The National:

IT is probably stating the obvious to say that the last six months have been ones of real confusion and concern for many citizens across Scotland.

We have all of us been living through experiences which we could never have dreamt of in January and which have become almost the norm as we move into autumn.

Together we have upheld and supported one another, have shopped for neighbours, clapped for carers and come together as strangers and friends into real communities of concern.

Since lockdown ended, that unity has become a bit more fragmented as individuals understandably tired of restriction have bent rules a bit here or stretched the guidance a slight bit there.

In the last few days this has led to the re-introduction of restrictions as it has become clear that the threat of the virus is as real today as it was in the fearful days of the spring. For many of us therefore we are again entering a period of uncertainty and anxiety.

READ MORE: Top health expert explains why BBC's decision to end Covid briefings is wrong

It is in such times that we all look for that which is familiar and routine.

If we get lost in a physical place we search for recognisable landmarks by which to locate ourselves and our journeying. The rhythm of my own days during the height of the pandemic was patterned by the Scottish Government Daily Briefings on BBC Scotland.

They provided me with factual information and data, advice and guidance, illustration and answer. You might say that given the job I do that is no surprise, but I know I am not alone in finding these briefings both essential and assuring.

It is the potential loss of this critical source of impartial information which I and others find so damaging and offensive, especially as its loss is so discriminatory against those most in need of information.

The BBC has stated that people can still see the briefings broadcast online. That might be very true, but it ignores the reality that over half a million older Scots do not have access to the internet

The mainstream broadcasting of the Daily Briefings have been especially valuable for all those thousands who have been shielding, for countless older individuals and the many others who have had to be cautious about their health and wellbeing.

The Briefings have been devoid of the noise of party politics or the histrionics of ego, but rather they have provided what we all need in an emergency – clarity, directness and factual response.

In a very real sense, the Daily Briefings have done the job of a public information service – which if I am not mistaken was one of the primary reasons why John Reith brought about the establishment of a broadcasting service in 1922.

READ MORE: 'Severe consequences': Deaf community blast BBC for stopping coronavirus briefings

In response to criticism of its decision to reduce coverage the BBC has stated that people can still see the briefings broadcast online. That might be very true, but it ignores the reality that over half a million older Scots do not have access to the internet; it ignores the blatant truth that real-life poverty prevents thousands more under-65s from being able to have a ready means of accessing this information through digital formats. In other words, it removes information from those most at risk.

It is an offensive response to the desolation that this virus has wreaked, not least amongst our old, that our national broadcaster should seek to limit a source of assurance and comfort, information and guidance which might actually save additional lives.

Dr Donald Macaskill is the chief executive of Scottish Care, which represents over 400 organisations delivering residential care, nursing care, day care, care at home and housing support services.

At his request, The National will be donating Macaskill's fee for this article to the charity Age Scotland.