Speaking ahead of the First Minister setting out plans on how to ease the lockdown in Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:
“As we ease the lockdown, I urge the First Minister to prioritise those suffering most at home, in isolation or trapped in hospital. We need to be cautious but, as the First Minister acknowledged, we can’t remain locked in our own homes until a vaccine or cure arrives as that may be a very long time yet.
“For many the health consequences of the lockdown are becoming more acute every day. People in physical pain, struggling with mental health issues or looking after those with learning difficulties are finding this the most difficult. The Government needs to give them hope for the future and take steps to make their lives more bearable.
“I am being contacted by constituents who are concerned for their health. The man in a desperate need of a hip replacement so he can escape the daily discomfort and pain. The woman who has been told she is too unwell to leave hospital but can’t have her gall bladder operation because of the ban on non-urgent operations. The young man with learning difficulties who is deteriorating because he is prevented from leaving his home. The woman with mental health issues who is desperate for support.
“All these people are paying the price of the lockdown and they should be among the first to benefit from the easing of the lockdown. That means restarting non-urgent operations in hospitals, allowing GPs to expand the range of support and allowing people with mental health issues and learning difficulties out more often. This needs to be done safely but while we protect people from the virus, we cannot ignore the plight of people suffering under the lockdown.
“These are difficult issues to grapple with, but we will work constructively with the Government to help get them right.”