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Scottish Health Secretary ‘not told’ about care home PPE concerns

Jeane Freeman II

The Scottish Affairs Committee has been told Health Secretary Jeane Freeman was not told about a lack of care home PPE during the coronavirus crisis.

The hearing at Westminster also heard last week that COVID-19 tests for workers had come too late, the Evening Express reported.

Wilma Brown, employee director at NHS Fife and a lay activist with Unison, said it was “very concerning” the Health Secretary (pictured) had not been made aware of shortages in PPE stock until she raised the issue with her.

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Ms Brown added that care homes had lacked appropriate PPE as the virus began to spread.

A Scottish Government spokesperson told CHP: “This is the greatest public health challenge we have faced in our lifetimes

“From the outset, Scottish Ministers have been kept well-informed, with open communication with all NHS boards as the virus moved rapidly, demanding a fast response.

“In particular the Health Secretary remained in constant communication with Unison, the RCN, the BMA and Scottish Care to monitor the provision of PPE and address problems as they arose. Indeed when Ms Brown herself highlighted delivery issues they were quickly resolved.

“All members of the NHS Workforce Senior Leadership Group – including Ms Brown – were made aware that they could approach the Health Secretary in relation to PPE provision and any concerns about aspects of the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Scottish Ministers have confirmed there will be a public inquiry into all aspects of the impact and handling of COVID-19, including care homes.

“Our immediate focus is on continuing to do everything necessary to save lives for the remainder of this pandemic, learning lessons and applying the knowledge that we have.”

Tags : CoronavirusLegislation
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The author Lee Peart

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