Tue 13 Oct, 2020

The Scottish Government must avoid repeating the mistakes of Spring which saw COVID-19 rip through Scotland’s care homes, Scottish Greens Health Spokesperson Alison Johnstone has warned.

The Lothian MSP issued the warning after it emerged that it took six days to test everyone at Redmill Care Home in Bathgate where there have now been seven deaths. This after it was revealed that it took seven days to test residents at Milford House in Edinburgh. 

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“The mistakes that led to the virus ripping through care homes early in the pandemic risk being repeated unless immediate action is taken to protect care home residents and staff.

“It is completely unacceptable for there to be a six- or seven-day wait for care home residents to be tested at this stage of the pandemic. The apparent failure to learn lessons from the spring is extremely worrying.

“It’s clear that the virus is once again out of control and the First Minister’s claims to the contrary simply don’t wash.

“Scottish Greens have repeatedly highlighted that reliance on the UK’s broken privatised testing system is too risky, and that Scotland needs to increase the capacity of NHS labs and introduce mass testing.

“The Scottish Government has been telling us for weeks that it plans to move care home testing from the UK Government’s failed privatised system into NHS Scotland labs. The Health Secretary must urgently explain why this hasn’t yet happened and when it will. Continued delays are intolerable.

“Only by introducing a robust test, trace and self-isolate system can we truly bring this virus under control.“

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