The number of people infected or killed by coronavirus in Fife’s care homes cannot be revealed due to risk of individuals being identified, it has been claimed.
Demands for information on infection rates among residents were made by some councillors, with a claim of a “news blackout” on such details.
Fife Health and Social Care Partnership said issuing the data would compromise confidentiality of residents affected.
It emerged last week a quarter of Scotland’s deaths from Covid-19 were in care settings.
Julie Paterson, the partnership’s divisional general manager, said: “In Fife we have 75 care homes, seven of which are managed directly by the health and social care partnership.
“Reporting small numbers of deaths risks identifying individuals and this detail cannot be provided at the expense of the rights of the individuals we support.
“These settings are people’s homes and we have a duty to protect people’s rights to privacy and dignity.”
Information was requested by councillors and The Courier on the level of PPE available for staff in care homes.
Ms Paterson said the partnership is working “to ensure support is in place for all our care homes including PPE” but did not reveal its extent.
East Neuk and Landward independent councillor Linda Holt branded the response a “pathetic excuse” and pointed out Renaissance Care had revealed there had been 17 deaths from Covid-19 in four of its 15 homes.
She said: “How would giving infection and death rates for all the 75 care homes in Fife identify people?
“How can it be justified to withhold information about infection and death rates from anxious families of care home residents?
“In any case, there are no such data protection issues in publishing detailed information about PPE, how much is needed on a daily or weekly basis, and how much of that need is still not being met.
“The NHS habitually hides behind data protection and patient confidentiality to avoid giving the public important information.
“Without this information no one can hold the NHS accountable, or demand it up its game.”
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