During Vitual Question Time on Thursday, George Adam, SNP MSP for Paisley, asked the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport how the Scottish Government is continuing to monitor advice for those receiving palliative and end of life care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to his question, Jeane Freeman confirmed that the Scottish Government is continually in communication with care homes, hospices and services providing end of life care to ensure both residents and families are treated with dignity and respect despite the difficult circumstances posed by the virus.

Ms Freeman reiterated that she will remain in active contact with the hospice network across Scotland to ensure that any additional clarification on the guidance is available when necessary, and will continue to ensure that institutions are supported in their implementation of visiting policies for those receiving palliative care safely and compassionately.

Since the beginning of the lockdown, institutions across Scotland have implemented a range of measures to protect the health, safety and well-being of residents and their families in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus and limit transmission between parties.

George Adam said:

“Since becoming Paisley’s MSP, I have always made palliative care and end of life choices a priority of mine as I feel passionately about ensuring both hospice residents and their families are treated with the upmost compassion and dignity at the most difficult time in their lives.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has left many residents and families understandably confused and anxious about what the new social distancing and lockdown measures mean for them, so it was important to me that I raised this question during Virtual Question Time and put it at the front of the agenda.

“I know the Health Secretary is going above and beyond right now to make sure care homes, hospices, and all health service providers are kept up to date with the most accurate guidance and are continually supported to ensure they can implement said guidance as safely and efficiently as possible.

“I can’t imagine the hardship faced by many across Scotland who are currently separated from their loved ones or facing uncertainly surrounding visiting policies or access to family members receiving palliative care. I want you to know that I am thinking of you right now and will continue to work with my colleagues to make sure you have as much support as possible during these difficult times.”