THE SCOTTISH Government should appoint a dedicated care homes minister to tackle the spread of Covid-19 through institutions, the Scottish Conservatives have suggested. 

Data from National Records of Scotland (NRS), published on Wednesday, showed there have been 1,818 deaths in care homes when Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, higher than the 1,815 fatalities in hospitals. 

Tory leader Jackson Carlaw now wants a senior politician to oversee care homes to help reverse the situation. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Carlaw says Cummings lockdown excuses not 'wholly convincing'

The Scottish Government was criticised yesterday by opponents for as yet being unable to deliver a pledge that all care home staff will be tested for conronavirus. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Covid-19 testing for 53,000 care home staff in Scotland was “underway and progressing”, rather than fully operational, despite being announced on May 18. 

Mr Carlaw said: “The crisis in care homes is now so severe that it requires the undivided attention of a dedicated government minister. 

“Deaths in that sector have even overtaken hospitals, which amplifies just how severe an emergency this is. 

“It’s become obvious that neither the health secretary nor the communities secretary are remotely on top of the problem.” 

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Total care home deaths in Scotland overtake those in hospitals

He added: “Nearly 2000 care home residents have died from Covid-19, yet months into this crisis still the SNP government hasn’t sorted a proper testing regime. 

“Promises have been broken and performance has been abysmal. 

“At least a minister for care homes might finally be able to give this serious matter the focus it deserves.”