Equality Impact Assessment on COVID-19 testing pause within healthcare and prisons settings: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

The Equality Impact Assessments for a) removal of access to Covid-19 booster for people aged 50-65 and b) cessation of routine Covid 19 testing in healthcare, care homes & prisons.


I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested in the format you asked for. An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e the names and contact details of individuals. Disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

a) Equality Impact Assessment for the removal of access to COVID-19 booster for people aged 50-65

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because an Equality Impact Assessment on this decision was not undertaken.

Throughout the pandemic, and across all national immunisation programmes, the Scottish Government bases its programmes on the expert independent advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The JCVI did not advise vaccination of the 50-64 group. We accepted this advice and the full 2023-24 programme EQIA, that will shortly be published, will be updated to reflect the JCVI’s decision and any impacts we think this may have. 

b) Equality Impact Assessment for the cessation of routine Covid 19 testing in healthcare, care homes/ social care & prisons.

The Equality Impact Assessment for the pause in routine COVID-19 testing within healthcare, social care and prisons settings is enclosed.

Stakeholder engagement on changes to testing in healthcare, social care and prisons settings

The engagement conducted by policy officials in healthcare, social care and prison settings was done primarily on an informal basis. The views of these stakeholders, with whom the Scottish Government has had considerable engagement around ongoing reviews of remaining COVID-19 measures, were captured in May, June and July 2023. The views of the individuals we captured do not claim to speak for everyone they represent. Rather they were used to gauge a general collective opinion of these stakeholders groups during this time period. Due to the frequently evolving nature of the Covid-19 virus, views of these stakeholder groups can change over time dependent upon a variety of factors including prevalence, vaccination rates, external systemic pressures etc. We continued to engage with these stakeholders until publication of the Director’s Letter.

The primary evidence used in the decision making process was the clinical advice provided by Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI) Scotland, Scottish Government Professional Clinical Advisors in Infection, Prevention and Control and Public Health Scotland (PHS).

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

FOI 202300371983 - Information Released - Annex


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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