High death rate linked to so­cial de­pri­va­tion

Fa­tal­i­ties in re­gion’s care homes is again higher than in hos­pi­tals

Lennox Herald - - NEWS -

homes have slightly over­taken those in hos­pi­tals.

Strug­gling care homes were last week de­scribed as be­ing on the front­line in the bat­tle against the deadly virus in West Dun­bar­ton­shire with ur­gent calls made to pro­vide them with more back-up.

Ac­cord­ing to fig­ures, West Dun­bar­ton­shire is amongst the ar­eas worst af­fected by the outbreak.

The re­gion’s MP Martin Docher­tyHughes said the pan­demic had ex­posed the dam­ag­ing im­pact of aus­ter­ity, as NRS said the fig­ures showed peo­ple liv­ing in the most de­prived ar­eas are more than twice as likely to die from coro­n­avirus.

West Dun­bar­ton­shire ranks the joint­third high­est area for lev­els of de­pri­va­tion in Scot­land, ac­cord­ing to the Scot­tish In­dex of Mul­ti­ple De­pri­va­tion (SIMD).

The MP warned that the UK gov­ern­ment can­not be al­lowed to place the bur­den of aus­ter­ity on the poor­est in so­ci­ety in the wake of the coro­n­avirus cri­sis.

He said: “Th­ese fig­ures un­der­line the dev­as­tat­ing im­pact this virus is hav­ing on our com­mu­ni­ties and my thoughts re­main with those who have trag­i­cally lost loved ones to Covid-19.

“The ev­i­dence here and across the UK shows that it is the poor­est peo­ple liv­ing in the most de­prived ar­eas who are be­ing hit hard­est by the global pan­demic.

“Wealth in­equal­ity leads to health in­equal­ity, and this virus is ex­pos­ing in the stark­est of terms the im­pact of over a decade of Tory aus­ter­ity in West Dun­bar­ton­shire and across th­ese is­lands.

“As we look to emerge from this cri­sis,

West­min­ster can­not be al­lowed to once again place the bur­den of aus­ter­ity on the poor­est and most vul­ner­a­ble in so­ci­ety.

“In Scot­land we need to re­flect on the kind of fu­ture we want to see in this coun­try. The path ahead will be chal­leng­ing, but I be­lieve so­cial jus­tice must be at the heart of our re­cov­ery as we look to build a fairer and more equal fu­ture for all.”

The rate of deaths in­volv­ing Covid-19 in the most de­prived ar­eas was 86.5 per 100,000 pop­u­la­tion, more than dou­ble that in the least de­prived ar­eas, where it was 38.2 per 100,000.

Jackie Bail­lie MSP said:“Once again we see that the care home death toll has risen. This goes to show that de­spite prom­ises from care home man­age­ment, West Dun­bar­ton­shire Coun­cil and the

Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment, clearly not enough is be­ing done.

“It also wor­ries me to learn that those in more de­prived ar­eas are at higher risk of con­tract­ing the virus.

“West Dun­bar­ton­shire has some of the most de­prived com­mu­ni­ties in Scot­land. The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment must ad­dress this in­equal­ity im­me­di­ately in or­der to save lives and pro­tect those most at risk.”

Jim McCormick, of the anti-poverty Joseph Rown­tree Foun­da­tion, said: “It can never be right that some­one’s life chances are so pro­foundly af­fected by where they live or how much money their fam­ily has.”

He added those in de­prived ar­eas were “also more likely to live in over­crowded homes”, in­creas­ing the risk of Covid-19 for fam­i­lies.

Un­fair MP Martin Docher­tyHughes Pan­demic

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