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Community Coronavirus Health Public Health

Vaccine Programme Exceeds Expectations

786,427 people have received first dose.

A total of 786,427 people have now received their first Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination in Scotland, including 93% of over-80s living in the community.

Some 99% of older adult care home residents have received a first dose, along with 89% of staff in older adult care homes. A total of 272,365 frontline health and social care workers have also been vaccinated, exceeding the initial target of 230,000 staff provided by health boards.

This week, following the opening of new mass vaccination centres, including the Edinburgh International Conference Centre and Aberdeen’s P&J LIVE at TECA, there has been a 49% increase in the number of vaccinations carried out compared with the previous week.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“Scotland’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is now delivering ahead of our expectations, thanks to the enormous efforts of our vaccination teams. I would like to thank everyone who is working tirelessly to make this a success, and also every individual who has taken up their offer of a vaccine.

“Our aim is to vaccinate as many people as possible with both their first and second doses. The vaccine deployment plan was predicated on an uptake of at least 80% in each cohort – though so far we are significantly exceeding that for care home residents and staff, frontline healthcare staff, and over 80-year-olds in the community. If you are aged over 80 but have not yet received your invite, you should contact your GP surgery so they can assist.

“We hope to see a significant drop in the disease due to the vaccination programme, however this will take a number of months to evaluate fully. In the shorter term, we are monitoring the uptake rate but we also have a comprehensive surveillance system in place to monitor outcome of vaccine efficacy and disease reduction.

“Each health board is working hard to get the vaccine into people’s arms as quickly as possible, and everyone eligible will be offered the vaccine as we work our way through the priority groups.”

Background:

Uptake rates for the COVID-19 vaccine so far are higher than the flu vaccine programme in 2019-20 and 2020-21, which was 79% for those aged over 65 in 2020.

Our deployment plan sets out our plan for how we will roll out vaccinations in Scotland to vaccinate 4.5 million people.

Categories
Community Health Social Security

More Help With Free Personal and Nursing Care

Savings for people with dementia and other care needs.

Adults who pay for their residential care in Scotland will be better off from April as a result of a change to the rates of allowances they receive for personal and nursing care.

Those who ‘self-fund’ their residential care receive an allowance in recognition of their personal and nursing care costs.

Regulations laid in Parliament will raise these allowances by 7.5 per cent, well above the normal annual increase, in recognition of the increasing cost of providing care, particularly for people with dementia.

The change is backed by an additional £10.1m in Local Authority funding to cover the increases.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“I am pleased to confirm that we will increase the allowances paid to people who are paying self-funder rates for their residential care by 7.5%.

“Care home costs have been rising above inflation for a number of years and this is an important step towards to bringing the rates closer to the actual cost of personal and nursing care.

“The Independent Review of Adult Social Care will be published later this week and in responding to its recommendations there will be opportunities to consider wider reforms to the way residential care is funded and delivered, to ensure the highest standards of care and wellbeing for people who use adult social care, and support for their families, carers and the workforce.”

Background

The Scottish Government has legislated to ensure that adults of any age, no matter their condition, capital or income, who are assessed by their local authority as needing personal care, are entitled to receive this without charge.

Free nursing care is similar and has been available to all who are assessed as requiring nursing care services, without charge.

People resident in care homes who have capital above the higher Capital Limit (currently £28,500) are known as self-funders. Local Authorities make payments to cover the personal care (currently at £180 per week) and nursing care (currently at £81 per week) part of self-funder care home fees. These are paid directly to the residential care provider on a weekly basis.

Under the normal inflationary measure used to calculate allowances, these payments would have increased by 1.94% this year. This year’s increases are shown in the table below.

Year Personal Care Nursing Care Annual Increase

1 April 2019 £177 £80 1.57%

1 April 2020 £180 £81 1.84%

1 April 2021 £193.50 £87.10 7.5%

Categories
Business Community Coronavirus Environment

Budget to Support Net-Zero Transformation

Record funding to deliver Scotland’s green recovery.

The Scottish Government will invest a record £1.9 billion in tackling climate change and creating good, green jobs in 2021/22.

