Scotland’s biggest health boards have been criticised for continuing to refuse to reveal how many Covid-19-positive patients were sent into care homes.
We told last week how 37 patients were moved after a positive test, but three health boards did not provide figures following a Freedom of Information (FoI) request.
However, Greater Glasgow and Lothians have failed to publish their figures, while a health board which did respond said they got their figures wrong.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran previously said they tested 91 patients and 17 tested positive, while four were still waiting for results when they were moved to care homes. On Friday, the health board revised those numbers to 46 tests done, with three positive and one pending.
John Burns, NHS Ayrshire and Arran chief executive, said: “The extract for the FoI was created with data from our hospital management system and labs data system. It was the first time the systems had been linked in this way and unfortunately there was an error with the timeframe applied to the labs data. This error resulted in the figure for Ayrshire being overstated.”
North Ayrshire Labour councillor Robert Foster said: “The revision of figures for NHS Ayrshire and Arran will cause not only confusion but significant upset for families who have lost loved ones in care homes.”
NHS Lothian said it may take another month before they can respond, while NHS Glasgow said it would be too costly.
NHS Highland responded to our FoI request a week late and blamed IT issues. The board said there were 120 discharged to care homes, 13 tested with none positive.
That means the total number of patients tested before discharge to care homes in Scotland between March 1 and April 21 is 268, with at least 23 testing positive.
Dr William Dinan, a senior lecturer in communications at Stirling University, said: “There is considerable interest in knowing how risks were managed, and what lessons can be learned from mistakes made in hospital and care home settings.
“A basic first step in that process is disclosure of information – it should not need protracted FoI inquires, reviews and appeals to force this information into the public domain.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe