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More than 400 officers and staff from Police Scotland are being deployed to help with security at this week’s G7 summit in Cornwall.

About 200 officers left in a convoy from the force headquarters in Tulliallan, Fife, on Sunday morning.

The remainder will travel before the three-day summit begins in Carbis Bay on Friday.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said the deployment would not affect policing requirements in Scotland.

The G7 summit takes place from 11 to 13 June, with the leaders of the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Japan attending.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was planning to use the summit to urge the G7 leaders to help vaccinate the world by the end of next year.

Security for the meeting is being co-ordinated by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Further contingents from Police Scotland will head south in the coming days.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said he had consistently made clear the “great benefits” of close co-operation among UK police forces.

“This has been evident over many years in Scotland – from the policing operation in relation to the Lockerbie bombing, to supporting the Commonwealth Games, and will be seen again later this year during the COP26 summit,” he said.

“As the UK’s second-largest service, it is vital we continue to demonstrate our support in this regard.

“I approved the deployment following careful consideration and it in no way affects Police Scotland’s ability to meet the policing requirements of our communities in Scotland.”

Around half of people who were due to get a Covid jab at a mass vaccination centre in Glasgow failed to turn up over the weekend.

The BBC has learned a “considerable” number of no shows were recorded on both Saturday and Sunday at the Hydro.

The venue can administer a minimum of 4,000 vaccinations each day, with a capacity to scale up to 10,000.

It comes amid efforts to accelerate vaccination following a rise in cases in the city.

The BBC understands that the number of missed appointments at the Hydro was higher on Sunday than on Saturday.

Both NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the Scottish government said they were looking into the issue to establish if it was a localised issue or more widespread.

The Scottish Conservatives suggested there may have been an issue with people receiving their vaccination appointment letter on time while the Lib Dems pointed to younger age groups who they said “move frequently” and have less contact with their GP.

In Scotland, people are sent their appointments directly by letter, rather than booking slots themselves.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, who received his first jab on Monday, said there had been a “slight increase” in those not attending appointments.

He said: “My plea would be to please attend and if you can’t attend the appointment you’re given of course you do have details where you can switch appointments, rearrange and reschedule – which is really important to do.”

Glasgow City currently has the second highest coronaviruS rate in Scotland at 136.8 cases per 100,000 people, having recorded 866 new positive tests in the seven days to 21 May.

Clackmannanshire has overtaken it for the highest case rate, at 139.7 per 100,000 although the number of positive tests is much smaller, at 72.

Glasgow is the only council area in Scotland under level three Covid restrictions amid concerns over the prevalence of the variant first identified in India – referred to as the April 02 variant by the Scottish government.

People aged 18 to 39 who live in postcodes G41, G42, G5, G51 or G52 in the southside of Glasgow are being offered jabs early to tackle surging cases.

The national clinical director, Prof Jason Leitch, confirmed there were bigger numbers of non-attendees than expected and that it was being looked into.

He told Radio Scotland’s Drivetime with John Beattie: “It’s not simple, it will be a mixture of reasons. Some of it will be our fault, because we didn’t send letters in time or the appointments didn’t go where they were supposed to go.

“Some of it will be vaccine hesitancy and some will be complacency. But it doesn’t matter if you didn’t attend, we just want you to come. Make a new appointment and come back.”

He also said he was optimistic that case numbers in Glasgow would stabilise and that the city might be able to move down to level two next week.

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18-29 year-olds encouraged to self-register

The Scottish government is now inviting 18-29 years to self-register after a successful trial for unpaid carers.

A spokeswoman said: “This age group is particularly mobile and having the ability to text these groups means they will receive details of their vaccination appointment regardless of where they are.

“This is particularly relevant for students who may have registered with a GP near their term time address but be heading home for the holidays. Therefore, once they receive their appointment details vie text or email they simply contact the helpline should they need to change the location.”

The service is open between 24 May and 4 June and those who register for their vaccination during this period will be allocated the first available slots from mid-June until the end of July.

But anyone in this age group who does not register for whatever reason will still receive a blue envelope appointment.

To sign up, visit nhsinform.scot/under30register or call 0800 030 8013.

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‘A matter of practicality’

University of St Andrews psychologist Prof Stephen Reicher, who advises the UK and Scottish governments, said the message should be that it is important to get both jabs. But he said it was not as simple as assuming people were to blame for not going for their vaccinations.

He said: “Sometimes it’s a matter of practicality. Getting to the SECC if you have caring responsibilities over the weekend, or if you are a single parent and you have got to take a couple of buses to get there, it is quite tricky.

“It makes sense that rather than ask people to come to you, to go into communities, take mobile labs there to get people vaccinated.

“We also need to talk to people and understand what their concerns are.”

