Scotland's care home death rate is more than DOUBLE England's, warns Ruth Davidson


SCOTLAND'S CARE home deaths is more than double than in England, Ruth Davidson has warned.

The Scottish Conservative Party leader said this morning there are so many lessons that will learned after this pandemic.

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Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Mrs Davidson criticised the Scottish Government's decision to buy beds for care homes to free up the hospitals.

Coronavirus-related deaths in care homes accounted for 39.2 per cent of all deaths in England and Wales, according to the latest findings by the Office of National Statistics.

ONS figures released this week showed weekly coronavirus-related deaths in care homes have fallen for the second week running to 1,666 in the week ending May 8, from 2,423 deaths in the previous seven days – a decrease of 31 per cent.

In Scotland, 46 per cent of all deaths related to coronavirus have happened in care homes – according to figures released by the National Records of Scotland on Wednesday.

The number of patients dying of coronavirus in care homes is slowly falling in Scotland, but the figure does remain high.

Alarmingly between May 11 and May 17, 55 per cent of all coronavirus-related deaths occurred in Scottish care homes – compared to 57 per cent the before and 60 per cent the week previous to that.

In England, the Government has been strongly criticised for sending people back to care homes from hospitals without testing for Covid-19.

LESSONS TO LEARN

Mrs Davidson said in Scotland the same thing happened but "to a greater degree".

She said today: "There will be so many lessons we have to learn.

For example you are talking about the situation in England where there are some people who were put into care homes without having tested negative first as they were discharged from hospital.

"We've had the same thing in Scotland, but we've had to a greater degree.

"So we had the Scottish Government actively buying beds in advance in care homes, spending money and telling care home operators we want to empty our hospitals and we are going to do it without testing  and without having a negative test back of the people that we are putting in there."

She added: "So in terms of the agency of government, actually physically making the decision to put people who may or may not be infected into an enclosed environment of incredibly vulnerable people.

"And like I say our care home death rate is in Scotland is more than double that of England."

The Government's handling of care homes has been one of the main points of focus during the pandemic amid questions of if enough was done to prepare.

Speaking on Lorraine this morning, Nicola Sturgeon admitted there were regrets in regards to how care homes were handled.

The Scottish First Minister said: "I don’t think any political or any human being can look at the situation and not agonise over could we have done things differently or done them better.

"If I look back, one of the easiest things in the world right now is to apply hindsight.

"We knew our hospitals were about to be filled up with coronavirus patients, so to keep elderly people in hospital who didn’t need to be there would have put them at enormous risk as well."

Yesterday, the Department of Health confirmed the UK death toll rose to 36,042 after 338 more deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours – including a 14-year-old.

In England, the total number of Covid-19 deaths rose to 25,266 today – up 187 from on Wednesday.

NHS England confirmed the patients were aged between 14 and 98 years old and six had no known underlying health conditions.

In Scotland, a total of 2,221 patients have died after testing positive for coronavirus – up by 37 from on Wednesday.



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