participants and (c) youth organisations to promote the Young Person's Guarantee.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 2 December 2020

For the Young Person’s Guarantee to achieve its aims, the Scottish Government recognises that it must meaningfully engage with a variety of stakeholders, participants and youth organisations. Implementation of the Guarantee will be a collective endeavour involving collaboration across partners.

We have established an Implementation Group for the Guarantee chaired by Sandy Begbie whose memberships consists of stakeholders from the public sector (including Skills Development Scotland, local government, education partners, and DWP), third sector (including equality groups and youth organisations), and private sector. The Group has developed a high-level Activity Plan , published on 5 November 2020, setting out the key activity to be taken forward and built upon when implementing the Guarantee. This includes activity around communications and engagement to promote the Guarantee.

The Scottish Government has been clear that young people must be central to the design and implementation of the Guarantee to ensure that the issues which matter to them are reflected. We are continuing to engage with young people themselves and trusted organisations that represent them, for example Young Scot and Intercultural Youth Scotland. Reports from this initial engagement activity were published alongside the Activity Plan. Young Scot are also currently establishing a Young Person’s Guarantee Leadership Panel and we have also committed to ensuring that a diverse range of young people and youth organisations are involved in the governance structures of the Guarantee.

Employer engagement and leadership are further key to developing the Guarantee and securing future employment for young people. Initial employer engagement saw a number of organisations, from both the public and private sector, step up to be early adopters of the 5 asks of employers. This work is set to continue and a comprehensive employer engagement strategy is underway to ensure employer commitment in supporting Scotland’s young people.

S5W-33399: Neil Bibby (West Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 19 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has for the continued use of the Protect Scotland app after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

The Scottish Government has no plans to continue using Protect Scotland beyond the current pandemic. Protect Scotland relies on the Google/Apple' Exposure Notification System (ENS) to work. Access to this ENS technology has only been granted for use during the Covid-19 pandemic and will be disabled on a regional basis when it is no longer needed.

As part of the Digital response to the pandemic we will publish a refreshed Digital Health & Care Strategy in 2021. This will build on some of the progress and learning we have seen this year, including on the use of Protect Scotland.

S5W-33353: Edward Mountain (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 18 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, regarding the further funding to support additional COVID-19 spending across health and social care services, how much (a) has already been transferred and (b) will be made available in the current financial year to each NHS board; how many tranches of payments this will include; on what dates each tranche of payments will be delivered, and whether the additional funding is limited to COVID-19 spending activities, or can be used to cover additional costs where savings were unable to be made as a result of the pandemic’s impact.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

The Scottish Government has confirmed additional funding of £1.1 billion to support the health and social care sector in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding announcement provides support for the additional costs reported by Boards in responding to COVID-19, including additional staffing and equipment costs included in Local Mobilisation Plans.

It is for individual Boards and Integration Authorities to determine how best to use these resources to recognise local pressures and priorities. Detail on funding for each NHS Board area is set out in response to question S5W-32107 on 29 September 2020.

Further funding will be made available in the coming months to ensure that our frontline services continue to have the funding that they require. This will include provision of support for additional costs where savings were unable to be made as a consequence of the pandemic.

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-33316: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of news that the A83 Rest and Be Thankful will remain closed for longer than anticipated, whether the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity will be convening an urgent meeting of the A83 Taskforce.

Answered by: Michael Matheson on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Michael Matheson 2 December 2020

A virtual meeting with A83 stakeholders was held on 18 November. The meeting provided an opportunity to update stakeholders on the ongoing events on the Rest and Be Thankful hillside and provide them with an opportunity to raise concerns about the ongoing impact of the A83 closure and the resilience of the Old Military Road diversion.

Transport Scotland will continue to keep stakeholders up to date with options for a permanent solution at the A83.

S5W-33378: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 18 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether specific guidance will be published for students from Scotland who are studying abroad and looking to return home for Christmas and, if so, by what date this will be published.

Answered by: Richard Lochhead on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Richard Lochhead 2 December 2020

Students studying abroad who are returning to Scotland should do so in line with our guidance for residents or visitors travelling to the UK. Those travelling from a country not exempt from quarantine requirements must complete a passenger locator form and self-isolate for 14 days. Students and staff who are travelling to and from Scotland should check the Scottish Government website for the latest advice. Our guidance sets out the support available to help people self-isolate.

