THE SCOTTISH Government has been urged not to neglect care homes as it gets to grips with rolling out protective equipment to health and social care workers.

Yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon pledged that more coronavirus testing will take place for care staff - while stressing that the Scottish Government is “working to resolve” problems with access to PPE (personal protective equipment) in care homes.

The move came after the death of 16 residents at Burlington Court Care Home in Glasgow and eight at Castleview Care Home in Dumbarton - with both facilities subject to suspected Covid-19 outbreaks.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Care home staff 'prevented from accessing masks as residents died in outbreak

The Scottish Conservatives claim they have spoken to a number of care homes across the country who say they either don’t have the protective gear they need, or are concerned about supplies running out.

The news comes amid reports that care home workers have claimed they have been denied access to protective equipment due to a distribution centre being closed.

Yesterday, care homes in the north east of the country described themselves as “cannon fodder” in the coronavirus fight.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Scottish NHS staff reveal "grave concerns" about protective equipment

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said: “Much of the attention has understandably gone on hospitals and GPs when it comes to the provision of PPE, but the SNP government needs to remember that care homes are on the front line too.

“Many of them feel they’ve been treated like second-class citizens amid this pandemic, and things aren’t changing quickly enough.”

He added: “We know from our own work that care homes across the country simply don’t have the equipment they need to save lives and protect their hardworking staff - and when they do have PPE equipment, they’re fearful of it running out soon.

“At a time when we’re seeing some care homes record alarmingly high numbers of deaths, it’s something Nicola Sturgeon must focus her attention on as a matter of urgency.”

The First Minister yesterday said that the Care Inspectorate had confirmed “appropriate infection control procedures are in place” at Castleview Care Home, following the outbreak - after the GMB union claimed that masked had been locked away from staff.

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Ms Sturgeon added: “The Scottish Government is working with the inspectorate to understand the broad impact of Covid-19 on the sector so that we can support health and care workers as well as possible.

“Where there have been issues, for example with PPE, we are working to resolve that, and as I said (on Monday), we have already distributed six million items of PPE.”

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