The devastating effects of Covid-19 on nursing homes in Ross-shire have been underscored by the release of figures showing that at least 47 deaths have been linked to the virus.

Grim statistics from the Crown Office show the deaths of 19 people at Castle Garden Care Home in Invergordon, operated by HC-One, have been linked to the virus. Mull Hall near Barbaraville, operated by Sanctuary Care, lost 11 residents. The Kintyre House in Invergordon, also operated by Sanctuary, lost 11 residents while the private Fodderty House died six residents.

Ross-Shire Alderman Graham Mackenzie expressed heartfelt sympathy for those who had lost loved ones, saying, “One death is one too many and my heart goes out to those who mourn.

“I know firsthand what the staff have been through, and I know how hard they worked, which makes it even more difficult to keep track of the number of people who have died” – Cllr Graham Mackenzie

“What we need now is a full review. We have to find out what happened, why it happened and what can be done differently in the future. We have to do this for the relatives of those who have lost, but also for themselves future peace of mind. “

He said from the personal experience of family members who work in nursing homes, “I know firsthand what the employees have been through and how hard they have worked, which makes it even more difficult to keep track of the number of people who have passed away.”

He said, “I am very sorry for the grief not only of family and friends, but also of the nursing home workers who have been friends for many.”

Melanie Newdick, who lost her mother to Covid after taking her from Kintyre House, said: “Mother actually had Covid-19 when she left the nursing home, even though she initially tested negative. She was home for two weeks and died here. “”

She said she felt comforted that she could take better care of her at home.

She said, “I’ve seen the numbers for Invergordon and I think there are a lot of questions about it. The vaccination program started in early December 2020 and they were very good at first, then there was a big slowdown. Though the total number of vaccinations look good It seems to me that large parts of the Highlands lagged slightly behind the overall program in the central belt. This adds a different context to the deaths in the Highlands. “

A Sanctuary Care spokesman said while proud of the way staff responded to the “unprecedented challenges” of the pandemic, “sadly, some residents have passed away after positive cases in some of our homes in Scotland. Our thoughts stay on the families and friends of the deceased residents.

“We remain in regular contact with the Directorate of Health and Social Affairs of the Scottish Government, as we have done in these troubled times, and are closely following the updated public health guidelines given to nursing homes across the UK.”

According to HC-One, the data is very different from the data from the Krone.

It offered sympathy for all families who have lost a loved one to coronavirus, and said caring for its residents and helping colleagues is “at the heart of what we do”. The past year has been extremely difficult for everyone who works in and is associated with the social security sector.

As we reported the problem before.

It said it acted with transparency, posting daily case numbers and death tolls, and engaging extensively and extensively with health and care officials, families and the media.

It reads: “We continue to strive to take all possible precautions to keep residents and colleagues in our Scottish homes safe and healthy. This includes focusing on the highest standards of infection control, using all opportunities to participate in testing, supporting and promoting vaccine uptake, and ensuring that households have unrestricted access to all necessary PPE. “

The Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service set up a dedicated Covid-19 Deaths Investigation Team (CDIT) with staff who have experience and experience in death investigations and / or health and safety investigations.

The CDIT is working with other authorities to ensure that the competent authorities carry out appropriate investigations into these deaths.

This also allows COPFS to make informed decisions about whether further investigation is needed.

The nature and extent of the investigation that is required in relation to a particular death or group of deaths will vary according to the circumstances.

In some cases the investigation required can be very limited, in other cases it can be more extensive.

NHS Highland previously said that nursing homes were seen as a priority in the vaccination program.

It worked with local health and social colleagues, community care teams, and general practitioners to support the affected nursing homes.

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