VIRUS: DEATHS HIGHER HERE THAN IN ENGLAND

The Health and Social Care Partnership committee; Jackie Baillie MSP, Crosslet House and Castle View.

By Democrat reporter

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond, has raised serious concerns regarding the fact that Scotland is experiencing far more Covid-19 related deaths in care homes than is the case in England.

New data from the Office of National Statistics has shown that the rate of Covid-19 deaths in Scottish care homes is higher than the equivalent week in England and cumulatively almost double the rate.

The National Records of Scotland data, published last week, confirmed that for the first time care home Covid-19 deaths outnumbered those that took place in Scottish hospitals.

This was also true for the number of Covid-19 care home deaths compared to hospital deaths in West Dunbartonshire.

It was also confirmed that West Dunbartonshire has the second worst rate of Covid-19 deaths per head of the population, second only to Inverclyde, which covers Greenock, Gourock and Largs.

The cumulative number of care home residents who have died of COVID-19 in Scotland stands at 886, 39% of all Covid-19 deaths, compared to 21.43% in England and Wales.

In West Dunbartonshire, as of 26 April, 34 deaths within local care homes had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate compared to 32 deaths in hospital.

Jackie Baillie has repeatedly called for urgent action to be taken by the Scottish Government and West Dunbartonshire Council to better protect care home staff and residents.

Jackie Baillie MSP said:  “Alongside social care sector staff, worried and bereaved families and trade unions, I have repeatedly urged the Scottish Government to do more to tackle the awful affect that Covid-19 is having on our local care homes.

“Since the sad death of Catherine Sweeney was first announced at the very beginning of April, I have called for every care home staff member to be provided with a full, long term supply of PPE and for all symptomatic care home residents to be tested.

“We are now a full month on from that and yet the death toll is still rising.

“Lives will continue to be lost in West Dunbartonshire, and across Scotland, unless the Scottish Government starts to show care home staff and residents the respect and support that they deserve.

““My utmost thanks go to the incredibly hardworking social care staff who, alongside our hospital staff are fighting to keep the vulnerable and elderly safe.”

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