On ITV’s Peston, 15th July, the Labour MP for Hove, Peter Kyle said:

Where you look at some areas where Scotland has complete control over such as social care, there was greater loss of life in care homes in Scotland than even in England and Wales….Ian Murray was screaming about this from the rooftops.

As Scotland’s only Labour MP, Ian Murray is both insignificant and influential. English Labour MPs trust him as their only source of information on what happens in Scotland. He can say what he likes. They’re not going to ask him to prove it.

Kyle’s statement above is all wrong. Here’s the truth:

Data from research by LSE, reported on May 14th in Care Home Professional:

More than 22 000 care home residents in England and Wales have died during the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research. In a new paper, the LSE said data on deaths had underestimated the impact of the pandemic on care home residents as it did not take into account the indirect mortality effects of the pandemic and/or because of problems with the identification of the disease as the cause of death. The paper said current data only accounted for an estimated 41.6% of all excess deaths in care homes.

Research estimates put ‘real’ care home COVID-19 death toll at over 22,000

In Scotland, up to 17th May there were 1 623 deaths in care homes where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.


The population of England and Wales is 59 million, 10.7 times that of Scotland at 5.5 million so, all things being equal you might expect the death rate there to be 10.7 times 1 623 or 17 366.

So, the actual care home death rate in Scotland by mid-May, based on the LSE research was 21% lower than in England & Wales.

Kyle, MP for Hove, has more to worry about locally:

Readers may remember when we were first to comment on the inspection report for the Skye care home and draw attention to infection control issues in it. We looked for further evidence of such in the reports for other Scottish care homes but found nothing.

Even in Skye there was nothing like this: