Scots care homes deaths investigation branded "disgusting" by industry chief

The boss of one of Scotland's biggest care home groups has branded the move to investigate deaths in the sector "disgusting."

Deaths at the Home Farm care home on Skye have been investigated by police
Deaths at the Home Farm care home on Skye have been investigated by police

Tony Banks is the chairman and founder of the Balhousie group which has 26 care homes across Scotland with more than 900 residents and criticised the move, claiming the industry has been singled out.

The decision was taken by the head of Scotland's prosecution service, the Lord Advocate, and announced in a statement to MSPs last month. Since then, police have probed deaths at a number of Scots care homes.

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A specialist unit has been established by the Crown Office to investigate deaths in care homes.

"I think it's disgusting," Mr Banks told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland today.

"Why are deaths in hospitals not getting investigated, why are deaths in the community not getting investigated?

"This is a measure that no other UK administration has taken."

The Crown Office Office set up the specialist unit after the Scottish Government gave the green light for care home deaths to be investigated by prosecutors last month.

But Mr Banks said the move was taken to deflect from the “mismanagement, the mixed messages and missed opportunities” of the Scottish Government in its handling of the deaths in care homes. More than 1700 deaths have happened in care homes, almost half of all COVID-19 fatalities in Scotland.

He added: "I think there's a clear policy to deflect their own deficiencies to the care home industry."

Mr Banks also criticised the approach to lockdown in Scotland, claiming the country was too slow to impose restrictions and that care homes should have been locked down sooner.

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