Regulars here will know that I and many of you have batted this stuff back with evidence more than once.
I wonder if the First Minister’s refusal to contradict the accusers with the same evidence just invites more or is her strategy more intelligent than that?
Anyhow, terrier-like as always, the notion that ‘she’ faces ‘serious questions’ over ‘the death toll in Scotland’s care homes’ is sheer nonsense.
I’m not going to refer to the evidence here. It’s all in the blog archives. All points made can be backed up.
Once more, the initial death toll in care homes and elsewhere was due to the delayed lock-down and faulty advice to care homes which was down entirely to the SAGE advisers and the Conservative Government’s domination of the 4 Nations approach. Once power was devolved at the end of March, Scotland with the FM at the helm diverged hard and fast and care home deaths are now lower per capita than in England.
Those discharged from hospitals did not die because of that nor did they infect the homes. There is clear published research evidence that agency staff movements and infection control failures in private homes are to blame.
There were no guidance failures given that care homes have decades of experience in isolation and PPE-use after repeated norovirus and flu outbreaks.
There was no major PPE shortage though English providers did deny supplies to Scottish homes on clear guidance from Public Health England instructed in turn by Matt Hancock. Also, UK Government trade departments did deny Scottish health boards links to overseas providers.
If anyone needs to answer serious questions, it is the PM, his advisers and care home owners.