Hospital admissions in Glasgow have increased recently, and the health secretary said the Scottish government would be monitoring whether this figure translates into more severe cases which require ICU treatment

Mr Yousaf also said this new variant meant it was “vitally important” that people received both doses of the vaccination when it was offered.

“The second dose offers greater and longer lasting protection, and should not be missed,” he said.

“We want everyone to come forward for a vaccine and we continue to work with community organisations to address any barriers people may experience to ensure that everyone is able to get an appointment.

“The vaccines we have are extremely safe and highly effective.”

Letter ‘issues’

The Scottish Conservative health spokeswoman Annie Wells said the number of missed vaccine appointments was “extremely concerning” and called for further transparency from the government on the issue.

She said: “If there are any issues with people receiving their appointment letters on time, then SNP ministers must give health boards the resources to ensure that people’s details are fully up-to-date.

“That is even more important now as we encourage younger people to take up the vaccine and ensure we can safely ease restrictions in the coming weeks.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP added: “Younger age groups are more likely to move frequently and have less contact with their GPs so the government should be exploring a range of options as to how they can get people registered and get their jab.

“If you did not receive your letter, please check with your GP.”

A small number of “unusual infections” have been identified in patients at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.

NHS Grampian said it is investigating the causes, and whether there is any link to the hospital environment.

It is continuing to admit and treat children as normal but said it is taking a “very precautionary approach”.

This includes changing some processes in theatres and considering the relocation of some procedures.

An NHS Grampian spokesman said: “We have identified a small number of unusual infections in patients treated at RACH.

“This may lead to a delay for a very small number of patients, for which we apologise.

“We are communicating directly with both patients and staff about this.”

More than three million people in Scotland have now received a first dose of the Covid Vaccine.

The Scottish vaccine rollout has now reached two-thirds of the eligible population.

The programme is currently moving through those aged 40 to 49 years old. More than 50% of this age group has come forward to receive a first vaccination.

In total, 3,003,339 people have now received a first dose.

A second dose has also been given to 1,599,519 members of the population.

Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Gregor Smith, said: “It is down to the enormous efforts of our vaccination teams around the country.

“Everyone has a role to play in helping to bring this virus under control and we want to see our high uptake rates continuing through all the age groups.”

Dr Smith said that, “supplies permitting”, he expected that all adults in Scotland would be offered a first dose by the end of July.

Residents in a Scottish care home at the centre of Covid outbreak experienced “unnecessary harm and suffering”, according to inspectors.

They found people who were dying were among those whose “health needs were neglected” at Thornlea nursing home in Loanhead, Midlothian.

Concerns were also raised about the competency of nursing staff and the cleanliness of the home following the inspection in December 2020.

Fifteen residents died with Covid.

Within days of the Care Inspectorate’s visit to the home on 14 December, it had its registration suspended.

Operator Thornlea Nursing Homes Ltd has since gone into liquidation and the care home has been permanently closed.

It is one of at least 474 care homes in Scotland being investigated by a special Crown Office unit set up to probe Covid-linked deaths in care homes.

The report, published on the Care Inspectorate’s website, judged Thornlea Nursing Home “unsatisfactory” following an unannounced inspection.

Inspectors found that some of the 27 people who were using the service at the time were not receiving good care.

“We were very concerned that people who were unwell and nearing the end of their life were not being given appropriate palliative care,” they said.

“The nurses had not ensured that end of life medication to help people stay comfortable was available.

“People were not being checked for signs of changing needs that would then help other professionals such as a GP to be called quickly.”

There was a lack of checks on residents’ temperature, pulse rate and oxygen saturation levels, and their medication was not reviewed regularly.

It meant the need for end-of-life care was not being recognised and “people’s experiences of care at the end of their life may have been compromised as a result”, inspectors added.

Cleanliness was also a concern of inspectors who concluded the home was “not a safe environment to live and work in”.

They had enough PPE but it was not stored properly. In one instance it was found on a trolley next to an open bag of clinical waste – something which risked further spread of infection.

Staff did not clean their hands at every opportunity, following each episode of care or removing PPE.

And clinical waste was not managed properly, with bags left in overfull and unsecured waste bins, and in a bath in a room which was not secure.

Inspectors said enhanced Covid guidance had not been implemented, presenting “a serious risk to people” in the home.

They said there was a lack of management support, with no clear direction being provided.

“This had resulted in people experiencing unnecessary harm and suffering due to their health needs being neglected, including at the end of life,” they said.

The Care Inspectorate made an application to the courts to have Thornlea Nursing Home’s registration suspended following the inspection.

During a hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 22 December, its registration was suspended from 18 January 2021.

The operator went into liquidation in March.

 

© Scotland Matters