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More than 400 care homes investigated over deaths

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A special Crown Office unit set up to probe Covid-linked deaths is investigating cases at 474 care homes in Scotland, the BBC can reveal.

The unit was set up in May to gather information on the circumstances of all deaths in care homes. Prosecutors will eventually decide if the deaths should be the subject of a fatal accident inquiry or prosecution.

Care homes say the investigation is "disproportionate" and placing a huge burden on overstretched staff.

The COVID-19 Deaths Investigation Team (CDIT) had received 3,385 death reports as of Thursday. The majority of them relate to people who lived in care homes.

Behind the Crown Office statistics are hundreds of families grieving for loved ones who died in Scotland's care homes.

Alan Wightman's 88-year-old mother Helen died in May last year during a Covid outbreak at Scoonie House in Fife

Helen's death is part of the Crown Office probe and Mr Wightman's hopes for the investigation are that it looks "at the bigger picture and appreciates that on the ground people were doing the best they could".

He added: "I thought that Scoonie House did the best they could in a very difficult situation, sourcing their own PPE and stopping people coming from hospital."

"My own view is that care homes were put in an impossible situation because we had successive governments which did not properly prepare for a pandemic, you only have to look at the lack of PPE at the beginning of the pandemic to see that."

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Source: BBC News, 22 January 2021

 

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