Comhairle Concerns over Western Isles Test and Protect Procedures

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has called on NHS Western Isles to give reassurances to the public that full Test & Protect procedures are in place for use in the Western Isles.

The call comes ahead of tomorrow's launch of the Scottish Government Test & Protect scheme which is a central part of the exit from lockdown into phase 1.

Comhairle Leader, Roddie Mackay, said: “Test and Protect is a key part of the Scottish Government’s strategy to ease lockdown and the accompanying restrictions which we have all necessarily, and rightly, had to endure. Scottish Government guidance is that we should follow procedures as outlined in the launch of the T&P scheme for tomorrow. We are also being told to advise our communities to do so.

“Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director, stated earlier this week that all 14 Health Boards will have the capacity to implement T&P procedures from Friday 29th May. I am not convinced that this is the case in the Western Isles and I am seeking urgent reassurances from NHS Western Isles that they are fully equipped, have all measures in place and that they are prepared in order to continue to fulfil their part in protecting the residents of the Western Isles.

“I want to ensure that people in the Western Isles are treated at least the same as people in the rest of Scotland, otherwise we are effectively being discriminated against. Our communities, which have been magnificent during this pandemic, deserve no less. Anything else means we are being treated as second class citizens in our own country.”