Nicola Sturgeon – 2020 Statement on Catherine Calderwood

Below is the text of the statement made by Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, on 5 April 2020.

Dr Calderwood’s advice to me, to the government and to people across Scotland over the past few weeks has been the right advice. People should continue to stay at home to protect the NHS and to save lives.

It is however clear that the mistake she made – even though she has apologised sincerely and honourably for it – risks distracting from and undermining confidence in the government’s public health message at this crucial time. That is not a risk either of us is willing to take.

Catherine has been a transformational CMO, bringing changes to the way medicine is delivered in Scotland and in particular using her experience to bring an overdue focus to women’s health. Also, as I said earlier, her advice to me on Coronavirus will be missed – which is why she will work to ensure a smooth transition in the days ahead.

While she has made a very serious mistake in her actions, that should not detract from the fact that as CMO she has made a highly valuable contribution to the medical profession and to health in Scotland, and I have no doubt she will continue to do so in future. She leaves office with my thanks and admiration.