MSP Gil Paterson has highlighted to residents how to volunteer in their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.
A new ‘Scotland Cares’ campaign has been launched to encourage people to volunteer.
While the most important ask for the public remains to stay at home and follow the essential public health guidance, people who are healthy and not at risk can volunteer to provide practical or emotional help to those most in need.
Those wanting to volunteer to support their communities have three options which are signposted from the Ready Scotland website:
“While not everyone will be able to volunteer, this new Scottish Government campaign will help people to make a real difference.
“The Scottish Government is working closely with local government and a range of partners to co-ordinate the volunteering effort across Scotland.
“Through the readyscotland.org website, we can connect people to where their contribution is most needed in their local community.
“For some, that may involve roles responding to specific needs in health and social care. For others, it may be that we draw on their skills, enthusiasm and energy in the weeks and months to come.
“It is important to remember that the most helpful thing many of us can continue to do to help the NHS is to stay at home and follow all COVID-19 guidance.”
MSP Gil Paterson has welcomed the Scottish Government announcement that private and social tenants in Clydebank and Milngavie are to be given increased protection from eviction during the coronavirus pandemic.
Emergency legislation will increase the minimum notice period for private and social tenants to up to six months depending on the grounds used, helping to protect them from eviction.
The Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill, which contains substantial further powers and measures to ensure essential public services can continue throughout the coronavirus outbreak, will be introduced in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Tuesday).
Mr Paterson said:
“We must all work together to meet this challenge, which is why measures to prevent evictions and relieve some of the financial pressure people in my constituency and beyond may be facing due to the coronavirus crisis are welcome.
“The Scottish Government has also encouraged all landlords to be as flexible as possible during this unprecedented time, and I would urge them to also seek assistance if necessary by speaking to their lenders about mortgage breaks.
“No-one should face losing their home as a result of this coronavirus pandemic. The move to ban evictions during this crisis will bring security to people's lives when they need it most.”
New dedicated Community Assessment Centres (CACs) are this week opening across Greater Glasgow and Clyde to help combat COVID-19 by providing a more streamlined service to assess people presenting symptoms.
The appointment only hubs form part of a new pathway which will maximise the number of COVID-19 symptomatic people who can be cared for within the community, while also ensuring hospital capacity is used for those with the most serious illnesses. The pathway will also reduce the exposure of patients at GP surgeries and allow GPs to focus on providing care to patients with other complex health issues.
As part of the new pathway, patients should no longer phone their GPs if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms but refer to NHS Inform, or contact NHS 24 (111) if their symptoms worsen.
If further clinical advice is required, NHS 24 will refer patients onto a clinician who will provide a full telephone assessment and if necessary, an appointment at the patient’s nearest CAC. Patients may still be referred directly to acute services, depending on their symptoms.
A central CAC has opened on Barr Street in Glasgow – operational from 8am-10pm with a view to moving to 24/7 when necessary. Additional centres in Greenock (Greenock Health Centre) and Clydebank (Clydebank Health Centre) will soon follow alongside other areas within Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Opened solely to assess patients presenting symptoms, the centres are staffed by GPs and Advanced Nurse Practitioners. Patients attending will receive treatment plans, including medication, and/or prescription, and be told to self-isolate. If they need to go to hospital, this will be arranged at the centre. Patient transport and a Home Visiting service are also being developed to support those with difficulties travelling.
The CACs will not provide testing facilities.
Additionally, the community pharmacy Minor Ailment Service has been extended to allow anyone registered with a GP practice, who has a minor illness or a common condition, to speak to a member of the pharmacy team for advice and treatment, without the need to see their GP. It is important that people do not stockpile their prescribed medication and just order as needed from their GP Practices and Community Pharmacies. Some Community Pharmacies have altered their opening hours.
Dr Kerri Neylon, Deputy Medical Director for Primary Care at NHSGGC, said: “The creation of the CACs will provide important protection for vulnerable patients who require non- COVID-19 related care and will support our 235 GP Practices to provide this, by ensuring those who can be treated within the community receive the appropriate care as efficiently as possible.
“In anticipation of increasing case numbers, we now have a pathway which can be effectively scaled up to manage growing demand on services across Greater Glasgow and Clyde. I'd like to thank all staff across primary, community, and acute services, for their efforts in rapidly implementing this new pathway and for readily staffing the centres.
“We remind patients they should only phone NHS 24 if their symptoms worsen, and that the centres are strictly appointment only. If NHS 24 believes you need further treatment, you will get an appointment with one of our clinicians.”
