Mearns MSP calls for Test and Protect to be wound up

A Mearns councillor is calling for the Scottish Government to wind up the Test and Protect system which she claims has now become ‘redundant’.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 14th February 2022, 2:50 pm
Ms White says resources must now be diverted away from Test and Protect
Ms White says resources must now be diverted away from Test and Protect

Tess White is urging the government to progressively wind up the system and instead invest the money saved on employing more nurses for NHS Grampian.

Her call comes after recent figures revealed the SNP allocated £211m to Test and Protect during 2021/22.

Research from the Scottish conservatives shows if that money was diverted into frontline services, more than 8,000 extra nurses could be employed across Scotland, with 790 of these at NHS Grampian.

Ms White says that while Test and Protect was a valuable resource during the early stages of the pandemic but has now become increasingly redundant.

The Scottish Conservatives have published a policy blueprint entitled “Back to Normality” which recommends a move away from mass testing towards representative sampling, which would allow for a dramatic reduction in the resource allocated to monitor Covid.

Ms White says resources must now be diverted away from Test and Protect towards supporting frontline services to help tackle ever-growing treatment backlogs and missed A&E waiting times.

She said: “As we continue to see positive data surrounding Covid, we need to see a more targeted approach to the virus from the SNP Government.

"Part of the approach should be replacing Test and Protect.

"It was vital during many stages of the Covid crisis in helping to trace cases in the north-east but is now not serving its purpose.

“These figures are stark and show how money could be diverted towards hiring more nurses at NHS Grampian if over £200m wasn’t being spent on Test and Protect.

"Frontline services across the north-east are in desperate need of extra money and support. A&E waiting times are being missed every week, the treatment backlog is ever-growing and heroic staff are absolutely exhausted.

“As we look beyond the pandemic, we need to see the Scottish Government adapt to the new situation and investing in almost 800 new nurses for NHS Grampian would be an ideal way to do so.”