Fifteen residents at a multi-million pound care home are suspected to have died from coronavirus in less than a month.
In response, Scottish Labour’s deputy leader called for all admissions to Crosslet House in Dumbarton to be suspended and for every resident to be tested as a matter of urgency.
West Dunbartonshire Council, which runs the home, later confirmed it was closed to all new admissions and the testing of staff and residents had been undertaken.
The Care Inspectorate said it was aware of a number of deaths at the £10m home.
Jackie Baillie, the MSP for Dumbarton, said she was approached by a whistleblower concerned about the number of deaths at the home since March 24.
The politician voiced concerns over the way the “outbreak appears to have been handled” and said it was “alarming” that senior staff at the home reportedly described it as “Covid-19 free”.
Ms Baillie said: “It is devastating to hear that 15 people have died at Crosslet House, and my thoughts are with the families of residents affected at this time.
“I am concerned about the way in which this outbreak appears to have been handled.
“Given that no testing has taken place, it is alarming that senior staff have reportedly described Crosslet House as ‘Covid-19-free’.
“I also understand that only one of the residents had been taken to hospital.
“Families across Scotland are understandably worried about loved ones living in care homes.
“They are also angry that so few tests have been carried out, and that protective equipment is in too many cases still not reaching the frontline.
“Now more than ever we must follow the World Health Organisation’s advice and ‘test, test, test’.
“Every single resident at Crosslet House must be tested immediately along with staff and there must be no new admissions by West Dunbartonshire Council while this outbreak is being controlled.”
A Care Inspectorate spokesperson said the watchdog was in contact with the council and social care partnership.
They said: “We are aware of the tragic deaths of residents at this care home as a result of suspected cases of Covid-19.
“Our thoughts are with the loved ones of those affected as well as the staff and wider community of the home.
“We have been notified of the circumstances and we are in contact with the care service and the local health and social care partnership during this difficult time.
“All of Scotland’s social care sector is working tirelessly under very difficult circumstances to care for people during the pandemic and the Care Inspectorate is doing all it can to support them.”
Following MSP Baillie’s call, a West Dunbartonshire Council spokesperson said the “dedicated” team of carers at Crosslet House were working round the clock to provide essential care and support to residents and their families during these “unprecedented and hugely challenging weeks”.
The spokesperson added: “Testing of staff and residents has already been undertaken in line with guidance and the care home is already closed to new admissions.
“Our procedures are thorough, and we continue to follow all Government and health guidance to safeguard and support residents and our employees, including by observing social distancing, fully equipping staff with PPE and providing staff testing.
“Morale among our staff remains high and we are hugely grateful for the vital role they are playing in caring for and protecting residents most in need.”