Scotland’s care home deaths blamed on the Conservative Government’s tame advisers

In the Times today:

A leading scientific adviser has admitted failing to warn Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson “loudly enough” about the catastrophic impact Covid-19 would have on care homes when the pandemic hit Britain. Mark Woolhouse, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Edinburgh University, said the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), underplayed the significance of protecting the elderly from a “disease of old age”.

Not only was the Scottish Government pressed into collaboration in the 4 Nations strategy dominated by the flawed herd immunity concept of Sir Patrick Valance and Dominic Cummings and the cold-blooded ‘take it on the chin’ philosophy of the PM but, also, it was not properly advised by SAGE, the UK scientific advisory group, of the need to lock-down until it was too late.

The tragic deaths of approaching 2 000 must be laid at the feet of the Conservative Government. This evidence clearly exonerates the Scottish Government from the accusations of responsibility that have been hurled at them by the opposition parties, the media and even those allegedly within the wider independence movement, such as the Common Weal in their deeply flawed report:

This is big news. Could it be bigger? The BBC and the Scottish press will be all over this.

I’ve looked. I see no sign.

5 thoughts on “Scotland’s care home deaths blamed on the Conservative Government’s tame advisers”

  1. “Pressed into collaboration” , “clearly exonerates the Scottish government”

    No, don’t think so. The evidence does not support these statements. But no one is expecting the Scottish government to be perfect – they don’t get everything right – and as soon as they had a clear out of flawed advisers things got on track and we are much MUCH better off than if we were left to Westminster administration. I see no point in trying to cover for an initial bad decision – following the 4 nations approach which the Tories and MSM keep howling for – when the official Westminster line was, and is, that there wasn’t really anything to worry about etc. The Scottish Government is made up of Westminster-paid employees – civil servants – as well as elected representatives (SNP), and if civil servants heads roll, I won’t be concerned. The petty attacks by Tories and the MSM, and reasonable analysis (e.g. By Devi Sridhar and Allyson Pollock) need to be differentiated, and the Scottish government needs to be applauded for changing tack and saving a potential few thousand lives. There is no reason to deny what happened happened.

    I’ve also noted that in a couple of articles that something ‘bad’ has been allocated to ‘Scotland’, and something ‘good’ is attributed to the SNP or Nicola Sturgeon. This is probably due to unconscious bias, but a worrying trend. No one person or group of people, especially of politicians, is ever going to be perfect, and wishing it to be so will end in disappointment, or a more extreme cognitive dissonance. I’m sure I’ll be banned or in the dog-house after this comment, but wrenching reality around to try and squeeze it in to fit one’s world view can’t be healthy surely, we need to accept how things are and look at how it can be balanced with how we would like things to be.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Please continue to give your opinion.

        What do we know about SG and care homes? I think we know that the decision to move older patients from hospital to care homes was made by clinicians and for sound, clinical reasons including prevention of bed blocking and the possible exposure of vulnerable people to the infection in hospital.

        I have been told that, where I live, the local Council and Council run care homes were passing to each other responsibility for providing PPE to scared staff. I may be wrong but that may have been more widespread. I passed on what I had heard to SG on the SG contact line and it soon was sorted.

        I feel pretty sure that steps would have been taken to ensure that there was communication from social services on discharge of older folk to care homes about the responsibilities of care homes to these residents. I suppose the SG might have provided a stronger message earlier but I don’t know. It will come out in the wash.

        Whether these discharged residents were tested or should have been tested has been a political football.That too will come out. I believe that testing will certainly have been considered


  2. The Independent has a piece at the end of May about SAGE consideration of care homes. Here copied are the opening paragraphs and link. The article goes on to describe what was discussed.

    “The government’s top scientific advisers discussed care homes only twice between January and May, according to newly published minutes.

    Records for meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, or Sage, which is the key group of experts advising ministers on how to react to the Covid-19 outbreak, reveal a lack of discussion about the risks facing care homes.

    Between January and May, Sage minutes mention care homes only twice, before the start of lockdown in the UK and weeks before the numbers of deaths made headlines across the country.”


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