Ex-Government official says coronavirus pandemic would be ‘quite useful’

A former Scottish government official has said a coronavirus pandemic would be “quite useful” as it would take out hospital bed blockers.

Professor June Andrews said Covid-19 would allow hospitals with delayed discharges to function as “these people would be taken out of the system”.

The former director of the Scottish Government’s Centre for Change and Innovation admitted that while her comments sounded “horrific”, they were an honest assessment of what could happen.

In total, 163 people in the UK had tested positive for Covid-19 as of 9am on Friday, up from 115 cases reported at the same time on Thursday.

Speaking at the Scottish Parliament’s public audit committee on Thursday, Prof Andrews said: “As a nurse my job is to be kind, but I also rip off sticking plasters, so sometimes it seems unkind what you have to say.

“If you’re on the board of a care home company a pandemic is one of the things you think about as a potential damage to your business because of the number of older people it is going to take out the system.

“Curiously, ripping off the sticking plaster, in that hospital I’m thinking about that has 92 delayed discharges, a pandemic would be quite useful because then your hospital would work because these people would be taken out of the system.”

“Now that sounds like a horrific thing to say, but it is the case that somehow or other we have put people in the wrong places by not having the kind of strategic views we should have.

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