Scottish Conservatives have written to the nation’s top prosecutor accusing the government having failed in its legal duty to protect care home residents from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scottish Conservative health spokesperson Miles Briggs has written to the Lord Advocate asking him to consider the government’s potential breach of the Public Health Act 2008 which states its duty to “protect the community (or any part of the community) from infectious disease”.
The move followed a BBC Disclosure investigation which highlighted that 1,431 patients were released into care homes between March and April.
Mr Briggs said the government had failed to disclose how many of these patients had been COVID-19 tested.
The Tory health spokesperson told The Express: “The SNP Government failed the residents, staff and families of our care homes.
“The decisions and guidance issued from the SNP Government had real and terrible consequences.
“Families across Scotland are now seeking answers as to what happened to their loved ones and what has gone so wrong in Scotland – that is why I have referred this to the Lord Advocate.
“It is vital that Nicola Sturgeon and SNP ministers are held accountable for these mistakes and for them to ultimately take responsibility.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson told us: “Since the start of this pandemic our priority has been to protect the people of Scotland and save lives based on the best available scientific information we have had about the virus at the time decisions were made or action was taken.
“It would not be appropriate for the Scottish Government to comment on the investigation of deaths from COVID-19. Such investigations are conducted by the Lord Advocate, who acts independently of any other person.”
A spokesman for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “We can confirm that the Crown Office has received correspondence from Miles Briggs MSP and a response will be issued in due course.”