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Scottish Government travel policy causing ‘serious alarm’, industry bosses declare – The Herald

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More than 4400 Covid vaccine doses ‘wasted in one week in Scotland’ – STV news

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More than 4400 doses of coronavirus vaccine were wasted in Scotland in one week, figures have revealed.

Statistics published by the Scottish Government under freedom of information requests showed that in the week ending August 1, a total of 4,448 doses of vaccine were not administered.

Between February and July the number totalled 34,026.

The Scottish Government said there are “several reasons a vaccine may not be administered before being discarded, and therefore ‘wasted’”, including issues with storage, expired doses and “specific clinical situations where there may be some dose loss”.

The figures covered all three of the coronavirus vaccines being given in Scotland – Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna – with the total wasted amounting to 0.51% of the 6,643,551 jabs given.

However the statistics do not include wastage of vaccines in GPs practices, as “GPs do not record this information”.

The figures were released as the Scottish Government continues to urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

From Monday this will include healthy youngsters aged between 12 and 15, after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the vaccine programme was being expanded following advice from the UK’s chief medical officers.

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Pensioner dies waiting 40 hours for ambulance after collapsing in Glasgow flat – The Scotsman

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According to a report in the Herald Gerard Brown, 65, was found by family on the floor of his flat in Dumbreck, Glasgow last Monday with injuries to his back and arms from a fall.

Paramedics eventually arrived around 3am on Wednesday, after which time Mr Brown had passed away.

Mr Brown’s son Dylan, told the Herald: “They pronounced that he was only just dead because he still had warmth in his body.

“In this day and age, it should not be happening. I know with Covid people are busy and the NHS is struggling, but that’s unacceptable and we just don’t want it happening to another family.”

Dylan added that his father’s GP had told him “I can assure you that if they’d got to him your Dad would still be here”.

Mr Brown was reportedly a cancer survivor, weighing just six stone, who had a history of alcohol-related health problems.

The GP, Dr O’Neill, was reported as first being made aware of Mr Brown’s situation by his ex-wife on Monday morning, after she called let the practice know the family were waiting for an ambulance.

Dr O’Neill told the Herald: “At 9am on Tuesday we get a phonecall from his ex-wife to say ‘listen, he’s still in the house’. I was like ‘you are kidding me?’.

“I got on the phone to the ambulance service at 9.15am and I said ‘this man is going to be found dead’ – and I used that language, because I knew the situation he was in.

The GP was called by police on Wednesday to inform him of Mr Brown’s death. But he said that the long wait was not an isolated incident.

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Doctors are exhausted, says BMA Scotland chief – BBC news

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Scotland’s doctors are “exhausted” and many are cutting working hours or leaving the health service altogether, according to a senior doctors’ leader.

BMA Scotland chairman Dr Lewis Morrison told BBC Scotland that doctors were “washed out physically and mentally” after 18 months of the Covid pandemic.

He said action was needed to stop doctors leaving the profession and to boost recruitment of new medics.

The Scottish government said it was working to manage the pressures.

Speaking ahead of the BMA’s annual representative meeting, Dr Morrison said the “workforce crisis” had its roots in the number of senior doctor vacancies before the pandemic.

But he said that the NHS “being run at 110% capacity” during Covid had deepened the crisis.

The pressures across the NHS had been “immense” in the past few weeks, he said.

Dr Morrison said doctors traditionally had low levels of sickness but it was starting to rise.

“I think the cumulative effect of the pandemic is now starting to show,” he said.

“The main other thing is to look after people, to give people the space to have rest and recuperation as best they can, to not pressurise people to do more and more.

“The message needs to go to the public to still be patient with the NHS because it cannot meet the needs of everybody right now.”

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Scotland’s swamped contact tracers told to stop ringing people with Covid if two calls ring out amid virus surge – The Sun

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SWAMPED contact tracers are being told to stop chasing Covid-positive Scots if two calls ring out in four hours.

Backlogs caused by the recent virus spike, coupled with staff shortages, are pushing Scotland’s Test and Protect system to breaking point, according to one insider.

