Monday, 7 September 2020
Team Sturgeon - Passing the Buck
The Sunday Post is doing a great job of holding Scottish Ministers to account as they shamelessly try to pass the buck over their shabby treatment of Scotland's care homes.
The latest piece of nonsense has ministers claiming the UK government for the breakdown in Covid-19 testing which is affecting care home staff as well as preventing residents from seeing their friends and loved ones.
The Sunday Post reminds readers that back in May 2020 health minister Jeane Freeman committed to testing all care home staff on a weekly basis, with the results being made available within 48 hours.
Sadly, the system has broken down as the focus of ministers' attention shifted away from care homes and on to schools - last week the Sunday Post broke the story with a report highlighting the experience of one care home provider which had received only 6 results back from 846 tests after a wait of several days.
The impact on staff and the service itself has been very damaging, but instead accepting responsibility Scottish ministers are trying to blame the UK government and the Lighthouse Lab facility based in Glasgow.
A letter from Jeane Freeman to care home bosses was shared in the Sunday Post:
"I wanted to assure you that I am fully aware of these issues and have raised this as a significant concern with the UK government.
"My officials are also working with UK officials to secure increased capacity in the UK Lighthouse Lab throughout September and over the next few months, In parallel were are working hard to increase capacity in our NHS in Scotland as well as looking at how we can use this increased capacity to re-rouse testing of care home staff over the next weeks and months, ensuring a more resilient dnd efficient process."
Yet back in April 2020 the Scottish Government was singing the praises of the Lighthouse Lab in Scotland:
"It has done an excellent job in contributing to Scotland's response to the pandemic and will play a vital roles in our Test and Protect system."
The bottom line is that Scottish Ministers are responsible for the testing regime no matter how the service is delivered and this is just a shabby effort to shift the blame when the buck stops on the health minister's and first minister's desk.
I don't recall Nicola Sturgeon blaming the staff for long waiting times, or for patients being left on trolleys, when she was the SNP's Shadow Minister for Health and Community Care.
So it would be completely absurd for a different standard on accountability to apply now that Team Sturgeon is in the hot seat.
Follow the link below to Peter Swindon's article in the Sunday Post.