Councillor calls for detail on coronavirus cases in Argyll
The chairman of Argyll and Bute’s healthcare watchdog has called for more specific information to be made public about COVID-19 figures in the area.
Councillor Kieron Green was speaking after a number of positive cluster cases were announced in Argyll and Bute, most recently linked to a private event at Cove and Kilcreggan Bowling Club.
The Oban North and Lorn councillor is chairman of the Integration Joint Board (IJB) of Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and was speaking at its meeting on September 16.
Coronavirus case data is currently made available in Scotland at health board and council level.
Councillor Green said: ‘I don’t know if anybody else has been contacted by residents or community organisations, but I would be very interested to know a bit more detail about the numbers of people with Covid-19 across Argyll and Bute.
‘I know when we went back to the start of the outbreak, in March and April, numbers were quite low and there was strong guidance from the government. Figures could only be broken down by NHS boards and then councils.
‘We have also had situations where we have gone public about this, or information has come out through other means.
‘There was a case in Oban, cases at Hermitage Academy and Lochgilphead Joint Campus, and then most recently in Kilcreggan.
‘I am now getting requests from the public on how many people in
Oban, or Lochgilphead, or Campbeltown, are testing positive for Covid-19.
‘When that happens it is becoming quite difficult to defend the line that we are not allowed to release that information on the grounds of patient confidentiality.’
Dr Nicola Schinaia, associate director of public health at the HSCP, said: ‘It is possible to be more open but having said that, I was looking into the possibility of having our reports with information on more specific towns in Argyll and Bute.’
NHS Highland chair Professor Boyd Robertson added: ‘We are abiding by Scottish Government policy. We had a system where, internally, we could identify where there were hot spots around the board area, but that was not for public consumption.’
Councillor Kieron Green, chairman of the IJB.