The whistleblower says the system is overwhelmed by surging infection rates, adding: “Cases are closed after two attempts.”

They say staff are now only able to do the “bare minimum” by ringing people with the bug twice before giving up and moving on.

And they told how — with new cases topping 7,000 last Sunday — flowcharts and scripts used by call handlers had been changed to get through jobs faster.

The insider claimed most positive cases in their late teens or early 20s who were successfully reached had been in a nightclub since venues reopened on August 9.

And they revealed “burnt out” workers are increasingly frustrated with the Scottish Government’s handling of the crisis.

Critics have demanded an overhaul of the contact tracing system amid claims it is “running on fumes”.

Covid inquiry must be given all the powers needed to take action and force change – Sunday Post

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Bereaved families have called on ministers to include them in preparations for Scotland’s public inquiry into the official response to the pandemic.

Cathie Russell, who lost her mother Rose Hamilton, 89, in July, leads the Care Home Relatives Scotland campaign group and said that, despite meeting with current Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and his predecessor Jeane Freeman, they and Lost Loved Ones, another network supporting families and campaigning for an inquiry, had not been informed preparations were under way.

She said: “We have had around a dozen meetings and nothing was said about the consultation process, despite us asking officially to be core participants in the inquiry.”

Patrick McGuire of law firm Thompsons Scotland, who has been involved in a number of Scottish public inquiries and represents some of the families affected by the pandemic, has written an open letter to Deputy First Minister John Swinney calling on him to ensure the terms of reference for the Covid inquiry will give it the necessary powers.

He said: “This inquiry is much too important to everyone in Scotland for it not to include these key groups, and after being professionally involved in five public inquiries which have in many ways failed to live up to the expectations of victims, we cannot afford to see any repeat of the same mistakes.

McGuire warned, if carried out thoroughly, the Scottish Covid inquiry could ultimately lead to criminal prosecutions. He said: “There is no point in spending millions on a public inquiry and then finding the terms of reference have placed a straightjacket on the authorities who are then expected to take action.”

Glasgow and Lanarkshire worst Covid hotspots in Europe – STV news

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Glasgow and Lanarkshire are the two worse hit corona hotspots in Europe, according to the World Health Organisation.

The rate of Covid-19 cases per person in the two Scottish regions are significantly higher than elsewhere in the country, the United Kingdom and the continent.

Lanarkshire’s seven-day rate of cases per 100,000 people was more than 1111, with Glasgow’s higher than 1014.

The regions with the next worst levels of Covid-19 are Kosovo and Israel with rates of 734 and 718 respectively.

Nicola Sturgeon faces demands to ‘take responsibility’ for failings during Covid pandemic – Daily Express

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“They had gone and I didn’t feel safe. I didn’t feel I was being valued as a Scottish NHS worker and there was no explanation as to why this PPE was out of date or what was happening.

“The fact that my practice was borrowing equipment from builders merchants, from scouts giving us donations.

“We were in no way prepared for the pandemic and the Scottish Government did not produce the equipment we needed quick enough.”

The First Minister said the judge-led inquiry would have a “person-centred, human rights-based” approach.

Coronavirus Scotland: Five Scottish health boards amongst worst hit in Europe – The Herald

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Five health boards in Scotland are amongst the worst-hit regions by Covid-19 in Europe according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

On Wednesday, the country reached a record high for new cases overnight as numbers soared above 5,000.

First monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 approved for use in the UK – gov.uk

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Following on from a thorough review of the evidence carried out by the MHRA, and recommendation by the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM), the government’s independent expert scientific advisory body, the MHRA has approved Ronapreve as the first monoclonal antibody combination product indicated for use in the prevention and treatment of acute COVID-19 infection for the UK.

Developed by Regeneron/Roche, the drug is administered either by injection or infusion and acts at the lining of the respiratory system where it binds tightly to the coronavirus and prevents it from gaining access to the cells of the respiratory system. Clinical trial data assessed by a dedicated team of MHRA scientists and clinicians has shown that Ronapreve may be used to prevent infection, promote resolution of symptoms of acute COVID-19 infection and can reduce the likelihood of being admitted to hospital due to COVID-19.