Nicola Sturgeon sends message to EU citizens in Scotland
The First Minister was criticised after claiming that almost 40 percent of care homes in Scotland were allowing a form of indoor visits. The claim was made in response to a question by Willie Rennie during a recent session of First Minister’s Questions in Holyrood.
But in a letter to the Scottish Government, Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation at the UK Statistics Authority, said the figures were a “very loose approximation based on incomplete data”.
He made clear the figure Ms Sturgeon quoted referred to “both indoor and outdoor visiting.”
He added in the letter to Roger Halliday, the Scottish’s Government chief stats quango: “The First Minister’s statement of ‘around 40 percent’ of care homes enable indoor visiting of residents suggested too much confidence in the figure.
“Some of the risk of this would have been mitigated if the management information had been published quickly in an accessible form.
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“It should not have been necessary to wait for the information to be published as part of an FOI response.
“Some health boards either had not supplied figures or did not know the figures and these represented a significant proportion of the care homes in Scotland.”
The statistics boss has previously criticised the SNP led administration after they released figures on contact tracing in July.
Figures released by the Scottish Government in a government news release claimed that 4,431 antibody tests have been completed by early July.
But Mr Humpherson claimed the figure could not be verified.
He also previously criticised Miss Sturgeon’s claim that the prevalence of coronavirus was higher in England than in Scotland.
Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, accused the First Minister of trying to “pull the wool over people’s eyes” over statistics.
He said: “I asked the First Minister about care home visiting because I was hearing time and time again from constituents that government promises to enable safe access were falling flat.
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“It would have been better if the First Minister had been open about the scale of the challenge, rather than try to pull the wool over people’s eyes with partial statistics.
“It is rare for the UK Statistics Authority to step into the fray and deliver such a stinging rebuke.
“I would now like to see the First Minister get on with enabling elderly and vulnerable people to safely reunite with the loved ones.”
In response, a Scottish Government spokesman said: “At all times the Scottish Government aims to be transparent in its approach and ensure parliament and the public is kept informed of the latest developments.”
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