A sharp rise in the number of patients being “exposed” to Covid in Scottish hospitals has been described as a “wake up call” by Labour.
The opposition party warned the Scottish Government against complacency after highlighting an analysis of the most recent Public Health Scotland data.
The figures for “definite hospital onset” Covid cases show a rise from 37 in the week ending September 19, to 63 in the week ending September 26.
It means levels were at the highest since mid-February.
As well as the 63 definite cases in the week ending September 26, there were a further 36 “probable” cases of hospital onset Covid and 34 “indeterminate” hospital onset cases.
Overall, there have been more than 4,000 cases of definite hospital onset Covid recorded.
Scottish Labour health and Covid recovery spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “It is disgraceful that so many people going into hospital for help to get better are then exposed to a life-threatening virus.
“Things are now the worst that they have been since the early days of the vaccine programme.
This spike in cases must be a wake-up call for them to get a grip on hospital safety.”
“This is yet another sign of the immense pressure services are under. NHS staff are working tirelessly to keep hospitals running and keep patients safe, but they are being badly let down.
“It’s sheer complacency from the SNP that has let us get to this point.
“This spike in cases must be a wake-up call for them to get a grip on hospital safety.
“The SNP must act with the urgency needed to roll-out the booster programme and make sure hospitals have everything they need to keep patients and staff safe.”
‘Rigorous Covid-19 protocols are in place’
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Ensuring people are able to access safe and effective care while in hospital is our top priority – and rigorous Covid-19 protocols are in place.
“Since the start of the pandemic, health boards have worked hard to ensure that infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in hospital and other care settings are robust with measures including risk-assessed patient care pathways, the appropriate use of PPE, extended use of face masks and coverings, physical distancing and outbreak management.
“As patients with Covid-19 continue to be admitted to hospitals the risk of hospital transmission remains.
“We are testing more patients in hospital which enables us to identify more asymptomatic positive cases.
“This ensures that we can provide the right care and treatment for patients whilst utilising enhanced infection prevention and control measures to reduce the opportunity for further transmission.
“Since 21 September, frontline health and social care workers have been able to book their booster appointment online through NHS Inform.”