Delivery of a ground-breaking £1.6 billion investment to transform heat and energy efficiency of buildings will get under way, directly supporting up to 5,000 jobs and tackling fuel poverty while rapidly accelerating the decarbonisation of an area which makes up a quarter of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Other highlights include delivering the first wave of the £2 billion Low Carbon Fund, including, in the first year alone, £14 million for the Green Jobs Fund. The heat in buildings budget will increase by £30 million to £213.4 million, while spending in forestry has been increased by £26.9 million to £121.2 million.

Further investment will support the delivery of major, multi-year commitments, including:

  • a £250 million peatland restoration programme
  • £120 million for zero-emission buses
  • over £500 million for Active Travel
  • £70 million to improve waste and recycling infrastructure
  • over £500 million for bus priority infrastructure.

To ensure Scotland realises the full benefits of COP26 in Glasgow, £8 million will be targeted to showcase the country’s global leadership in tackling climate change, accelerate climate goals both domestically and globally, and develop Scotland’s international influence whilst attracting green investment and innovation. An ongoing commitment to support countries most affected by the climate emergency will be met with £3 million for international climate justice.

Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“This is a Budget which rightly focuses on tackling the COVID-19 crisis and supporting our people, health service and economy in the immediate term, but it also lays the foundations to rebuild a fairer, stronger, and greener Scotland.

“Our commitment to tackling the twin crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss is unwavering and this cross-government investment ensures we support the transformational change required to become net-zero by 2045 – doing so in a way that protects our environment, creates good, green jobs and ensures no-one is left behind.

“Our commitment to ensuring Scotland’s recovery from COVID-19 is green has been prioritised despite the significant financial challenges of COVID-19, delays to the UK Budget, the UK Government Spending Review worsening our capital position and key powers remaining reserved to Westminster.

“2021 is a vital year for climate action and COP26 in Glasgow puts Scotland at the centre of a global to protect our people and planet. This Budget enhances Scotland’s role as an international climate leader, backing up the world’s toughest climate target framework with on-the-ground delivery.”

Categories
Children Community Coronavirus Social Security

Tackling Poverty and Inequality

Increased Budget investment for a Fairer Scotland.

Tackling deep-seated poverty and inequality will be supported by increased funding from the 2021-22 Scottish Budget.

To ensure all children have the best start in life, £68 million will be invested in the Scottish Child Payment, and £53 million will fund universal Free School Meals to all children in primary one, two and three.

Communities impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will continue to be supported through funds aimed at helping them recover and rebuild.

The 2021-22 Scottish Budget includes:

  • a near doubling of spending through the Tackling Child Poverty fund with £23.3 million of investment, and providing £6 million to local authorities to continue providing a school clothing grant worth at least £100 to every eligible child
  • £3.6 billion for social security to carers and those on low incomes
  • £150 million for fuel poverty and energy efficiency measures
  • £711.6 million for affordable housing and a new £55 million programme to support town centres
  • £32 million to promote equality and human rights, including actions to ensure this approach is embedded across government and the wider public sector
  • £15 million to further support children and young people with Additional Support Needs
  • more than £26 million of investment in the vital Third Sector
  • £81.6 million for projects to support community regeneration, town centres and 20 minute neighbourhoods – where people can meet their needs within a 20 minute walk from their home
  • over £12 million to support the Ending Homelessness Together action plan, including specific actions to scale up Housing First, end the use of communal night shelters, advance legislative protections for people experiencing domestic abuse and explore alternative routes to reduce migrant homelessness


Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“We are putting tackling poverty at the heart of the Budget. In two weeks we introduce our new game-changing Scottish Child Payment, backed by investment of £68 million.

“As well as mitigating the impact of UK Government welfare cuts, we are supporting carers, young people, and low income families through our range of new benefits. This year also sees the start of the introduction of the first disability benefits as we continue to establish a social security system that is based on dignity and respect and investing in our people.”

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

“In addition to responding to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, this budget is investing in actions designed to tackle deep-seated poverty and inequality including almost doubling our child poverty budget to £23.3 million. This means we will deliver our £50 million Tackling Child Poverty Fund commitment in full, continuing with investment in actions including our Parental Employability Support Fund, Access to Childcare Fund and innovative Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland programme.

