Lothian coronavirus deaths higher in care homes than hospitals, figures show

More people have died from Covid-19 in NHS Lothian’s care homes than in its hospitals, figures from National Records of Scotland reveal today.
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NRS produces weekly reports that tally up the deaths of people who tested positive for coronavirus along with those of people whose death certificates mentioned the disease.

According to its latest report, the virus has killed 186 care home residents in the NHS Lothian region since the outbreak began, compared with 156 people in the health board’s hospitals.

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A further 28 people in the region have died at home, bringing the overall death toll to 370 since the outbreak began.

Coronavirus deaths in NHS Lothian have reached 370, records show.Coronavirus deaths in NHS Lothian have reached 370, records show.
Coronavirus deaths in NHS Lothian have reached 370, records show.

It means that just over half (50.3 per cent) of all coronavirus-linked deaths in the region have come in care homes - significantly higher than the national average of 39 per cent.

It comes as weekly figures released by NRS show coronavirus-related deaths across Scotland stood at 2,272 on Sunday, April 26 - an increase of 656 on the week before.

Speaking at her daily press briefing, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called the number of deaths in care homes “deeply distressing” and said the NRS figures showed that “those in residential homes are very very vulnerable to the virus.”

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Close proximity between older people in care homes who may already have other conditions, the First Minister said, increases the likelihood of the spread of the virus.

"The steps that we've taken so far are designed to ensure that they're as safe as they possibly can be,” she added.

"We will continue to take whatever steps are necessary and appropriate to ensure that is the case."

Lothian MSP, Miles Briggs, said: “My condolences are with family and friends of everyone who has tragically died from Covid-19.

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“It is extremely concerning that in Edinburgh and the Lothians we are now in a position where there are more deaths in care homes than there are in hospitals.

“Care home residents are highly at risk to Covid-19 and every measure must be taken to protect care home residents, including full PPE being available, regular testing for Covid-19 and full training for staff on infection prevention.”

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