Today in the Scottish Parliament, Jackie Baillie – MSP for Dumbarton – raised the covid-19 deaths and outbreak in Crosslet House care home with Jeane Freeman, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport.
The West Dunbartonshire Council run care home, Crosslet House, has had sixteen residents deaths since 24 March and five staff have tested positive of covid-19 with one staff member now in hospital. This is despite the care home’s bosses claiming as late as yesterday that the home was covid-19 free and that the Council was following Government advice. As of today, Crosslet House has not had a single resident tested for covid-19.
In response to Jackie Baillie, Jeane Freeman called the situation at Crosslet House “utterly shameful and completely unacceptable” and committed to speaking with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde’s Director of Public Health today to ensure that tests are carried out on symptomatic residents and that measures are taken to protect both residents and staff.
During her statement, Jeane Freeman announced plans to tackle the widespread outbreak of covid-9 within Scotland’s care homes. The plans include:
– NHS Directors of Public Health will take an enhanced clinical leadership for care homes. This means that NHS directors will report on their initial assessment of how each home is faring in terms of infection control, staffing, training, social distancing and testing and the actions they are taking to rectify any deficits they identify.
– Creating a national rapid action group – comprising the key partners with operational responsibility in this area.
– Preparing the Care Inspectorate for an enhanced role of assurance across the country, including greater powers to require reporting.
– Testing for staff and residents is being expanded, including all symptomatic residents of care homes.
Covid-19 patients discharged from hospital to a care home will be required to test negative for covid-19 twice before discharge. All new admissions to care homes are to be tested and isolated for 14 days in addition to the clear social distancing measures the guidance sets out.
Jackie Baillie said:
“The situation at Crosslet House is utterly appalling. Residents have died and staff have taken seriously ill due to what appears to be shocking complacency on the part of the Council.
“The fact that not a single test has been carried out on residents is completely shameful and Crosslet House chiefs claiming that the home was ‘covid-free’ is spin that would make most politicians blush.
“I welcome the commitment from the Cabinet Secretary to urgently look into this situation. My thanks and best wishes go to the hardworking staff in the home who are fighting to keep the residents safe, and my sympathies go to the families of those who passed away in such difficult circumstances.”