A row has broken out over the "disappointing" amount of extra Government money allocated to West Dunbartonshire to help the social care sector fight the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The £0.8 million for the area, one of the hardest hit by the virus, is less than that being given to some other areas, leading Jackie Baillie MSP to question the Government's criteria for sharing the money which totals £50 million across the country.

She said: “It is very disappointing that West Dunbartonshire seems to be receiving less additional funding than other areas despite being one of the local authorities hardest hit by Covid-19."

Recent figures showed that West Dunbartonshire had 7.85 Covid-19 deaths per 10,000 of population, compared with 4.87 deaths per 10,000 in Argyll and Bute. However, Argyll and Bute has received an allocation of £0.9 million.

The MSP said: “West Dunbartonshire is continuing to experience significantly higher levels of death than in the rest of the country – both in our care homes and hospitals.

"Extra funding is vital if our health and social care workers are able to fight the virus properly and keep themselves and others safe.

"West Dunbartonshire is struggling to cope and an increase in financial help is needed in order to save lives and protect those most in need.”

She called on the Government to provide a clear explanation as to the decisions that were made regarding local authority funding, especially for those local authorities representing some of the poorest areas of the country, with the highest incidence of Covid-19.

In response, a Scottish Government spokesperson said the £50 million of additional funding had been allocated using a well-established process agreed across all of Scotland’s local authorities and NHS Boards.

They added: "It takes account of a range of factors, not least population, rurality, poverty, age/sex profile and additional needs based on morbidity and life circumstance – including deprivation.

“We continue to undertake ongoing work with COSLA and boards so that further necessary funding can be provided.”

West Dunbartonshire HSCP will use the extra money for additional PPE, staffing costs and other necessary support for vulnerable citizens.

A spokesperson said: “West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) welcomes the announcement of additional funding in support of their response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The HSCP’s share of the £50m will help offset the additional costs incurred in the fight against Covid-19 and support the immediate challenges in the social care sector including Care Home and Care at Home Services.”

Meanwhile, further Scottish Government guidance is expected this week sustainability payments to social care providers.