More answers needed on Covid-19 impact

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Inverclyde Council is calling for answers from the cabinet secretary for health about the area’s high Covid-19 death rate.

The move follows a review of a report by Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board into the covid mortality rates following reports that Inverclyde has the highest death rate in the country.

Councillor Stephen McCabe
Councillor Stephen McCabe

Councillor Stephen McCabe, Council Leader and Chair of the Policy & Resources Executive Sub-Committee, said: “While the report we have received provides some answers it does not provide all of them.

“As a community, we must have more than a conclusion that bad luck or chance played a part.”

The report, which was examined by the council’s emergency sub-committee, concluded that the most likely scenario was that the pandemic took hold earlier in Inverclyde in comparison with others areas of Scotland and greater Glasgow and Clyde.

The report also recognises that socioeconomic deprivation has a profound impact on Covid-19 related illness and death. It was reported earlier in the year following publication of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) figures that Inverclyde has the most deprived locations in the country.

Councillor McCabe added: “In Inverclyde, we have been hit in recent years by a triple whammy with continued reducing population, the SIMD figures and now the impact of Covid-19. While other parts of the country are affected by some of these, it is clear that more is required for our area to aid recovery and beyond that to make sure that we are more resilient going forward.

“That’s why the council will be writing to the cabinet secretary to seek more answers to the questions on Covid-19 and its impact on this area.”

The most recent statistical release from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) shows that Inverclyde has so far had 116 Covid-19 deaths. That is the highest rate in Scotland with 15 deaths per 10,000 people.

Councillor McCabe said: “While it is crucially important that we get answers to the questions around covid deaths, we must always remember that every death is more than a tragedy for the community, it is one that has changed the lives of families across Inverclyde. Members of our community are suffering loss and we owe it to them to get answers to these questions and to do what we can to make sure that we come out stronger from this awful virus.

Inverclyde Council’s chief executive will write to the cabinet secretary for health on behalf of the council.

Page last updated: 1 July 2020