Full extent of Covid transfers to care homes will be made public

The full extent of elderly Scots’ patients release from hospital into care homes after testing positive for Covid 19 is to be made public, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has revealed.

Jeane Freeman has ordered public health officials to publish details
Jeane Freeman has ordered public health officials to publish details

Health boards will also be asked to explain the reasons behind the transfers.

It emerged over the weekend that at least 37 such transfers had taken place at the height of the pandemic, after details were obtained through Freedom of Information.

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But some of the country's biggest health boards, including NHS Lothian and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, did not provide details.

Ms Freeman told MSPs today: "We've worked to make as much data available as practical on a range of issues related to Covid 19.

"And that's why I've today asked public health Scotland to work with (health) boards to produce validated statistics and analysis on the number of patients who tested positive for Covid 19 and were subsequently admitted to a care home.

"That includes examining how many were assessed as being discharged when they were considered to be infectious and the rationales which were in place for such a discharge, for example in the cases of palliative care concerns."

But the health secretary was accused by opponents of seeking to shift the focus of the row onto the doctors involved who authorised individual transfers of patients.

Tory MSP Graham Simpson said: "The Cabinet Secretary today has been hiding behind clinicians.

"She's repeatedly used the phrase clinical judgement - she is effectively saying it was down to them.

"If people thought it was OK to send patients into care homes having tested positive that is because of the guidance that was issued.

"Why will she not take responsibility for that?"

But the claims were dismissed by Ms Freeman who insisted it was not for politicians to get involved in clinical matters.

"I am not shielding behind clinicians, I am not using clinicians," she added.

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