South Scotland MSP, Joan McAlpine has announced changes to her constituency and surgery arrangements due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The changes follow advice from the UK and Scottish Governments to reduce social contact so, as of this week, constituency staff will work from home and the office on Dumfries High Street will be closed to the public. This is to protect both the public and staff members, some of whom are vulnerable due to underlying health conditions.
However, Ms McAlpine is keen to stress that constituents will still be able to get in touch to book surgery appointments by telephone, these can be arranged by phoning 01387 255334 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine says,
“These are worrying times for all of us, especially the elderly and vulnerable, so it’s important that constituents are still able to contact me without being exposed to any risks. It’s also important that I do what I can to keep my staff protected, for their benefit first and foremost, but also so we can continue to work as a team to help constituents who need support.
“I continue to be available to assist local businesses who are facing difficulties, although I’d urge any worried owners to contact the Scottish Government’s Scottish Business Coronavirus Helpline right away on 0300 303 0660. It’s open from Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
“I have given up all SNP campaign work for the time being in order to fully concentrate on tackling the many challenges related to the coronavirus situation. The First Minister has also asked SNP branches to suspend all campaigning and instead focus on looking out for family, friends and neighbours – especially the elderly or those with underlying health problems.
“If you are well, here are some of the ways that you can help: stay in touch with vulnerable individuals over the phone, by post or online. Find out if people need any shopping, medication or help by running errands. Encourage people to stay active around the house and keep moving. Create WhatsApp or Facebook groups to coordinate the effort across your community.
“Please make sure you keep up to date on the latest official medical advice on social distancing, self-isolation and hygiene. This will help stop the spread of the virus and protect our most vulnerable citizens. For regular updates go www.nhsinform.scot <www.nhsinform.scot/> or call the COVID-19 helpline 0800 028 2816.”