Coronavirus: Tories claim public has no confidence in Health Secretary over care

SCOTTISH Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw has penned a letter to Nicola Sturgeon – telling her the public has lost confidence in her Health Secretary amid a row over patients being discharged to care homes without being tested for Covid-19. 

The letter comes after it emerged that almost 1,000 hospital patients were discharged to care homes before compulsory Covid-19 testing was enforced, significantly more than previously stated. 

 The figures are more than three times higher than the previous numbers announcement by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman. 

Earlier this week, Ms Freeman told MSPs that 38 per cent of care home patients who were discharged were sent to care homes – but said she was unable to say how many that was. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Care home inspections only resumed after u-turn by ‘light-touch’ watchdog

In the letter, Mr Carlaw says that “it was not inevitable care homes became the frontline, a serious strategic error made it so, and that you and the Health Secretary have, not for the first time in this crisis, failed to be transparent with key information.” 

He adds: “It is surely impossible to see how in respect of coronavirus in care homes, public confidence can be maintained in the Cabinet Secretary for Health.”   

Ms Freeman has previously said that only 300 patients were discharged from hospitals to care homes during March to April 15 this year, before the new testing regime was rolled out, as health boards raced to free up capacity.  

The real figure, confirmed by the Scottish Government last night, is that 921 patients were released from hospital into care homes during this period. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus: New care home residents arriving without negative results amid Skye outbreak

Mr Carlaw said: “This astonishing revelation poses real questions about the Health Secretary’s competence, honesty and transparency. The care sector is at crisis point and…

Read more: Coronavirus: Tories claim public has no confidence in Health Secretary over care

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