STATEMENT ON CARE HOME TESTING

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron is backing calls from Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw for the SNP to get on top of testing care home staff in the NHS Highland region.

Mr Carlaw challenged SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the matter today at First Minister’s Questions where Nicola Sturgeon revealed only a fifth of care home staff had been routinely tested across the country.

Scottish Government statistics reveal that across Scotland’s 14 health boards, only 11,195 care home staff have been tested out of an estimated 50,000 across the country.

In NHS Highland only 258 staff had been tested up until 7 June despite SNP Health Secretary Jeane Freeman promising last month that every care home worker would be routinely tested.

Mr Carlaw says it is now time for the SNP to set a deadline for all care home staff to get tested in the NHS Highland area.

Commenting, Jackson Carlaw MSP said: “The SNP’s Health Secretary made this pledge three weeks ago that all care home staff would be routinely tested."

“The reality is thousands of staff are still waiting to be tested making a mockery of this pledge. For only 258 staff across NHS Highland to have been tested in the weeks since this pledge does nothing to allay the fears of care home staff and residents."

“It is now time for Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP to set a firm deadline as to when all care home staff will be tested in NHS Highland."

“That is the least our care home staff on the frontline against this virus deserve.”