Care home residents and workers are being failed by the Government, according to Scottish Labour.
Despite being at the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic in Scotland – with over half of all deaths coming from residential homes – data shows that just 65% of workers were tested for coronavirus last week.
In May, the Scottish Government said that it would test every worker once a week.
Now, the Scottish Labour Party is calling on the Health Secretary to focus efforts on expanding testing, as well as launching its own consultation on a plan for a National Care Service.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “Scotland’s care homes, and those who live and work in them, have been on the front line of this pandemic.
“It is clear that the Health Secretary fails to understand the urgency of getting this testing carried out and fails to demonstrate the Scottish Government’s appreciation of these workers, who put themselves in harm’s way to care for others.
“In addition, Jeane Freeman must provide the financial support to ensure that any care staff who take the test face no financial penalties. There is no time to lose.
“After this pandemic, we must re-shape Scotland’s care service so that care receivers and workers are protected and empowered.
“The time has come for a National Care Service; the people of Scotland deserve no less.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We have significantly expanded the care home testing programme including the launch of the Social Care Portal and mobile testing units. The latest published figures show that more than 34,000 tests were carried out in the week commencing 10 July.
“For various reasons, including annual leave, sick leave and rota patterns, around 20-30% of care home staff may not be in work to be tested at any one time.
“We have also introduced strengthened clinical oversight to help keep care home residents and workers safe.”