Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, has raised serious concerns regarding the continuous increase in the number of Covid-19 deaths that are occurring in care homes.
New figures released from the National Records of Scotland show that, as of 3 May, 43% of all Covid-19 deaths occurred in Scottish care homes. This is up from 39% last week, 33% two weeks ago, and up from 25% on 15 April, when specific statistics for care homes were first collated.
In West Dunbartonshire, 41 deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate have occurred in care homes – up to 3 May. This is up from 34 Covid-19 care home deaths last week and 26 deaths two weeks ago. West Dunbartonshire has the 10th highest number of Covid-19 related care home deaths out of any local authority, and has one of the highest death figures for per head of the population.
The figures also showed that an individual is more likely to die from Covid-19 in a West Dunbartonshire care home than in a hospital. 1 in 3 deaths in West Dunbartonshire care homes so far in 2020 were related to Covid-19, compared to almost 1 in 5 hospital deaths.
Jackie Baillie has continuously called for urgent action to be taken to fight Covid-19 within West Dunbartonshire care homes. For over a month, she has urged the Scottish Government to supply all social care sector staff with a full supply of vital PPE, for all residents and staff to be tested and for new admissions to be halted to prevent further deaths and contaminations.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“I am deeply upset to see that the death toll in our care homes is continuing to rise. It is clear that the frontline 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.
“My condolences go out to all the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives to this awful virus. Our key workers and elderly citizens do not deserve to be treated this way.”