S5W-33361: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 19 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what advice and support is available to teachers and education staff about pregnancy in the workplace and COVID-19, and what assessment it has made of the consistency of (a) its and (b) local authority policies for them on homeworking,

Answered by: John Swinney on 2 December 2020

Answered by: John Swinney 2 December 2020

Safety of staff in schools is paramount. Teachers are entitled to feel safe at work and we expect schools and local authorities to make sure appropriate arrangements are in place for them.

Our latest guidance on reducing coronavirus (COVID-19) risks in schools, published on 30 th October, says schools and local authorities should follow the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists advice to try to keep the risk of exposure as low as is practically possible to pregnant women, particularly in the third trimester. Normal pregnancy risk assessments should also be undertaken, and appropriate attention paid to mental health and wellbeing.

We are working with local authorities to keep implementation of the guidance under review, and where there is a need to take further action, we will work with staff, trade unions and local authorities to do so.

S5W-33507: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when it expects to appoint a scheme administrator under the Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 2 December 2020

A coalition of major drinks producers and trade bodies has confirmed to us its intention to apply for approval as a scheme administrator. Under the Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020, Scottish Ministers have 28 days from receipt of an application to grant or refuse it. No application has been received at this point.

S5W-33510: Liz Smith (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on glass that is in a naturally broken state being collected through the deposit return scheme (DRS).

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 2 December 2020

The Full Business Case Stage 1 for Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), published on 19 May 2019 ( https://www.gov.scot/publications/deposit-return-scheme-scotland-full-business-case-stage-1/ ), was developed on the basis of glass being collected whole under Scotland’s DRS. Any scheme administrator(s) wishing to adopt a different approach would need to ensure it complied with the duty under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to take all reasonable steps to handle the containers in a manner that would promote high-quality recycling.

S5W-33508: Liz Smith (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with any emerging scheme administrator on the collection methods for glass through the deposit return scheme (DRS), and how reverse vending machines will be specified to accommodate this collection.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 2 December 2020

It is for the businesses with responsibility for delivering Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), and in particular any scheme administrator(s), to determine how containers returned under Scotland’s DRS will be collected, including the operation of any reverse vending machines.

We have supported industry through our Industry Advisory Group and working groups to consider how they will manage collection of containers to ensure an effective scheme.

S5O-04816: Fulton MacGregor (Coatbridge and Chryston)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 25 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what extra support it will be providing to families with disabled children to heat their homes this winter.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 2 December 2020

I’m pleased we have started paying the Child Winter Heating Assistance to provide £200 of additional financial support to the families of the most severely disabled children this winter.

This brand new benefit will help improve the lives of the 14,000 children and young people entitled to the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance.

This represents a £2.9 million investment in their health and wellbeing, by easing the additional pressures caused on household finances by winter heating bills.

No application is necessary and Social Security Scotland will automatically pay each eligible child or young person by 11 December.

In addition our £100 million winter package announced earlier this week provides a range of support for low income families including help to people struggling with fuel bills.

S5W-33145: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many hospital patient deaths from COVID-19 have been recorded in each month since March 2020, also broken down by how many of these people had at least one other underlying health condition.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

National Records of Scotland (NRS) publish weekly statistics on the number of deaths where COVID-19 was written on the death certificate, either as a suspected or probable involvement in the death. The publication also includes a breakdown of these deaths by location of death. The latest publication was released on 18th November and a link is provided here:

https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/
vital-events/general-publications/weekly-and-monthly-data-on-births-and-deaths
/deaths-involving-coronavirus-covid-19-in-scotland

S5W-33330: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what evidence it is aware of that the conclusions of the UK Government’s review into how gamebird releases on or near European protected sites are managed are consistent with the likely impacts on such sites in Scotland.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 2 December 2020

The UK Government’s review covered England only. We will, however, consider if any of the findings of the review are relevant to sites in Scotland.

S5W-33396: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 19 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many patients have been deregistered by dental practices in each month since February 2020, broken down by NHS board area.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 2 December 2020

The information is not held centrally. The member is advised to contact Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services at National Services Scotland:

https://nhsnss.org/how-nss-works/our-structure/practitioner-and-counter-fraud-services/ .

