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Sturgeon faces probe as Scottish Labour leader calls for investigation into care homes


Mr Leonard got in contact with the Scottish Human Rights Commission urging it to guarantee human rights are being protected. He also asked the body to establish whether the Scottish Government had breached any human right in its actions during the crisis.

Mr Leonard said in his letter: “One of the greatest tragedies of Covid-19 is the impact on older people, particularly in care homes.

“Over the last 10 weeks, Scotland’s care homes, when compared with the previous five years, have had an 82% above average rate of death.

“Respecting the rights of our most vulnerable citizens should be paramount, particularly at a time of a national crisis and emergency.

“There should be consideration of whether decisions taken by the Scottish Government during the last three months have recognised and respected the human rights of care home residents.”

Mr Leonard raised concerns about the Scottish Government’s advice to not transfer residents to hospital.

He also asked to look into the move of untested patients into care homes, adding that age is a protected feature legally.

Mr Leonard added: “With Scotland registering the highest level of Covid-19 care home deaths in the UK, and perhaps proportionately in the world, it is vital that we ensure that lessons are learnt to stop this ever happening again.

“Particularly, if there is a second wave of Covid-19, we must ensure that the rights of older people and adults in care homes are upheld.

“We cannot bring back the victims but we must seek answers to what went wrong and establish whether the rights of older people were compromised.

“The human rights of residents and staff working in Scotland’s care homes must be respected.”

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“A framework of legislation protects the rights of individuals receiving care and throughout this pandemic we have worked closely with our colleagues in the NHS, local government and the voluntary and independent sectors to ensure the needs and rights of residents in care homes are able to be met.

“Human rights are absolutely core to all our considerations.

“All our decisions on the Covid-19 response have been guided by the scientific advice available at the time and we continue to tailor that response as more is learned about the virus.”

It comes after Scottish Labour revealed it will oppose a second independence referendum in its Holyrood election campaign next year.


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