Fresh Covid-19 cases have emerged among residents in Renfrewshire care homes

Fresh Covid-19 cases have emerged among residents in Renfrewshire care homes, the Express can reveal.

The deadly virus, which has already claimed the lives of 113 residents in care homes across the region, has returned to a number of facilities.

Currently, 96 care homes in Scotland are actively dealing with outbreaks of the virus.

Yesterday, the area’s Health and Social Care Partnership confirmed that some of those are in Renfrewshire.

The devastating news came on the same day a national report confirmed thousands of elderly people had been discharged to care homes at the start of the pandemic before being tested for Covid-19.

Health chiefs told the Express in July that it had never knowingly placed a person with the virus into any of the 22 care homes in the local authority area.

Yesterday, they said they were not able to outline which homes are currently battling a covid crisis.

A Renfrewshire HSCP spokesperson said: “Care homes continue to follow national and health board guidance for infection control.

“Contingency plans are in place to support staff to respond to any issues.

“To monitor the position across Renfrewshire we continue to work closely with Public Health Scotland, NHS GGC and the Care Inspectorate and have regular meetings in place with all local care homes.”

He added: “Care homes are in regular contact with residents’ families and loved ones to keep them updated on the latest position and to discuss individual circumstances.

“They also continue to help families keep in touch with each other using alternative methods, such as virtual technology, wherever possible.”

Figures released by the Scottish Government yesterday revealed that in the Greater Glasgow area alone, 2,838 residents had been tested for the virus in homes where someone is known to have already contracted the virus.

Neil Bibby MSP said the new cases were “worrying”
(Image: Paisley Daily Express)

A further 6,000 staff have also been tested between October 5 and 25,.

Neil Bibby MSP, pictured left, who has called for greater resources to tackle the virus in Renfrewshire, said: “It is worrying that we have covid cases again in Renfrewshire care homes.

“The health board and the Scottish Government must respond quickly to any spike in positive cases in care homes and ensure the care home estate is as covid-secure as possible.

“It is vital because the treatment of care home residents and residential care staff throughout this crisis has been nothing short of a Scottish national disgrace.

“From day one, the SNP government was slow on PPE, slow to listen to the warnings from staff, slow on testing and slow to admit that untested and covid positive patients had been discharged into care homes.

“The tragic consequences of government inaction on care homes have been felt across Renfrewshire and the whole country. This cannot be allowed to happen again.”

The latest Renfrewshire crisis comes as the Scottish Government is lambasted for allowing people with Covid-19 to be moved to care homes at the start of the pandemic.

A total of 78 confirmed covid positive patients were discharged to care homes at the height of the pandemic and a further 3,000 sent to care homes without being tested.

In Renfrewshire, between March 1 and May 31, there were 67 discharges to care homes when 110 residents tragically died of the virus.

It is not clear how many were transferred to homes before April 21 when Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said patients discharged to care homes should have two negative tests before being moved.

Bosses at Renfrewshire HSCP would not confirm how many of the 67 residents went on to develop Covid-19.

It did say, however, that it never knowingly placed a patient with Covid-19 into a local facility.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there was “no statistical evidence” hospital discharges led to care home outbreaks. She said: “The analysis does not find statistical evidence that hospital discharges of any kind were associated with care home outbreaks.”

But she added: “Nothing in it detracts from the tragedy of the deaths that have occurred in care homes over the course of the pandemic, and nothing ever will detract from the heartbreak of those bereaved.”

Daily Record – Paisley