“Funding for more affordable, greener housing is at the heart of the Scottish Budget, contributing to our net-zero ambitions while helping to ensure everyone has a home that meets their needs.

“We will also invest over £26 million in the local and national Third Sector infrastructure, support the capacity and growth of social enterprises, and ensure the Third Sector can help people and communities recover from the impact of the pandemic.”

Background

Scottish Budget

Equality and Fairer Scotland Budget Statement

Communities and Local Government 

Categories
Business Community Coronavirus

Rebuilding the Economy

Investing in jobs and skills.

Supporting people into employment and equipping them with skills they need will be at the heart of the economic recovery, backed with £1.1 billion of investment under the proposed Scottish Budget 2021-22.

Additional investment of £125 million will go towards the Young Person’s Guarantee, the National Transition Training Fund and other initiatives ensuring the future workforce has the skills needed for a green recovery and supporting those at risk of long term unemployment. This includes personalised employment support and retraining for those who have been made unemployed or are at risk of redundancy due to the pandemic.

Since November the Young Person’s Guarantee has provided funding for around 18,000 opportunities for people aged between 16 and 24 to help them into work.

Other funding for 2021-22 includes:

  • £230 million for Skills Development Scotland to deliver training
  • £100 million Green Jobs Fund to be delivered over the next Parliament
  • £27 million for national employability service Fair Start Scotland
  • £21 million towards Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships
  • £5 million for Community Jobs Scotland to create job opportunities for unemployed people aged 16 to 29

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted economies throughout the world and while Scotland’s economy has performed slightly better than the UK as a whole, the necessary restrictions to suppress the virus are continuing to impact economic activity.

“As well as providing emergency support to businesses to help them through this crisis, it is vital that we plan for the future. By providing our workforce with the support, skills and experience needed to drive a green economic recovery, we will ensure that our investment in a just transition protects and creates jobs.

“The Young Person Guarantee has to go hand in hand with economic recovery in Scotland. During this crisis we have taken action to support our young people who have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic. This funding allows us to build on that success and meet additional demand.

“It also provides opportunities for those already in employment to upskill or retrain and supporting those who are further from the labour market in partnership with local authorities, third and private sectors to ensure no one is left behind.

“Underpinning everything will be our commitment to working in partnership with employers to invest in workforce development, create diverse and inclusive workplaces and pay people fairly for the work they do.”

Background

The Young Person’s Guarantee aims to give every young person the opportunity to study, take up an apprenticeship, a job or work experience or participate in formal volunteering within the next two years. £60 million was allocated to support the Young Person’s Guarantee in 2020/21.

Information about the 18,000 opportunities the Young Person’s Guarantee has provided funding for has been published. 

Categories
Community Environment Health Mental Health

City MSPs Welcome Regeneration Funding

CAMPERDOWN COMMUNITY GROWING HUB TO RECEIVE REGENERATION FUNDING

Dundee’s SNP MSPs Joe FitzPatrick and Shona Robison have welcomed funding to support the Camperdown Community Growing Hub in Dundee through the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).

Schemes around Scotland are to receive a share of £25 million from the RCGF – including the Camperdown Community Growing Hub in Dundee, which will receive £899,305.

The RCGF will support 1,220 jobs and as well as thousands of training places by refurbishing and bringing back into use 26 empty buildings to provide space for community enterprises.

Joe FitzPatrick MSP (Dundee City West constituency) said:

“The Camperdown Community Growing Hub will be a fantastic initiative that will provide vital support for people across Dundee, so I am delighted to see that the SNP Government will be providing this extra funding.

“This project has the potential to help local people to eat more healthily, tackle food poverty, as well as support people with mental health issues.”

Shona Robison MSP (Dundee City East constituency) said:

“The SNP Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund has been vital in supporting community-led regeneration projects and has invested more than £200 million since 2014.

“As we look towards our recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, this investment in our communities will be vital.

“The hub at Camperdown will help to tackle inequalities, enable people to develop vital skills, and provide a facility that allows local people to grow healthy food for themselves and others, whilst simultaneously helping to reduce the city’s overall carbon footprint.”

* Photo shows view from City Road Allotments.