Responding to the First Minister’s announcement that the Scottish Government had published its routemap to ease Scotland out of lockdown and restart aspects of the NHS, BMA Scotland chair Dr Lewis Morrison said:
“The Scottish Government is right to set out a cautious approach to restarting aspects of Scotland’s NHS. For now that is about principles but Scottish Government and health boards are beginning to work on what will need to be very detailed plans, and we welcome being asked to be involved in those at an early stage and on an ongoing basis.
“I understand there will be a desire to move quickly to resume as many services as possible, however this is an extremely complex process and a cautious approach to assure the safety and wellbeing of both patients and staff is clearly appropriate. PPE will still be required for face to face clinical encounters, and in greater quantities as more of those take place over coming months. Social distancing in healthcare will also be needed for a considerable period of time to come, in waiting and clinical areas. All these factors will impact on capacity and the number of patients who can be seen across all types of healthcare settings.
“The demands on staff also must not be forgotten, with many having dealt with very different ways of working and stressful clinical situations over recent weeks, which we know has impacted on their wellbeing. There must be sufficient time for them to recover, for their own health and to ensure they can continue to deliver effective care. For now I would urge everyone to keep up to date with and follow the Scottish Government’s guidance, and remember NHS Scotland remains open and able to deal with urgent, serious or worrying health concerns, not just those related to Covid19.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
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