Coronavirus deaths: Labour MSP hits out at Lothian care home testing ‘shambles’

A Labour MSP has branded coronavirus testing at a West Lothian care home where the disease has claimed the lives of some residents a “shambles”

Wednesday, 7th October 2020, 8:13 pm

Lothian politician Neil Findlay said it took almost a week for full home testing to be organised at Redmill Care Home in East Whitburn after the first positive test for Covid-19.

He told how 28 staff were still waiting on the results of tests – and said that some people had not had these after nine days.

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He pressed Health Secretary Jeane Freeman on the matter in an urgent question at Holyrood, which came after NHS Lothian confirmed a “small number” at both that home and at Milford House in Edinburgh have died after contracting Covid-19.

Redmill Care Home. Picture: Google Images
Redmill Care Home. Picture: Google Images

The health board said the number of people who have died cannot be released as it is under five across both homes.

In addition to those who died, 53 further residents and staff have been confirmed to have coronavirus at Redmill Care Home, with 29 at Milford House.

Mr Findlay told how he had been contacted by staff at Redmill Care Home, and the families of some residents there.

He said he had been told that despite the first positive test for Covid-19 being confirmed on September 15, “the whole home testing regime by NHS Scotland did not take place until six days later”.

The Labour MSP continued: “Today 28 staff are still waiting on results, six staff are waiting on a test.

“Some tests couldn’t be given because labels didn’t come with kits. Twenty residents are awaiting results, some people have not had results despite being tested on September 28, nine days ago.

“One staff member received three sets of results, one received someone else’s results and 20 results were returned negative, but with no information with them as to whom they belonged to.”

Mr Findlay said: “I really hope the same has not happened at Milford House because staff and residents deserve so much better than what appears to be a shambles with the testing regime.”

He asked Ms Freeman: “If this is the way this is operating, how on earth can we get on top of the virus?”

The Health Secretary vowed to investigate.

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