Desperate times – desperate measures?
The country’s peak industry body Scottish Care has asked for the army and family doctors to help deal with coronavirus outbreaks in several aged care homes.
12 residents have died at a home in Cranhill, Glasgow, while another eight deaths have been recorded at a home in Dumbarton, with smaller clusters of fatalities at others around Scotland.
Scotland had 4,229 positive cases as of Wednesday and 296 deaths.
Local GPs have reportedly been refusing to visit homes – even though residents were too ill to leave and none has been tested for the virus, while staff are not being tested either – even when there are outbreaks in their homes.
Scottish Care’s CEO Donald Macaskill said GPs should be required to visit care homes or take residents to hospital when necessary – and that the army could be drafted in to provide logistical support and deliver PPE supplies to ensure they were available around the clock.
“If you don’t use the military’s skills in a battle for life and death, then I don’t know when you would use them,” he said.
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, agreed that care staff should be treated by the NHS as key workers and prioritised for virus testing – however, she did not respond to a question from the BBC about whether the military should be used to deliver PPE supplies.