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Report into transfer of COVID patients into care homes delayed

Coronavirus test - Image credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/PA Images

Report into transfer of COVID patients into care homes delayed

A significant report into the transfer of patients infected with coronavirus into care homes has been delayed.

Public Health Scotland was due to publish the report on Wednesday, but this has been postponed for at least a month due to “data quality issues”, The Herald reports.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross called the delay “an outrage”, while Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said the report could not be “kicked into the long grass”.

Almost half of Scotland’s coronavirus deaths have been in care homes.

In August The Sunday Post revealing in August that at least 37 patients in five health boards were transferred into care homes in the early phase of the pandemic despite testing positive for coronavirus.

After the Sunday Post story broke, health secretary Jeane Freeman asked Public Health Scotland to produce statistics and analysis on the number of patients who were sent to a care home after testing positive for COVID-19.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “The SNP are not giving the scandal in our care homes the attention it deserves. 

“They won’t own up to what went wrong and now they won’t publish key information on time. 

“They repeatedly promised that this report would be published by the end of September but we’re now looking at even more delays. 

“This is an outrage and an insult to all those grieving families who will be waiting another month for answers.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “This is yet another example of the SNP dodging accountability on the scandal that has happened in our care homes.

“Almost half of the people who have died from this terrible virus were in care homes and the transmission of the illness was undoubtedly exacerbated by the transfer of patients from hospital. 

“Their families deserve to know what happened and this report cannot be kicked into the long grass.

“As cases of COVID-19 continue to increase we need confidence that the Scottish Government have learned the lessons from mistakes made at the start of the pandemic but that is not possible if the Scottish Government is not transparent.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said: “This further delay lends further support for a quick independent inquiry into the first six months of the pandemic so we can quickly learn the lessons. 

“No matter how accurate the claims of genuine problems with the data, people will doubt the intentions of a government that clearly made mistakes with the transfer of COVID-positive people into care homes.”

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