Nicola Sturgeon slammed by Sarwar over care home deaths
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Nicola Sturgeon’s record during the coronavirus pandemic was called into question by the Scottish Labour leader during his interview on Channel 4 on Thursday evening. Mr Sarwar took aim at the decision of the SNP-led Scottish government to allow patients who had tested positive for the virus to be discharged from hospitals and placed in care homes. He described the move as a “big mistake” and said a lack of “common sense” had led to the subsequent thousands of deaths.
He told Channel 4 News: “She has attempted to lead from the front through the pandemic, but have there been big mistakes – there have been absolutely big mistakes.
“And in some cases even bigger mistakes than elsewhere in the UK.”
“Like what?” challenged presenter Ciaran Jenkins.
“For example care homes,” replied Mr Sarwar.
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The Labour leader continued: “We should never have been sending Covid positive patients into care homes.
“That didn’t require medical guidance, that was common sense.
“You do not send the virus into the place where those most vulnerable to the virus reside.
“And what’s happened as a consequence is over 3,000 deaths in our care homes.”
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Around one-third of the total coronavirus-related deaths recorded in Scotland have been linked to care homes, according to a breakdown by the BBC.
The data, provided by the Crown Office, details each report it had received regarding the death of a care home resident in Scotland as part of a wider investigation conducted by the prosecution service.
According to the BBC, as of April 8, the prosecution service was considering at least 3,400 deaths linked to the virus. For the same period, the National Records of Scotland (NRS) recorded 3,292 care home deaths
The Scottish government has maintained that saving lives has always been the top priority.
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But Ms Sturgeon has admitted to mistakes in the government’s handling of what was an unprecedented public health crisis.
The SNP leader has also promised that an inquiry into Scottish care home death will be in place before December 31 this year if her government is re-elected next month.
Speaking on Sunday she said: “I am committed to establishing in Scotland a judge-led public inquiry to examine all aspects of our handling of the pandemic – including the situation in our care homes – and to have this underway before the end of this year.
“However, there is no doubt it would be beneficial to have an inquiry that could look across the four nations as well as at specific issues within each nation.”
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