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Freeman fails to confirm patients discharged to care homes were Covid free

19 May 2020

Jeane Freeman, the Health Secretary has admitted that almost 40 percent of delayed discharge patients were discharged to care homes at the beginning of the Covid crisis, but failed to confirm they had been tested for the virus.

The Scottish Conservatives have branded this part of a ‘combination of mistakes’ that have contributed to the tragically high death toll in care homes.

The startling admission was in response to questions asked by Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary.

During the exchange Ms Freeman stated that 38% of delayed discharge patients were sent to care homes to free up hospital capacity but failed to confirm that they were all tested for Covid.

The Covid virus is now present in over 400 care homes where it has sadly cause more fatalities than in hospitals.

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary said:

“It is clear from the outset of the crisis that SNP Ministers were pressing Health Boards to discharge vulnerable delayed discharge patients from hospital into care homes regardless of testing.

“The fact that Ms Freeman is unable to confirm that almost 40% of delayed discharge patients released to care homes were virus free is deeply worrying.

“It’s no wonder that Covid has exploded within the care home sector.

“This demonstrates an astounding complacency to the danger of this virus that has now ravaged care homes.

“Scottish care homes have seen more deaths than the rest of the UK, it seems this is due to a combination of mistakes made at the beginning of this crisis by the SNP government.”