News

Coronavirus Bill must remain under review

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 23rd March 2020

ALLIANCE briefing calls on politicians to ensure legislation remains under constant review.

The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland has published a briefing note on the provisions of the emergency Coronavirus Bill proposed by the UK Government to provide powers to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic.

The Coronavirus Bill (this link will take you away from our website) is temporary, emergency legislation.  All stages of the Bill will be debated in the House of Commons on Monday 23 March 2020, with two further days of consideration to follow in the House of Lords. This Act expires at the end of a period of 2 years.

It is intended that a Legislative Consent Motion for the Coronavirus Bill will be debated by the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 24 March 2020. The Scottish Government intends to bring forward its own emergency legislation, covering other devolved matters, “shortly after” (this link will take you away from our website).

In our briefing we have called for:

  • people most at risk to be prioritised, and their rights and needs assessed, ensuring that contingency planning arrangements are made fairly, transparently, and publicly available in accessible formats.
  • the legislation to remain under constant review, with a three month expiry date, given the deep human rights implications for millions of people.
  • additional resources are diverted to the many third sector organisations in Scotland with decades of experiences of working with volunteers.
  • further provisions to be made that place duties on Scottish Ministers to update and report on the number of mental health orders that have been made in the emergency period and what assessment of other person centred and human rights based options and capacity has been made.
  • our concern at reports of social care packages being withdrawn and that further provisions must be included in the final Act that ensure comprehensive and regular reporting to the public on how the Scottish Government will guarantee provisions for social care while this Act is in force.

ALLIANCE members and stakeholders are invited to comment on the briefing and share with their colleagues and contacts. Please contact Andrew Strong at andrew.strong@alliance-scotland.org.uk to discuss further.

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