Tracers failed to interview 560 people within 48 hours last week

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie today said there is a "dangerous lack of capacity" within Test and Protect after new statistics showed that last week a further 560 people weren't interviewed about their whereabouts and contacts within 48 hours of their positive test being logged.

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Scottish Government should obey doctor’s orders over school staff

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP has today written to the Education Secretary to raise concerns about the safety of school staff across Scotland who were asked to shield and propose the implementation of a Danish-inspired scheme, whereby teachers with existing health conditions could seek consultations with their doctors, and that the doctor’s advice to the individual teacher returning to work must be adhered to by the employer.

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Rennie urges mass testing and fresh financial support at meeting of party leaders

Speaking after the conclusion of a meeting of Scottish political party leaders, Willie Rennie said:

“I am very concerned with where this is going. We need a government that is on top of the situation.

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Rennie demands probe into use of government logo by fire alarm company

A probe into the use of the official government logo by a commercial company has been demanded by the Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie.  The inquiry has been called for after the Scottish Government were forced to ditch its botched fire alarm plan yesterday. Mr Rennie also called for a fully funded new plan to be prepared urgently. 

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SNP outsourcing contact tracing to private call centre

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today warned that ministers are struggling to deliver an effective tracing system as it was revealed that Scottish government has agreed a £1.3m contract with call centre company Ascensos for “immediate and rapid deployment” of additional contact tracers.

When Nicola Sturgeon announced the test and trace system in May she pledged “all the work of identifying and tracing contacts will be done within Scotland’s NHS.”

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Scottish Government must be honest about options on the table as Wales announces national lockdown

Responding to reports that Wales will go into a national lockdown from Friday, 23 October until Monday, 9 November, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:

“Trust in Government needs to be high if we are to get on top of the virus. Yet faith in the Scottish Government’s handling of the pandemic has been undermined over the last few months with the return of students, the weakness of the quarantine spot checks and the slow response times for Test and Protect. 

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Carers say life in Scotland is getting harder

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today pressed for urgent action to tackle the pressures and barriers facing carers in Scotland.  

His comments come as the Health and Care Experience Survey for 2019-2020 reveals that:  

  • The percentage of respondents agreeing they “have a good balance between caring and other things in my life” has fallen steadily from 69% in 2013/14 to 64% in 2019/20  
  • The percentage of respondents agreeing they “feel supported to continue caring” has fallen steadily from 43% in 2013/14 to 34% in 2019/20  
  • The percentage of respondents agreeing that “local services are well coordinated for the person I look after” has fallen steadily from 47% in 2013/14 to 38% in 2019/20  
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Smoking target only met in 5 of 14 health boards

Responding to the new figures showing that targets for successful twelve-week smoking quits in the most deprived areas were only met in 5 of the 14 health boards in 2019/20, Scottish Liberal Democrat public health spokesperson Cllr Rosemary Bruce commented:

"Smoking is still responsible for thousands of deaths a year in Scotland. Now that harm is being compounded by the virus because people who smoke are more likely to get more serious symptoms if they catch it.

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Schools need to know if they will be asked to close

After it was announced that older pupils in Wales won't return to school straight after the October break as part of a 'firebreak', and Scotland’s largest teaching union the EIS called for clarity from the Scottish Government on its triggers for school closures, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP said:

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Where have the contact tracing reinforcements gone?

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today raised questions about contact tracing reinforcements after another week of delays. 

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland this week, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said there were around 800 active contact tracers working in Scotland and that the government is "aiming for around a 1000 over the coming period". 

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