Jackie Baillie MSP, deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party. Picture by Bill Heaney
By Democrat reporter
Scottish Labour is today raising serious concerns over the lack of Personal Protective Equipment and possible negligence by management at Castleview Care Home in Dumbarton, where at least 11 deaths have been recorded in the last 10 days.
The total number of deaths so far recorded in Scotland is 222, but in reality the figure is much higher than that.
In a letter to the Deputy Leader of Scottish Labour, Jackie Baillie, the Regional Secretary of GMB Scotland, Gary Smith, revealed the struggles faced by staff at the care home in raising concerns over the lack of access to PPE and the absence of support for staff.
The letter reveals that care workers at Castleview, pictured right, were accused of “overreacting and causing panic” by management for taking the temperature of residents, and that vital PPE such as face masks had been locked away from care workers from the beginning of the outbreak.
Concerns have also been raised by care workers at Castleview, which sits at the junction of Glasgow Road and Castlegreen Street, about staffing levels at the home, specifically levels of nursing cover.
Despite these concerns, management at Castleview entirely deny that there are any issues surrounding nursing provision at the facility.
Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party and MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, Jackie Baillie, said: “ My first thoughts are with the families that lost loved ones and the care workers who are trying to do all they can to keep residents safe.
“This letter raises serious concerns over the actions of management at Castleview Care Home, which may well have had tragic repercussions for residents and their families.
“It is vital that employers take the concerns of staff seriously at all times and, in this time of crisis, it is vital that care workers are listened to.
“ Scottish Labour has continually called for the Scottish Government to do more to ensure all frontline workers get the PPE they need, but this shows that without employers sticking to the Government guidance lives can be endangered.
“Above all, it is clear that the owners of Castleview, HC1, have serious questions to answer and the Care Commission needs to investigate matters urgently.”