Alexander Thomson Hotel (Deaths)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 1st October 2020.

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Photo of James Kelly James Kelly Labour

I raise with the First Minister the sad case of the eight deaths at the Alexander Thomson hotel in Glasgow. The hotel is used as temporary accommodation for homeless people. It was a tragic case in which people who were feeling isolated and living in difficult circumstances during lockdown lost their lives.

What steps are being taken to establish the cause of death in the seven cases in which that remains unexplained? In the light of the incident, what measures are the Government and councils taking to ensure that people living in temporary accommodation for homeless people are properly supported?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

James Kelly raises a very serious and sad issue. I am extremely sad to hear of the deaths at the Alexander Thomson hotel in Glasgow, and I send my sympathies to all the friends and family. I hope that James Kelly and others will understand that I am not able to comment further on that at the moment, because investigations into the cause of death are on-going, so it would not be appropriate for me to do so.

We work closely with a range of stakeholders to help people out of homelessness. Obviously, the reasons for homelessness can be varied and complex, which is why our housing first approach is so important. That approach focuses on finding settled permanent accommodation for people and then providing wraparound services to help with other issues that they may be experiencing.

We continue to take forward the recommendations of the homelessness and rough sleeping task force in order that we can, we hope, through a variety of actions, make homelessness and rough sleeping in Scotland a thing of the past.