There are two words missing, from the 59 pages of the above report released yesterday to the enormous disappointment of the opposition parties and the media which act as a conduit for their attacks on the Scottish Government.
Typically blinkered when the news does not suit their agenda, they have just ignored the report’s main conclusion, that hospital discharges played no meaningful, statistically significant, role in the outbreaks and returned to their playground chant:
Oooh, you did discharge 78 people who tested positive into care homes!
That these homes willingly accepted the patients, for big bucks, have infection control procedures and that they did not trigger outbreaks, except perhaps in a few larger private homes which we must conclude failed to implement infection controls, does not seem to matter.
The words are ‘corporation‘ or ‘company.’ At at least 44 Scottish care homes are owned by ‘companies‘ based in offshore tax havens .
HC-One, ‘The Kind Care Company‘ based in Darlington has 56 homes in Scotland including the one in Skye now subject to police investigation.
Why does this matter?
When you read down to page 38 of the report, you find some information that was clearly too sensitive for the Scottish Government to headline and, of course, of no interest to our state and corporate-owned media, including the National.
45.2% of the 275 privately-owned homes had an outbreak compared to 27.9% of the 41 local authority and 12.5% of the 32 voluntary homes.
That, on its own is a shocking comment on the infection control standards in the private homes and a newsworthy note on the performance of the voluntary sector.
90% of the largest 46 homes, with more than 90 residents, had outbreaks. That all of these are owned by large corporations is not reported in the data but given what we know about the demand for profit margins and economies of scale in that sector we can be sure that they are.
That too is a shocking indictment of these corporations. What is required now, going beyond the report, is an investigation of infection control and related matters in these places, including any evidence of careless use of agency staff moving between homes, of insecure contracts causing staff to be fearful of taking time off with symptoms and of failures in training and in the ordering of PPE.
Watch in vain for BBC Disclosure having the guts to investigate this.