Willie Rennie, Jackie Baillie and Nicola Sturgeon who is in deep trouble over Covid positive patients being transferred into care homes.
By Bill Heaney
The Scottish Government has catastrophically failed in its duty of care. This wasn’t ‘taking the eye off the ball’, this was a colossal and deadly failure of judgement. Those responsible must be held to account.
Those words were the enraged reaction of Jackie Bailie, the Dumbarton Labour candidate in the Scottish Parliament election on May 6 to the Public Health Scotland concerning discharges from NHS Scotland hospitals to care homes report published today.
Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie was also enraged by what the report contained – the families of people who died in Scottish care homes deserve better than months of spin and duplicity [from NIcola Sturgeon and the SNP].
Scottish Labour deputy leader and health and social care spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: “Today’s report, which was published following complaints to the UK’s statistics authority around the reporting of care home deaths, has shown what we already know – that the discharge of Covid positive patients into Scotland’s care homes fanned the flames of the pandemic and put lives at risk.
“Despite the claims of the First Minister [Nicola Sturgeon] and the Health Secretary [Jeane Freeman, pictured right] it is clear that the discharge of Covid positive patients into care homes led to people’s lives being put in danger.
“The report confirms that Covid positive patients were discharged into care homes on numerous occasions and illustrates the danger of this practice and how it led to cases in care homes.
“Thousands of care home residents lost their lives to this dreadful virus and many thousands more were put in danger.
“The Scottish Government has catastrophically failed in its duty of care – this wasn’t ‘taking the eye off the ball’, this was a colossal and deadly failure of judgement. Those responsible must be held to account.
“Scottish Labour is committed to a public inquiry into the situation in Scotland’s care homes and is dedicated to ensuring that such a travesty never occurs again.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said that the families of people who died in Scottish care homes deserve better than “months of spin and duplicity”.
Public Health Scotland has now published a revised version of a previous report into the link between hospital discharges and care home covid outbreaks.
Claims by Public Health Scotland and the First Minister based on a previous version of the report were rebuked by the UK statistics authority who noted a lack of certainty around the figures.
Mr Rennie said: “It has taken months for families learn the full extent of what happened in the homes of loved ones.
“I warned at the time about the danger of admitting untested residents into care homes but the government insisted it was doing the right thing.
“Families have been treated to a longstanding exercise in spin and duplicity as ministers sought to minimise their role in the most tragic saga of this sorry year.
“Care homes were missed out of pre-pandemic exercise planning and received more than 3,000 untested patients from hospital.
“That was shamefully neglectful. The forthcoming public inquiry must ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again.”