16 Braemount residents lost their lives during virus outbreak

Sixteen people have died at a covid-hit nursing home as the total number of Renfrewshire care home deaths hits 154.

Braemount Care Home confirmed the devastating fatalities this week as it said the Glenburn facility is finally free of the virus.

The Express revealed earlier how 55 of the home’s 85 residents had tested positive for Covid-19 following an outbreak at the end of November.

A senior nursing team was drafted in from Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership to support staff across the home’s three units.

But a spokesman from the home says it is now operating normally with its own staff only.

The residents who have passed away are among the 41 people who have died in residential care in the second wave of the virus in Renfrewshire.

In the past two weeks alone, six care home residents lost their lives to Covid-19.

This week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reaffirmed her commitment to hold a public inquiry into those deaths and all covid deaths in care homes across Scotland.

But she refuted Richard Lennon MSP’s demands that it be carried out immediately.

The First Minister said in parliament: “We have given a very clear and unambiguous commitment to an independent public inquiry with human rights absolutely at its heart. We will take forward the implementation plans for a public inquiry as quickly as is feasible.”

But she added: “The chief executive of Scottish Care Donald Macaskill himself has said that they want an inquiry but realise we cannot take staff away from frontline duties of fighting a virus.

“If it was to be the case that that happened it would, to use his words, be a dangerous distraction that would cost lives.

“This virus is not done with us unfortunately. It has just learned how to spread itself faster.

“The responsibility I owe to the people of Scotland and the government owe to the people of Scotland is to keep focused on what we have to do now to save lives every single day.”

The controversy over the inquiry comes as care homes in Renfrewshire again close their doors to indoor visits.

Designated visitors had been permitted to see their loved ones on Christmas Day with the use of lateral flow testing kits and the use of the PPE.

But with the area entering Level 4 restrictions on Saturday, friends and family members will only be able to see their loved one in the garden, if the weather allows, or through the window of the care home.

Daily Record – Paisley