DUMBARTON’S MSP has raised concerns about the safety of care home staff and residents as it was revealed Covid-19 deaths in local care homes – and non-institutions – outstrip those taking place in hospital.

The National Records of Scotland figures reveal West Dunbartonshire has the 10th highest number of coronavirus-related care home deaths of any local authority.

From May 3, there have been 41 deaths both in hospital and in care homes locally where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate.

There has also been four deaths at home, or not in an institution, taking the total to 86 deaths.

Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton’s MSP, has continuously called for urgent action to be taken to fight Covid-19 within West Dunbartonshire care homes.

CORONAVIRUS LIVE: Get the latest here

She said: “I am deeply upset to see that the death toll in our care homes is continuing to rise. It is clear that the front line in this battle against Covid-19 is our struggling care homes.

“The Scottish Government and West Dunbartonshire Council have been warned time and time again – both by me and by worried care home staff and the families of residents.

“A proper supply of PPE was not given to all social care staff until very recently, care home management being in denial as to the presence of the virus within their homes, and a lack of testing has all contributed to lives being lost.

“The hard working staff in care homes are doing everything they can to keep themselves and their residents safe. But without the active support of the government, they face a battle that they have no hope of winning.”

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A Scottish Government spokesperson said every death related to the virus was a “tragedy”.

They added: “The Scottish Government established measures in March to provide PPE to social care settings. Since then, more than 35 million items of PPE for social care, including care homes, have been distributed.

“On May 1, the First Minister announced enhanced outbreak investigations in care homes. All residents and staff will be offered testing, whether they are symptomatic or not, in homes where there has been a confirmed case.

“To supplement this new clinical oversight the Scottish Government has established a Care Home Rapid Action Group. This is a national group set up to monitor developments in the care home sector, reacting swiftly to developing issues and coordinating our wider package of support to the sector.”

A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council said the elderly are “disproportionately affected” by the virus.

She added: “Our procedures are thorough and aim to safeguard and support residents and our employees during this exceptionally challenging time. We have continued to maintain sufficient supplies of PPE throughout the pandemic and comply with national guidance around use.”


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