Labour MSP Neil Bibby is calling for an urgent public inquiry on coronavirus in care homes following a publication from Public Health Scotland.

The report found that 123 patients had been discharged into care homes after testing positive for COVID-19, whilst thousands of others were moved into care homes without any testing at all.

Over 1,000 people have died in Scotland’s care homes since the start of the pandemic. Mr Bibby claims concerns have been raised about the Scottish Government’s discharge policy as well as a lack of PPE and routine testing in care homes.

Neil Bibby, MSP for West Scotland, said: “This is a damning report and it will leave many families across the West feeling hurt, betrayed and angry.

“Frontline workers, health experts and families all warned about the dangers of Covid in care homes from the very start of this crisis. Yet the Scottish Government were slow to act – slow on PPE, slow on testing and slow to admit when they got it wrong.

“Care home deaths account for over half of all coronavirus deaths in Scotland. The frontline are telling us that many of these deaths could have been avoided if the SNP had simply listened. Instead, their decisions had tragic consequences in too many care homes.

“As we battle through a second wave, it is absolutely critical that lessons are learned now so that this can never happen again. An appalling disregard has been shown to frontline care home workers and to residents and their families.”

Mr Bibby added: “This is a Scottish national disgrace and the government must show it accepts full responsibility by initiating a public inquiry now into Covid in care homes. It is unacceptable that SNP Ministers have still not accepted the need for an urgent inquiry. They do not get to decide when they are accountable for their decisions and when they are not. Families deserve answers and the country needs an urgent inquiry now not later.”