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Campaigners hit out over homeless hotel deaths

 

Deaths related to drug use

A Glasgow hotel is being investigated over a series of deaths of homeless people.

Campaigners are demanding action after it emerged eight people had died at the Alexander Thomson Hotel in the city’s Argyle Street.

Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson said she was “extremely concerned” by the tragedies amid fears of another lockdown.

Police are investigating the fatalities which were discovered at the Alexandra Thomson Hotel on Argyle Street between 25 April and 28 August.

It is understood the deaths of four men and three women were drug-related, while the death of one woman has been deemed "non-suspicious" by officers.

Glasgow City Council said the hotel was equipped with addiction support.

Watson said: “If people are stuck in hotel rooms for months without support, that will have serious consequences for their wellbeing.

“The Scottish Government must work with councils to urgently increase the supply of suitable temporary accommodation, and to provide the support that many of those currently in hotels need.

“We welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to get people off the streets in March, but now a short-term solution risks becoming a long-term crisis.”

Hundreds of rough sleepers were brought in off the streets to help slow the spread of coronavirus when lockdown began in March.

With temporary accommodation full, many were placed in hotels by the council.

Glasgow's Health and Social Care Partnership said its Housing First assessment team was working in the hotel to find people permanent accommodation.

A spokeswoman said: "These deaths are tragic and our thoughts go out to the friends and families of those who have passed away.

"We have ensured the hotel is well supported by staff from voluntary organisations and the HSCP who provide in-reaching services and assistance to those who require it.

"These services provide accessible routes into mental health and addiction treatment services.

"We continue to review these arrangements with key partners regularly and where necessary, will make changes ensuring those with the most complex needs are supported."

 

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