Baillie 9

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.

Castleview Care Home.jpg 2The 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.”


  1. My brothers care in this place was horrendous, doesn’t surprise me that denial was first thing on their lips. I see they have tidied a few sitting areas in the home, with the aid of council money. Profit is first and foremost in their minds, and I don’t doubt for a minute that what the staff are reporting is absolutely true.

    Christine Livingstone.

  2. This is happening in most care homes. Management are locking away vital PPE due to shortages or being told “it’s not the right time” despite positive confirmed cases of COVID-19.

  3. Management in these care homes have a lot to answer to! Continue to play it down and tell care staff and nurses they are “over reacting” when residents have symptoms. There is little PPE and huge shortages of staff. Care homes are frontline but back of the queue when it comes to staff protection.

  4. The heating in care homes is turned up because the condition of the residents affects how the brain/body controls their temperature. How they are going to explain losing 11 residents in 10 days I don’t know….with the Golden Jubilee minutes away.

  5. Jackie Baillie is raising questions. And she is right to do so because she is pushing a door that needs to be opened, should have been opened before now.

    This is a national emergency and the virus ripping through care homes full of elderly is not exactly an unforeseen circumstance.

    No lesser a man that Prime Minister Johnson’s aide Dominic Cummings said so in his infamous quip about too bad if a few pensioners die in the pursuit of herd immunity and protecting the economy.

    I think therefore that whilst these care deaths are a local matter, and an absolute tragic local matter at that, we need to be looking at the Westminster strategy of priorly not introducing social distancing preferring instead to go for virus spread to develop herd immunity and protect the economy.

    We need also to look at how not just Scotland, but the whole of the UK has been so unprepared. No testing, no PPE, no ventilators against a policy of deliberately spreading the virus. These are the big questions – because the rest is sadly follow on.

    The Scottish government, the Hollyrood parliamentary chambers itself, and our MPs did non of them not feel the need to challenge our blind acceptance of the Johnson government policy to let the virus spread..

    Yes, some very big questions need to be asked.

    Had we done things differently, and not wilfully ignored World Health Organisation advice to test, test, test, constrain, constrain and constrain then we might not be in the position we are in now.

    But at least we’re finding voice now!

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