Coronavirus: Health secretary signals care home review

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Coronavirus: Jeane Freeman says care home sector needs reviewed

Scotland's health secretary says there should be a review of social care in light of the devastation caused by coronavirus.

Jeane Freeman said that for now "the focus is on dealing with the pandemic" but it had "shone a light" on areas that needed to be improved.

It comes after it emerged there were 5,635 cases of suspected Covid-19 in Scotland's care homes as of 23 May.

Ms Freeman said the "mixed economy" of care home provision needed examined.

She said: "I think it is entirely right we review that - if it should be changed, then in what way - and in what way should that be funded."

Skye police probe

When challenged during the Scottish government's weekend coronavirus briefing on whether ministers should have intervened further at Home Farm care home on Skye where 10 people died amid an outbreak, Ms Freeman said care providers "should have contingency plans" for outbreaks such as flu.

Ms Freeman said there should be plans in place to ensure staff rotas were intact, that infection prevention and control continued and that PPE was supplied.

Image caption,
Ten residents died at Home Farm in Portree amid an outbreak of the virus

Dominic Cummings pressure

Ms Freeman was also asked whether or not she believed that Boris Johnson's chief advisor Dominic Cummings should resign after travelling with Covid-19 symptoms.

She said she was concerned that events developing elsewhere in the UK may confuse the public health message in Scotland.

"What happens about any individual currently working for the UK government is entirely a matter for them," she said.

Nicola Sturgeon later tweeted that Mr Cummings should resign to maintain the integrity of public health advice - as was done with Scotland's former chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Latest figures

The latest Scottish government figures show 2,270 deaths have now been confirmed by Public Health Scotland - up nine on Saturday's total.

The latest data also said 15,101 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in Scotland, up 60 in 24 hours.

Hospital patients who are confirmed as having Covid-19 now stand at 845, with intensive care patients falling to 44.

The figures, released on the government's website, also showed a total of 3,560 people have been discharged from hospital after receiving treatment since 5 March.

The fatality figures relate to instances where a laboratory has confirmed Covid-19 within the 28 days prior to death.

However, each Wednesday the National Records of Scotland publish a full tally of deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. That figure currently stands at 3,546.

There were also 6,056 NHS staff off work due to the virus, representing 3.7% of the NHS workforce.

The figures also showed that a total of seven health care workers and nine social care workers have died after contracting coronavirus.

The Scottish government said it was "not able to confirm how many of these staff contracted Covid-19 through their work"