By Alasdair Galloway:
Anas Sarwar claims that ““We should never have been sending Covid positive patients into care Homes. That didn’t require medical guidance that required common sense.”
Yet, Robert Cuffe, the BBC’s Head of Statistics, suggested in the last few days that those Care Homes that received discharges, actually had a lower rate of Covid.
But before proceeding to what might have been the more important factors, it is important to remember that the transfers took place at the time only after consultation between doctors and care Home management. Does Mr Sarwar believe he would have known better?
The major factors in Care Home outbreaks, according to Public Health Scotland, included the size of the Care Home. Perhaps this had something to do with the fact that a larger Care Home will have a larger staff? This is supported by the charitable Care Home owner MHA which found in a survey of their own Homes as early as June last year, that “42% of its staff members who recently tested positive were not displaying symptoms. Nearly 45% of residents who had a positive test were also asymptomatic.” The charity’s Chief Executive said: I think it’s very difficult not to see that the only real way that this can have come into our Homes is through staff picking it up, just through the community contacts”. What seems common sense is that larger Homes faced a larger problem due to a larger number of staff picking up the virus through normal community interactions.
In conclusion the general point in assessing Scotland’s Covid performance is that with our existing (poorer) health record and age profile (older than UK average) Covid rates and deaths should be worse in Scotland. However, they are not as Professor David Bell, David Eiser and David Phillips reported on 22nd April. In the first wave, excess deaths were substantially higher in England than in the devolved nations. In the second wave, Scotland did not see the same increase in excess deaths between mid-December and mid- February that was experienced to varying extents in the rest of the UK, particularly in England and Wales.
The First Minister has already said that mistakes have been made, and in this regard, Mr Sarwar got there second. However, the data shows that if “some serious mistakes” were made in Scotland, even more serious mistakes were made elsewhere in the Union that Anas Sarwar is determined to keep us in.