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Scottish care home operators join forces ahead of national COVID inquiry

Kilgour (1)

Several leading care home operators have joined forces ahead of the national public inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.

The new group, Independents Care Homes Scotland (ICHS), comprises 13 operators, employing almost 10,000 staff across 155 homes.

Founder member, Renaissance Care chairman, Robert Kilgour (pictured), who has been calling for an independent judge-led inquiry since 2020, said: “Residents and their families, as well as our selfless and hard-working team members, have paid a terrible price during this pandemic, with enormous numbers of deaths amidst the most sustained, high-pressure environment our sector has ever seen.

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“It is absolutely imperative that the direct experiences of those in the care sector are given a meaningful and prominent voice within the inquiry, and given that 75% of elderly care homes in Scotland are operated by independent providers, it is vital that we are at the core of these conversations.

“The areas we must see addressed include Government decisions to empty hospital patients into care homes without any testing in the early days of the pandemic, which had devastating consequences, and the failure to quickly heed industry calls for mandatory, weekly testing of staff.”

The Scottish government has said an inquiry will be established by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the UK government has said it will launch a public inquiry into the handling of the COVID pandemic next year.

An MPs report earlier this month was highly critical of the lack of support given to care homes during the early stages of the pandemic.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Public engagement on the establishment of a public inquiry into the handling of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland has now closed and all responses will be considered very carefully. We will continue to listen to those affected by COVID-19, particularly bereaved families, on what they wish the public inquiry to focus on.

“Feedback received on the draft aims and principles will inform the terms of reference to be agreed between Ministers and the chair, once they have been appointed, ahead of the inquiry’s establishment later this year.”

 

Tags : COVID-19national inquiryRenaissance CareRobert Kilgour
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The author Lee Peart

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