South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has branded care home testing “woefully inadequate” in the Scottish Borders, after recent figures revealed only 22 staff members and 13 residents were tested for Covid-19 the week starting June 1.

According to Scottish Government statistics released last week, very small numbers of staff and residents in the region were tested the week starting June 1. The numbers rose the week starting June 7, with 343 staff and 193 residents tested.

The statistics show across Scotland as a whole, only 11,195 care home staff out of 53,000 have been tested, despite Scottish Government commitments to begin the regular testing of care home staff four weeks ago.

As lockdown measures look set to be lifted further this week, Colin Smyth has slammed the numbers of staff and residents in our care homes being tested for Covid-19 in the region.

Colin Smyth said: “Care home testing in the Scottish Borders is still woefully inadequate, despite the many promises and commitments from the Scottish Government.

“The fact that just 22 staff members and 13 residents were tested in the region during one week at the start of June is completely shocking and the Government needs to get a grip. This is yet another example of the government promising one thing but failing to deliver on the ground and it’s letting down our amazing care home workers, residents and their families.

“It has been proved across the world that testing is key to fighting back against this terrible virus and while the numbers of cases are falling, our health professionals are continuing to say we’re not out of the woods yet.

“Our care homes house some of the most vulnerable members of our society and as we’ve seen in many tragic cases across the country, this virus hits older people hardest. Testing care home staff and residents should have been routine right from the very start of this pandemic and sadly we cannot turn back the clock but at the very least the government should be delivering that testing now three months on, so we can reduce the risk of more Covid-19 deaths.

“We must remain vigilant and as lockdown measures look set to be further reduced this week, I would urge everyone to continue to follow advice about what they can and can’t do but I would also urge the Scottish Government to up their game in terms of testing.”

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