S5W-33393: Johann Lamont (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 19 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether the Young Person's Guarantee could place a participant on a zero-hours contract.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 2 December 2020

The Scottish Government promotes and encourages flexible working and works with employers to encourage flexible, agile and inclusive workplaces that benefit all employees, including those participating in the Young Person’s Guarantee. However, the inappropriate use of zero hours contracts and other non-standard types of employment that offer workers minimum job or financial security is not supported by Scottish Government. This is stated in the criteria for Fair Work First and the relaunched Scottish Business Pledge, and will be reflected in the Young Person’s Guarantee.

S5W-33376: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 18 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the impact of COVID-19 on access to (a) needle and syringe exchange programmes and (b) opioid substitution therapy.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 2 December 2020

In order to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on people who use drugs, Scottish Government commissioned Public Health Scotland (PHS) to undertake surveillance on key indicators, including the use of needle exchange services and the provision of OST.

Based on the management information provided by PHS we are aware that there were sharp falls in the number of clients and transactions at Injecting Equipment Provision (IEP) sites across mainland Scotland immediately prior to the introduction of COVID-19 lockdown measures on 23 March 2020, compared with the pre-lockdown period and with 2019. Numbers of clients and transactions have increased in recent months, but activity remains proportionately lower than in 2019.

With regards to opioid substitution Therapy (OST) prescribing, real-time data from a subset of primary care practitioners indicates changes in the pattern of methadone and buprenorphine prescribing during the COVID-19 pandemic. For both drugs, the number of items prescribed per week and the quantity of drug prescribed per item increased prior to the introduction of COVID-19 lockdown measures on 23 March 2020. Following the introduction of lockdown measures, weekly numbers of OST items prescribed decreased sharply to a level that was below their pre-COVID average, while the quantity of drug prescribed per item remained above the pre-COVID-19 average. This suggests that prescribing continued throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period but that dispensing arrangements modified as a consequence of the introduction of physical distancing measures continue to be in place.

The Scottish Government fully recognises the essential nature of drug and alcohol treatment and support services, and it is for that reason that we, alongside the Drug Death Taskforce, took forward a range of work to ensure services remained effective during the pandemic. We also provided over £2 million for a package of measures to ensure additional help and support for those most at risk as a result of their drug and alcohol use.

S5W-33187: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to recruit retired (a) nurses, (b) doctors and (c) other NHS workers to help with the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccination delivery programme.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 December 2020

We are actively identifying doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and support services staff, who had expressed their interest in returning to service via the NHS Scotland Accelerated Recruitment Portal, to assist with the forthcoming Covid-19 vaccinations programme.

Additionally the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Nursing Officer have written jointly to professional regulators to seek assistance with identifying further suitably qualified personnel who may be on the temporary or emergency registers. We remain in active dialogue with both the regulators and with health boards, in order that they can now take forward appropriate additional recruitment from within these pools.

We will take a sustainable approach to assessing the ongoing workforce and workload requirements associated with the programme. This includes supporting boards to take forward new temporary and permanent recruitment, and working with primary care, pharmacy, dentistry and optometry colleagues who all have a significant contribution to make. Further we are working across the public sector, with local authority partners and with the military, to ensure we have the right end-to-end logistics and delivery infrastructure, as we take forward the largest vaccination programme ever delivered in Scotland.

S5W-33328: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 17 November 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it plans to take to address the negative effects of gamebird releases within (a) European protected sites and (b) a 500m buffer zone around European protected sites, and (a) when and (b) how it will amend section 14(2A) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended for Scotland.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 2 December 2020

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 2 December 2020

Section 14 (2A) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 permits common pheasant and red-legged partridge to be released from captivity for shooting purposes. The Scottish Government has no plans to amend section 14(2A).

Gamebird releases within European protected sites are controlled through the Operations Requiring Consent (ORC) list. This means that land managers need to apply to NatureScot for consent to release gamebirds within the boundaries of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), where this may have an impact on the special features of nature conservation interest on the site. If the SSSI overlaps with a Natura site (which can be either a Special Protection Area or a Special Area of Conservation), NatureScot must carry out a Habitats Regulations Appraisal before consent can be given.

At present there is little evidence to show that gamebirds are causing damage to European sites in Scotland, however NatureScot will continue to monitor the situation closely.