MSP Gil Paterson has warned constituents to adhere to social distancing rules or risk spreading the Coronavirus to loved ones.
The greater the social distancing effort, the more people who will survive the pandemic, the Clydebank and Milngavie MSP said.
Closures to schools, pubs, cafes, clubs, restaurants and more were backed by the MSP, who says life will be “turned upside down” for all Scots throughout the struggle against the Covid-19 virus.
Echoing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Mr Paterson called on constituents to be considerate when shopping, and to avoid panic buying.
The Age Scotland helpline is also available for older people who need advice from a friendly voice amid the tightening virus measures. It can be called free on 0800 124 4222.
Gil Paterson said: “This is a dark time for Scotland and the rest of the world as we ramp up efforts to counter this rapidly spreading coronavirus.
“As the First Minister said, life should not feel normal right now, and we will need to drastically change the way we live if we wish to minimise deaths.
“I urge constituents of mine to take the social distancing rules very seriously, as they are key to defeating this pandemic, and require us all working together.
“I am glad to see schools close and measures put in place to allow key workers to maintain their vital roles, such as those in the NHS and vital public services, to continue working throughout this storm.
“As we move on, I also plead to constituents of mine to be considerate when shopping at the supermarkets, we need to ensure everyone has access to food and resources through the coming months.
“Please be safe and think of others, whether that is through social distance, shopping or changing habits to battle the spread of the virus.”
MSP Gil Paterson has warned constituents of the severity of the escalating Coronavirus pandemic spreading in Scotland.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP urged members of the public to take assist in the battle against the virus.
As of Monday March 16, gatherings of more than 500 will be banned to ease the burden on emergency services.
Some 60 have been infected though zero deaths are recorded so far, and 2,892 people in Scotland have been tested.
A helpline has been set up to both help businesses and identify problems facing business for the Scottish Government.
Mr Paterson also questioned cabinet secretary for health, Jeane Freeman MSP, in the Scottish Parliament yesterday on surveillance testing of the virus continuing into the “delay” phase.
Ms Freeman clarified testing would continue, saying: “First, through our sentinel group of GP practices, of which there are 41 in Scotland; secondly, through the swabbing of individuals currently in our intensive care units; and thirdly, through testing those individuals who are admitted to hospital for a respiratory condition.”
Mr Paterson urged constituents to help in the national effort to stop coronavirus.
He said: “I am urging my constituents to take the coronavirus very seriously and exercise personal responsibility to prevent its spread.
“If constituents believe they have the virus, or suffer similar symptoms, they should be staying at home and self-isolating.
“Obviously, we cannot prevent all transmissions of this disease due to its highly contagious nature, but we must take great care.
“In Scotland, we can expect a lot of people to become sick, so we must brace ourselves for this terrible event.
“I am glad to see the Scottish Government acting on the guidelines of health professionals and urge the public to keep up to date with the latest instructions which can benefit themselves, their families and indeed the wider community.”
Transcript from the Urgent Statement: Novel coronavirus COVID-19 update - 12 March 2020:
· Gil Paterson (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP):
Can the cabinet secretary advise whether moving to the delay phase will mean that there is no longer surveillance testing for Covid-19?
· Jeane Freeman:
No, surveillance testing will continue in the three ways that I mentioned earlier. First, through our sentinel group of GP practices, of which there are 41 in Scotland; secondly, through the swabbing of individuals currently in our intensive care units; and thirdly, through testing those individuals who are admitted to hospital for a respiratory condition.
MSP Gil Paterson has visited a construction company transforming the townscape of Clydebank to mark Apprenticeship Week.
CCG Scotland has been tasked the on-going housing development at the former St Andrew’s School site off Glasgow Road.
Other ongoing and upcoming projects include a care home and units at Queens Quay and the Clydebank East flats, currently being demolished.
Mr Paterson praised the unique approach taken by CCG, which builds homes mostly prefabricated in its Cambuslang factory.
On Monday February 2, the MSP visited the factory before being given a closer look at the St Andrew’s development and to meet apprentices.
Mr Paterson said: “I was thrilled to meet CCG director Calum Murray and his team at their huge factory in Cambuslang before heading out to the building site in Clydebank.
“The factory is an incredible production line of modern, efficient and innovative house building – where one wall module can be completed in an hour.
“The site at Clydebank, where CCG is building terrific looking social housing, was an excellent opportunity to meet some of the apprentices at work.
“I would like to thank Calum Murray and CCG for having me along to see their work, I was left very impressed with their efforts in helping to reshape Clydebank.”