Coun­cil­lor calls for de­tail on coro­n­avirus cases in Ar­gyll

Argyllshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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.

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