By Democrat reporter

Public Health Scotland figures released this week have shown an increase in hospital-acquired Covid-19, with 61 new definite cases of hospital-acquired infections in the week ending 11 October, up from only 13 in the previous week, according to Jackie Baillie the Labour MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh.

The report from PHS also showed that a further 33 cases had been recorded as probably hospital-acquired covid cases. Sixteen of these probable cases and 42 of the definite cases were recorded by the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, which includes West Dunbartonshire.

It comes on the back of reports that senior doctors at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary have raised concerns about the suitability of the building for robust infection prevention and control, and warnings from John Thomson, vice president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Scotland, that the Scottish NHS faces a danger of overcrowding from bed shortages and severely restricted capacity as the NHS faces its toughest winter yet.

Jackie Baillie, pictured left, said: “This is a worrying development and more proof that the Scottish Government needs to get its act together to ensure our local hospitals  across Greater Glasgow & Clyde are safe. 

“We cannot have a situation where people in West Dunbartonshire or Argyll & Bute, who urgently need care, cannot even risk going into hospital for fear of contracting COVID-19.

“Our health service is operating beyond capacity with the pandemic leaving no room at all to cope when seasonal illnesses strike.

“It is a disaster waiting to happen. The SNP Government has failed our elderly people with the care homes fiasco and we simply cannot risk another wave of the pandemic in care settings – lessons must be learned.”

Meanwhile, the number of delayed discharges from hospital is increasing again, new Public Health Scotland figures have revealed.  

The average number of bed days lost to delayed discharge increased by five per cent between August and September 2020.

In NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde it increased by 1.76% from 226 in August 2020 to 230 in September 2020, in NHS Highlands it increase by 6% from 91 in August 2020 to 97 in September 2020.

At the September 2020 census point, 175 people were delayed due to reasons related to health and social care assessments, 246 due to place availability and 340 due to care arrangements.

 In NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, 34 people were delayed due to reasons related to health and social care assessments; 40 due to place availability and 28 due to care arrangements.

In NHS Highlands 18 were delayed due to reasons related to health and social care assessments; 30 due to place availability and 36 due to care arrangements.

Jackie Baillie said: “After the catastrophic rush to end delayed discharge at the outset of the pandemic, the Scottish Government is still failing to properly support adult social care.

“Older and disabled people in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute are once again becoming stuck in hospital because of a lack of appropriate care for them in the community.

“The continued under-funding of local authority social care is a worrying sign that lessons have not been learned.

“With a second wave of coronavirus underway, there is pressure to empty hospital beds, but the tragic events of the first wave must not be repeated.

“A national care service that puts people first is long overdue.”

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