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Scottish Parliament should return to business, says Carlaw

Jackson Carlaw in the Scottish Parliament
PA Media

The Scottish Conservatives have called for Holyrood to return to business as the country moves into the first phase of easing lockdown.

Parliamentary proceedings are back under way but with the number of MSPs in the chamber tightly managed, while some have appeared via video call and committees have moved online.

Tory leader Jackson Carlaw is now seeking a resumption of face-to-face business, while social distancing is observed, adding that there is “still a place” for digital contributions.

“It’s just not possible to fully hold the government to account when Holyrood is only meeting once a week," said Mr Carlaw.

“It’s perfectly possible for other key processes to return, like opposition debates and committee sessions. We’re not saying Holyrood needs to be jam-packed full of MSPs again."

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Health Secretary warned of PTSD risk for frontline workers

NHS workers poster

Jeane Freeman has been urged to outline plans to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in frontline staff caused by dealing with the pandemic.

Scottish Labour’s health and social care spokeswoman, Monica Lennon, has raised her concerns on the impact of Covid-19 in a letter to the health secretary, saying it is taking an “unprecedented toll” on workers.

“I welcome actions that have been taken so far to provide additional support for both frontline staff and the population in general," she writes. “However, we cannot underestimate the impact on mental health of the strain which many frontline staff are currently experiencing.

“Fears and anxieties over PPE, long working hours and the emotional toll of working with sick patients and care home residents, many of whom will have died from this virus, is taking an unprecedented toll on frontline workers.

“We also know that the long-term impact of this strain can be significant and that many will be at risk of developing PTSD, which can present months or even years after the initial trauma."