30 April 2020

The majority of ‘excess’ deaths in recent weeks have occurred in residential care settings and at home – not hospitals – according to new statistics, obtained by Scottish Labour, from the National Records of Scotland.

The figures show that there has been a total of 1442 excess deaths in the community so far that cannot be directly attributed to Covid-19 – whilst the number of non Covid-19 related deaths in hospital has actually decreased by 627.

There were 526 excess deaths recorded in Scotland’s care homes over a period of only five weeks, and as many as 916 excess deaths were recorded from those that died at home.

Excess deaths are the higher than average number of deaths recorded in recent weeks that cannot be linked to Covid-19.

Scottish Labour Health Spokesperson Monica Lennon said the figures raised serious questions over the policy and advice on hospital admissions during the pandemic, as well as the uncertainty caused by lack of testing for the virus.

Lennon has also called for the NHS Louisa Jordan and other available hospital capacity to be used where appropriate to help vulnerable and elderly care home residents who need acute medical care.

Scottish Labour Health Spokesperson Monica Lennon MSP said:

“These worrying figures throw up serious questions about why so many more people are dying in the community, for apparently non-coronavirus reasons, than in previous years.

“Lack of testing for the virus is also contributing to the uncertainty about what is causing these additional deaths but coronavirus itself doesn’t appear to be the sole cause.

“People should not be left to die needlessly at home if admission to hospital could save their life – and if delays to treatment are causing some of these additional deaths, we need to know that.

“The NHS has spare capacity that we should be using. If new facilities like the Louisa Jordan are not being utilised, ministers need to provide an explanation for why this is the case.”

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