Scottish Daily Mail

Report removes claim elderly were denied ICU treatment

- By Mark Howarth

CLAIMS the elderly were ‘systematic­ally excluded’ from intensive care treatment for Covid-19 in the early days of the pandemic have been removed from a report.

The paper by two Scottish Government advisers described how intensive care capacity would have been overwhelme­d if older and shielding patients had been admitted.

SNP ministers faced heavy criticism after the Scottish Daily Mail revealed the contents last October. But now the report has been reissued – with the controvers­ial sections toned down.

Last night, the Scottish Government repeatedly refused to say whether it had discussed the paper’s findings with the authors before they were amended.

Scottish Conservati­ve health spokesman Donald Cameron said: ‘This report initially made the deeply concerning statement that some elderly Covid patients were systematic­ally deprived of the intensive care they needed.

‘If this chilling claim is true, we need to know who made those decisions and why. How many patients were treated this way? Were lives lost as a result? This should be the subject of a thorough, immediate and entirely i ndependent i nvestigati­on.’ The report in September suggested that the oldest and most vulnerable were denied potentiall­y life-saving treatment as part of ‘selective admission policies applied in order to avoid demand exceeding supply’.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘Our ICU capacity has not been exceeded at any time during the pandemic meaning no patient has been denied urgent treatment.’

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