COVID DEATHS: A total of 3317 people have died in care homes in Scotland, where Covid-19 was on the death certificate

By Democrat reporter

Coronavirus death rates in Scotland’s care homes were more than six times higher in larger facilities over the course of the pandemic, according to a new report.

And in West Dunbartonshire, the latest figure recorded is 85 with 21 in Argyll and Bute, which includes Cardross, Helensburgh and Lomond.

New figures from the Care Inspectorate watchdog show fatalities increased from 2.1 deaths per 100 places in facilities with up to 20 places to 12.6 deaths per 100 places in those with more than 80 places.

The Care Inspectorate recorded more coronavirus-related deaths in care homes than the National Records of Scotland (NRS) – 3774 between March 16, 2020, and March 31, 2021 – although it said its data could not be of the same quality.

Deaths involving COVID-19 occurring in Care Homes by Institution

Ayrshire & Arran
Borders
Dumfries & Galloway
Fife
Forth Valley
Grampian
Greater Glasgow & Clyde
Highland
Lanarkshire
Lothian
Shetland
Tayside
Western Isles

Source: National Records of Scotland, last retrieved 26 May 2021.

The NRS said a total of 3317 people in total have died in care homes in Scotland, where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. The Care Inspectorate number is higher because it includes care home residents who died in other settings, such as hospitals.

The NRS released data on Wednesday showing the number of deaths in individual care homes across Scotland from coronavirus.

The figures were being withheld by the non-ministerial government department in a move that the information watchdog said lacked “transparency”.

A collaborative project by STV News, The Herald, The Scotsman and DC Thomson had asked for the information as part of an effort to report the full scale of the pandemic on the care sector.

NRS, which has the responsibility to officially record all deaths in Scotland, had been asked to release the number of confirmed and suspected Covid-19 related deaths in each of Scotland’s care homes but had refused for almost eight months.

NRS had supplied submissions from the Care Inspectorate, Scottish Care and the Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland.

The joint request, submitted under freedom of information legislation, was rejected on a number of grounds by NRS – a decision that was overturned in a ruling by the Scottish Information Commissioner (SIC).

And on Wednesday the Care Inspectorate released a report that showed care homes for older people provided by the private sector had a higher rate of recording at least one coronavirus death.

It found 60.8% reported at least one such fatality in private premises, compared with 57.1% of care homes provided by the voluntary sector and 50.8% by the public sector.

Care homes located in the most populated areas had higher rates of Covid-related deaths than those in the most remote areas, according to the statistics.

This was at a rate of 11.6 per 100 places in large urban areas compared with 3.7 per 100 places in remote small towns.

Care home deaths related to Covid-19 by local authority: (Source: Care Inspectorate)

Local Authority Total
Aberdeen City 171
Aberdeenshire 129
Angus 69
Argyll & Bute 21
City of Edinburgh 385
Clackmannanshire 45
Dumfries & Galloway 54
Dundee City 104
East Ayrshire 94
East Dunbartonshire 120
East Lothian 81
East Renfrewshire 92
Falkirk 100
Fife 182
Glasgow City 537
Highland 65
Inverclyde 60
Midlothian 101
Moray 11
Na h-Eileanan Siar 2
North Ayrshire 94
North Lanarkshire 213
Orkney 0
Perth & Kinross 103
Renfrewshire 214
Scottish Borders 36
Shetland Islands 5
South Ayrshire 118
South Lanarkshire 291
Stirling 54
West Dunbartonshire 85
West Lothian 138

There were similar rates of fatalities in those previously rated very good or excellent, adequate or good and weak or unsatisfactory.

The NRS released separate data on Wednesday providing a breakdown of deaths in individual care homes across Scotland.

Most coronavirus-related deaths by care home: (Source: National Records of Scotland)

Care Home Total
Erskine Home, Renfrewshire (Erskine Hospital) 34
Guthrie House, Edinburgh (Four Seasons) 27
Darnley Court, Glasgow (HC-One) 26
Whitehills Care, South Lanarkshire (Thistle Healthcare) 25
Hillview, West Dunbartonshire (Advinia) 25
Newcarron Court, Falkirk (Advinia) 24
Elderslie, Renfrewshire (Advinia) 23
Highgate, North Lanarkshire (HC-One) 23
Torry, Aberdeen (Renaissance) 23
Westerton, East Dunbartonshire (Bearsden Care) 23
Victoria Manor, Edinburgh (HC-One) 24
Ailsa Craig, Glasgow (HC-One) 22
Fullarton, Irvine (HC-One) 22
Berelands House, Prestwick (Priory) 22
Drummond Grange, Midlothian (Barchester) 22
Braemount, Renfrewshire (Advinia) 22
Caledonian Court, Falkirk (Care UK) 21
Rowantree/Rodger Park, South Lanarkshire (Advinia) 20
Orchard Nursing Home, Clackmannanshire (HC-One) 20
Drummohr Care Home, East Lothian (HC-One) 20

Coronavirus deaths in hospitals

The NRS also released a breakdown of coronavirus deaths by the hospital they occurred in.

Hospitals in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area have recorded the most deaths, with the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow recording the most coronavirus deaths in Scotland.

The QEUH had 809 deaths, while Glasgow’s Royal Infirmary had 628, the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley 425 and Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Greenock, 138.

In Lothian, Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary recorded 368 Covid-19 deaths, and the city’s Western General Hospital 152.

St John’s Hospital in Livingston had 134 deaths.

In Tayside, Ninewells Hospital in Dundee had 340 coronavirus fatalities while in Ayrshire and Arran the University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock, had 339 and the University Hospital Ayr 186.

A total of 362 deaths took place in Lanarkshire’s University Hospital Wishaw, with 297 in University Hospital Monklands, Airdrie, and 282 in University Hospital Hairmyres in East Kilbride.

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary recorded the most deaths in Grampian with 261, Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert the most in Forth Valley with 315, and Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, had the most in Fife with 210.

Almost a third (30%) of people who have died with Covid-19 lived in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area, according to NRS data, with 17% in Lanarkshire and 14% in Lothian.

NRS published the data along with its weekly breakdown of Covid-19 deaths.

It shows that 10,114 people have now died in Scotland with confirmed or suspected coronavirus.

Four deaths relating to the virus were registered between May 17 and May 23, down two on the previous week.

This is the lowest weekly total since September 2020.

Two of these deaths were in South Lanarkshire, one in East Dunbartonshire and one in Falkirk.

The statistics are published weekly and cover all deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government because the NRS figures include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, responding to today’s analysis of care home deaths by the Care Home Inspectorate, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“These figures suggest that in large urban areas more than 1 in 10 care home residents tragically died.

“There is no possible situation where that is an acceptable death toll and my thoughts go out to all of the families affected. This has been a collossal failure on the part of those in power.

“There have been many roadblocks on the path to understanding what went wrong in Scotland’s care homes. It’s time to press ahead with a Scottish covid inquiry and give families and care home residents the reassurance that this tragedy will never be allowed to repeat itself.”

Click here to download the full Care Inspectorate data on Covid-19 deaths in care services.

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