Jackie Baillie MSP wants SNP to produce an emergency plan.

By Bill Heaney

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, has called on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government to produce an emergency plan to tackle the issue of covid-19 within care homes.

This comes after the shock revelation that a quarter of all confirmed covid-19 deaths in Scotland are in care homes. These deaths are from care homes across Scotland, including from Castle View in Dumbarton.

The figures announced today showed that, as of 12 April, there have been a total of 962 deaths registered in Scotland where covid-19 had been included on the death certificate, and that 237 of these deaths (25%) were of individuals from care homes.

A further 596 deaths were in hospitals and 128 were at home or in non-institutional settings.

The announcement also revealed that cases of covid-19 within Scottish care homes have been reported by the majority of Health Boards and at least 4 in 10 care homes across the country are experiencing virus outbreaks.

Jackie Baillie has once again urged the Scottish Government to increase the level of testing for both care home workers and residents and has asked for sufficient levels of PPE to be made available to social care staff.

She has called for patients who have been released from hospital back to care homes to be tested for covid-19 before they are discharged in order to prevent the further spread of the virus among both staff and residents.

Jackie Baillie MSP said:  “The news that a quarter of all covid-19 deaths in Scotland have come from our care homes is simply devastating.

“Each of those older people who have passed away will have family and loved ones who will be mourning their loss. My deepest sympathies go to each and every one of them.

“I know that staff in care homes in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond, and across Scotland, will be doing everything they can to keep their residents safe and protected.

“But the support given to them by the Scottish Government has been patchy and late. The lack of PPE and testing meant that both care home staff and residents were put at unnecessary risk.

“We must now see swift and robust action to tackle the impact of covid-19 on our care home residents in order to prevent further deaths.

“This includes once and for all dealing with the issue of insufficient PPE supplies and ensuring that staff, their families, and those they care for are tested in order to halt the further spread of the virus.

“The staff at care homes have my full support during what I can only imagine is an incredibly stressful time for them.”

  • Cllr Jonathan McColl, leader of the SNP administration on West Dunbartonshire Council refuses to discuss the situation locally. McColl and the Chief Executive Officer, Joyce White, have instructed their communications officers not to speak to The Democrat.

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