Bosses at a Dundee care home have hit out at coronavirus testing delays after six deaths in one week.
A spokesman for Lochleven Care Home confirmed two residents had died from confirmed cases of Covid-19, with a further four deaths having a suspected link to the virus.
Carers at the Broughty Ferry home, which received a glowing report from the Care Inspectorate last year, have been battling an outbreak that had taken hold in one unit in the complex.
Eight other residents in the home, which specialises in dementia care, have tested positive with 18 waiting for test results.
The Thistle Healthcare run ventre has 19 confirmed staff cases of the disease with six other members of the team waiting for a positive or negative diagnosis.
There have been no staff deaths.
A spokesman for the home said the thoughts of the staff were “first and foremost with families who have lost loved ones.”
“Our staff, residents and their relatives are a very close community,” he said.
“The passing of any resident has a profound impact on all of us, but our colleagues are doing an amazing job under very difficult circumstances to help our residents stay healthy and well.”
He said the delay in access to testing had “presented significant additional challenges” to tackling the outbreak and looking after residents.
“As availability of testing increases we can focus on getting more of our colleagues back to caring for residents,” he added.
The coronavirus testing regime came under fire last week after figures suggested fewer than 2% of the care workforce has been checked for the killer disease.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said testing would be increased but rejected calls to extend it to all care home admissions.
The Lochleven Care Home received a five out of a possible six rating, and was labelled very good, after being visited by the Care Inspectorate in June last year.
Elsewhere, three residents of Forfar care home Lochbank have died after showing symptoms of the disease.
The residents, who were not tested, all died in the last week.
Tom Dailey, owner and founder of parent company Kennedy Care Group, which runs nine other homes in Tayside, said: “We are trying to do the best we can under very difficult and extreme circumstances.
“Our thoughts are with the families concerned who have not been able to see the residents as normal. We want to reassure them about the current situation and let them know we are following all procedures to the letter.
“Staff are at the sharp end of this as well and we are doing everything to make sure they can do their jobs as best possible, including sourcing adequate PPE.
“Residents are like a second family to staff so it’s always sad for them,” he added.
“Hopefully this crisis will be over soon.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said it was working to boost the availability of testing in homes.
“These deaths are absolutely heart-breaking and ministers would like to offer sincere condolences to the loved ones of those who have lost their lives at Lochleven Care Home.
“We are absolutely determined to provide assistance to care homes.
“We are also working closely with boards to ensure that social care staff are given priority testing.”
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