Great Britain

Nicola Sturgeon’s 'darkest day' after coronavirus patients sent into care homes

Today, a delayed independent report commissioned by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman revealed 113 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 were discharged from hospitals into care homes without first receiving a negative test.

The report, released by Public Health Scotland further showed there were 3,599 discharges from hospitals to care homes, with the majority (81.9 percent) not tested for coronavirus.

Of 650 patients who were tested, 78 received a positive result while in hospital and of these patients, ten tested negative before they were discharged while the remainder did not.

The news and the delay of the report by four weeks last month have sparked outrage amongst families who claim they received no answers from the SNP led administration.

The Scottish Government was accused tonight of being “disrespectful” to grieving families who claim it took too long for answers from the administration at Holyrood for their loved ones who passed away.

Nicola Sturgeon.

The Public Health Scotland report was released today (Image: Getty)

Nicola Sturgeon spoke at a briefing today

Nicola Sturgeon defended the Government's record today (Image: Getty)

Ruth Davidson MSP, Holyrood group leader for the Scottish Conservatives told Express.co.uk: “When faced with these failings, the collective shrug we saw from SNP ministers today was offensive and disrespects those whose lives were lost.

“The report says it couldn’t exclude a ‘large excess risk’ from COVID positive patients being sent to care homes.

“This is a time for contrition, not a selective and complacent interpretation of decisions that saw many elderly people die.”

Donald MacAskill, chief executive of Scottish Care, which represents private care homes in Scotland also told this website there were lessons to be learnt from the Public Health Report.

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An elderly patient in care

The report was delayed by four weeks (Image: Getty)

He stressed a “human rights-based” public inquiry should be held into the fiasco so everyone can share the evidence and “know what has happened.”

Monica Lennon MSP, Scottish Labour health spokeswoman said the Scottish Government had been playing “Russian Roulette” with patients.

She said: “The decision to move patients with CVID-19 into care homes was reckless and SNP ministers must be held to account for this Russian roulette strategy.

“The combination of knowingly transferring the virus into care homes and not bothering to test hundreds of other patients before moving them is unfathomable.”

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Care home man.

A large number of Scotland COVID deaths were in care homes (Image: Getty)

Willie Rennie MSP, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats said the revolutions were one of the “biggest” tragedies.

He said: “It's a dark day when we discover the Scottish Government knowingly permitted the admission of over one hundred people with the virus into care homes.

“It sends a chill down the spine to find out that thousands more were admitted without a single test.”

When asked by Express.co.uk, if she should apologise to families, Nicola Sturgeon said: “To families of people who lost loved one’s in care homes, there are no words to convey how sorry I am for what you have gone through.

ruth davidson

Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Tories in Holyrood (Image: Getty )

“Any part of this response we’ve got wrong, even for the best of reasons, I am sorry about that.

“I’m never going to shy away from that and we try to learn and get it better.”

In response to the report, the First Minister quoting directly from document said: "The analysis does not find statistical evidence that hospital discharges of any kind were associated with care home outbreaks."

But she added: "Nothing in it detracts from the tragedy of the deaths that have occurred in care homes over the course of the pandemic, and nothing ever will detract from the heartbreak of those bereaved."

She said Public Health Scotland would now be carrying out further work to give a more detailed understanding of COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes.

The First Minister also pledged: "Where the report's conclusions highlight the need for additional measures, we will act on that.

"I want people to know we take this very seriously."

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