New figures released today from the National Records of Scotland show that, for the first time, more people died from Covid-19 in West Dunbartonshire’s care homes than in hospital. Up to 26 April, 34 deaths within West Dunbartonshire care homes had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate compared to 32 deaths in hospital.
This is also the case for Scottish care homes as a whole with 51% of registered Covid-19 deaths in the last week coming from Scotland’s care homes and 42% coming from hospitals.
West Dunbartonshire has the 9th highest number of Covid-19 deaths out of every local authority in Scotland. Argyll and Bute also saw 13 Covid-19 deaths in care homes compared to 23 hospital deaths. The local authorities with more recorded Covid-19 care home deaths are those which have a far larger population such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, and North Lanarkshire so by head of population West Dunbartonshire is one of the worst areas for the number of deaths.
The NRS revealed that 39% of all Scottish Covid-19 deaths have taken place in care homes. This is up 6% on care home figures released last week.
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, has continually warned the Scottish Government that insufficient levels of testing and inadequate provisions of PPE were putting residents and staff of care homes at an increased risk.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“The figures for Covid-19 deaths both for Scotland as a whole and for West Dunbartonshire are hugely sobering. With over 50% of Covid-19 deaths happening in care homes last week, it is clear that care homes are the new frontline in the battle against coronavirus.
“The fact that the situation is getting worse rather than better highlights that not enough is being done to protect senior citizens from Covid-19.
“Since the beginning of the outbreak, I have been calling on both the Scottish Government and West Dunbartonshire Council to ensure that both care home residents and staff are properly protected and supported. This meant the widespread testing of residents and a consistent supply of adequate PPE for staff.
“Care home and social care staff have been put in impossible positions by not having vital PPE until recently. The staff are incredibly hardworking and my sincere thanks go out to them. The work that they are doing to fight this virus and to protect their vulnerable patients has not gone unnoticed.
“My sympathies go to all those who have lost a loved one to Covid-19 both in and out with care homes.”