Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has said the lack of transparency over deaths in individual Scottish care homes due to Covid-19 is unacceptable and must be addresses.
This follows a BBC investigation which has found that the majority of care providers in Scotland have refused to release further information about the number of deaths in individual care homes.
Jackie Baillie has previously contacted both West Dunbartonshire Council and the Care Inspectorate to ask for information about specific care homes in her constituency. Both requests for information have been denied and she has been forced to contact the independent Information Commissioner.
West Dunbartonshire’s care homes have been severely affected by Covid-19 and a number of residents and care workers have sadly passed away from the virus.
Care homes have accounted for more than half of all coronavirus deaths in Scotland since the start of the pandemic, but it is not possible to map all of the deaths to specific care homes or care providers unless information is released.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“The continued secrecy in regard to releasing care home specific information is completely unacceptable.
“More than 50% of care homes in West Dunbartonshire have experienced a Covid-19 outbreak. Some of these outbreaks could have been avoidable. We know that the Scottish Government transferred older people from hospital to care homes without testing, care homes were slow to get PPE and slow to access testing for staff and residents.
“Families with elderly relatives will be hugely apprehensive about making the decision to move their loved ones into care homes. Having home-specific information will go a long way in addressing fears and questions that they may have.
“The Health Secretary could end the secrecy today by releasing the data on care home deaths. The Scottish Government must do the right thing and publish the data, out of respect for grieving families and to avoid repeating decisions that risk lives.”