Today in the Scottish Parliament, Jackie Baillie – MSP for Dumbarton – raised the issue of West Dunbartonshire not having a single Covid-19 testing facility with the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman.
During the virtual session of Health and Sport Portfolio Questions, Jackie Baillie asked Jeane Freeman what plans the Scottish Government had to provide testing facilities within West Dunbartonshire. This is because West Dunbartonshire has the second highest level of deaths, per head of the population, yet social care staff and members of the public are being made to travel far out with the area to access testing facilities.
Jackie cited a case of a constituent having to travel from Dumbarton to Dunoon to get tested, which is a considerable distance to go, especially if you are feeling ill.
Jackie Baillie has called for local testing hubs to be introduced immediately in order to reduce the spread of Covid-19, both within communities and care homes.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“This is not the first time that I have asked the Scottish Government to introduce testing hubs within West Dunbartonshire and it won’t be the last.
“Our community has been hit particularly hard by the virus and the number of daily deaths and new infections is still cause for grave concern. Our social care staff are working incredibly hard to protect their patients but without easy access to testing, they have unwittingly continued to infect those who are vulnerable and at risk.
“These staff members are doing a fantastic job and going to extreme lengths to care for the elderly within West Dunbartonshire. Sadly, the Scottish Government was slow to act on testing, but they need to ramp up provision if we are to t ankle the crisis in our care homes and emerge from lockdown successfully.
“It is paramount that local testing hubs are opened immediately so that there is easy access for the whole community. ”