Nicola Sturgeon says care homes inquiry will happen at 'sensible and safe' time

Care homes in Scotland have been hit hard by Covid-19Care homes in Scotland have been hit hard by Covid-19
Care homes in Scotland have been hit hard by Covid-19
Nicola Sturgeon has pledged that a public inquiry will be held into the handling of Coronavirus infections in Scotland's care homes when it is "sensible and safe” to do.

Labour leader Richard Leonard raised concerns over Scottish Government's "failure" to protect the human rights of care home patients after deaths among residents accounted for more than half of all Scots Covid fatalities at the height of the pandemic in late Spring.

And he questioned why the Government has not established a promised public inquiry six months after agreeing to do so.

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But the First Minister said: "We have given a very clear, unambiguous commitment to an independent public inquiry with human rights absolutely at its heart.

"We will take forward the implementation plans for a public inquiry as quickly as is feasible. But right now, particularly in the light of what we are facing with this new strain of the virus, my principal responsibility, the principal responsibility of the Deputy First Minister, the Health Secretary, every single minister in the Government is to focus on making sure we're taking the decisions now, learning lessons, changing where we can to make sure we got through this next phase of the pandemic."

Care home staff cannot be taken away form "front-line duties" of fighting the virus for such an inquiry at the moment, Ms Sturgeon added.

She insisted there was no question about a public inquiry happening in Scotland

"This is a question about when it is sensible and safe to do that."

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