The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

Scottish government thanks EHPs for insight and expertise

MSP writes to EH and TS professionals saying she values the way they have ‘embraced partnership working’.
03 December 2020 , Katie Coyne

EHPs and trading standards officers in Scotland have been thanked by their government for their “commitment and efforts to support” the COVID-19 response.

The Scottish government wrote to thank EH and TS professionals, via three groups and societies, for their pandemic work and made it clear that their contributions and feedback were invited and valued.

Scottish National Party MSP Christina McKelvie wrote: “I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and your colleagues across Scotland for your commitment and efforts to support our response to Covid-19.

“We value the spirit in which you have embraced partnership working and your insight and expertise to inform how we support compliance, whilst managing a significant workload.

“The work both trading standards and environmental health officers do is critical to combatting transmission of the virus for public health protection while at the same time supporting our businesses and economy by helping workplaces to remain open and our workforce safe.”

McKelvie, who is the minister for older people and equalities, said the development of the Scottish Strategic Framework, which sets out the nation’s approach to suppressing the virus, was a “step forward” and should provide greater “consistency and certainty” for businesses and the public. But she added: “I do not underestimate the challenges you will face in your day-today operations.”

The Scottish government, she went on, is looking at continuous improvement of communications and guidance with a key priority how to maintain compliance at such a vital point when businesses and the public are “understandably weary”.

McKelvie added: “The feedback and input your officers provide in terms of how the guidance and regulations are working in practice is invaluable and I hope that continued partnership working will, in turn, help your roles in supporting businesses with compliance and trading safely.

“I welcome your continued contribution and your feedback on any compliance and enforcement issues arising, this will help maintain the crucial high levels of compliance we need to support local areas to reduce the spread of the virus and move down the levels within the strategic framework.

“Thank you again for your diligent efforts to support and inform our COVID-19 response, please pass on my thanks to colleagues.”

McKelvie wrote to the heads of three EH and TS groups in Scotland. These were Alan Morrison, chair of the Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland; Graeme Paton, chair of the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland; and Brian Lawrie, chair of the Scottish Environmental Health and Trading Standards COVID-19 Expert Officers Group.

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