On Tuesday, the First Minister and Health Secretary gave an update to the Scottish Parliament on COVID-19, outlining steps being taken to suppress the spread of the virus, and to protect and scale up the capacity of the national health service. Following the statement, the whole Cabinet took questions from MSPs.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said that NHS Scotland would be moving to an emergency footing for at least the next three months, in order to be ready to face a substantial and sustained increase in coronavirus cases. Non-urgent elective care will be postponed in Scotland as part of NHS Scotland’s ongoing preparations for coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Responding to Covid-19 requires a swift and radical change in the way in which our NHS does its work. It is nothing short of the most rapid reconfiguration of our health service in its 71-year history. That is why, today, under sections 1 and 78 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978, I am formally placing our national health service on an emergency footing for at least the next three months. I am giving my instructions to NHS Scotland and individual health boards to do all that is necessary to be ready to face a substantial and sustained increase in the number of cases of Covid-19. Should I require to lay new regulations to enable our boards to achieve that, I will bring them before Parliament swiftly.”