A DETAILED picture has emerged of how many Clydebank care home residents’ deaths were linked to Covid-19.

Privately-owned and council run facilities have largely been silent about how many residents died from confirmed or suspected Covid-19.

Figures were released by the Crown Office to the BBC under freedom of information laws.

Twenty-six lives at Hill View Care Home, in Dalmuir, were lost to confirmed or suspected Covid - tied for fifth highest across all homes in Scotland. Erskine Hospital in Bishopton was hardest hit with 32.

About a third of Scotland’s 10,000 recorded coronavirus deaths happened in care homes.

West Dunbartonshire Council and the Care Inspectorate have never confirmed exact numbers at local care homes.

Because of privacy rules, where the number of deaths at a care home is fewer than five, the exact number of deaths is not recorded.

But there would have been at least one at each facility on the list, meaning the actual total could still be higher.

Strathleven Care Home in Dumbarton and Sunningdale Retirement Home in Balloch were the only facilities in West Dunbartonshire where no deaths linked to Covid have yet been recorded.

At least 3,400 fatalities in care homes have been reported to the Crown Office, which decides whether there should be a fatal accident inquiry or prosecution.

The figure takes into account more sources than the National Records of Scotland, which says there were 3,292 lives lost in care homes between March 2020 and April 8, 2021.

According to the data, West Dunbartonshire care home deaths were:

- Hill View Care Home: 26

- Castle View: 12

- Crosslet House Care Home: 11

- Balquhidder House: 11

- Kingsacre Luxury Suites: 9

- Edinbarnet: 8

- Queens Quay House: 1

- Clyde Court Care Home: 1

There were no recorded deaths for Mount Pleasant House or Frank Downie House, which merged into the new Queens Quay House in November.

Martin Docherty-Hughes, West Dunbartonshire’s MP, said: “These figures are a stark reminder of the terrible toll coronavirus has taken on elderly care home residents in West Dunbartonshire and across the country.

“We must remember that behind these numbers are human beings, and each loss will be felt deeply by their families, friends, and those who cared for them.

“It’s critical that as we seek to learn lessons from the pandemic, the voices of all those who have lost loved ones are heard.

“The need for a robust public inquiry into the handling of the Covid crisis is clear, and the situation in care homes must be a key focus of that.

“I hope the UK Government agrees to work with the devolved nations to ensure a full public inquiry can get under way as soon as possible and provide families with the answers they need.”

Neighbouring Glasgow saw another 17 fatalities at Quayside and one at Victoria Gardens.

Drumchapel’s Almond Court Care Home lost nine lives, while neighbouring Almond View had 12. Crannog Care Home, also in Drumchapel. reported one death.

Oakbridge Care Home in Knightswood had 11 deaths linked to the pandemic.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously said she would support a Scottish public inquiry starting by the end of this year, but has also called for a UK-wide inquiry.

A spokesman for the Crown Office said: “The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) established a dedicated team to deal with reports of Covid-19 or presumed Covid-19 deaths in care homes or where the deceased may have contracted the virus in the course of their employment.

“The Covid Deaths Investigation Team receives and deals with those reports and is working with the relevant agencies to ensure that all necessary and appropriate enquiries are made as quickly as possible.”