By Democrat reporter
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, has said that the number of “excess deaths” in Scotland’s care homes show that the social care sector is in desperate need of more support and protection than it is currently being given.
Excess deaths is the term being used to calculate the non-Covid-19 related deaths that occur.
Statistics published last week by the National Records of Scotland have shown that over 600 excess deaths have been recorded in Scotland’s care homes in the past seven weeks.
These care home excess deaths are more than a third higher than the average for the last five years. When Covid-19 deaths are included, that rate rises to more than double the five year average.
Jackie Baillie has repeatedly called for more support to be given to staff and residents in the social care sector.
She has called for across the board testing of both staff and residents as well a full and sustained supply of PPE for a workers in the sector.
West Dunbartonshire has been hit particularly badly by the virus with high numbers of Covid-19 deaths being reported. West Dunbartonshire also has the second highest Covid-19 death rate per head of the population.
Jackie Baillie MSP said: “It is deeply worrying that not only are huge numbers of care home residents dying from Covid-19, but that there is a far higher than normal number of non-Covid-19 deaths in care homes.
“Staff and resources are being stretched to their absolute limit and residents are losing their lives as a consequence. The Scottish Government, local authorities and care home management must act immediately to protect all staff and residents.
“Care home staff are working incredibly hard to keep each and every elderly person safe but they have no hope of beating this virus without an immediate step up in terms of the support being given to them.”
Cllr Jonathan McColl, leader of the SNP administration on West Dunbartonshire Council, refuses to comment.