High death rate linked to social deprivation
Fatalities in region’s care homes is again higher than in hospitals
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