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Scottish Parliament rejects request to question SNP over the discharge of Covid-19 patients to care homes

Scottish Labour's Neil Findlay called on Holyrood to allow MSPs to question SNP ministers when they are recalled on Monday to pay respects to Philip Windsor

REQUESTS to question the SNP government about its admission that mistakes were made in the discharge of Covid-19 patients to care homes throughout the pandemic have been rejected by the Scottish Parliament.

Holyrood’s presiding officer Ken Macintosh has denied a request by outgoing Labour MSP Neil Findlay to allow opposition parties to question ministers on Monday about the Covid-19 death toll reaching 10,000 and the care home discharge policy. 

The Scottish Parliament will be recalled to allow members to pay their respects to Prince Philip, with Mr Findlay calling for time to be made after the admission by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman last week that moving patients to care homes without precautions had been a “mistake.”

Speaking last week, Ms Freeman said the Scottish government had failed in “understanding the social care sector well enough” and “didn’t take the right precautions” in the early part of the pandemic.

A report released by Public Health Scotland in October found more than 100 patients had been discharged from hospitals into care homes following a positive Covid-19 test.

Mr Findlay said the matter was of “huge national significance,” but Mr Macintosh refused the request, saying the session marking the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh would be the only business of the day and the campaign recess would continue to ensure fairness to all candidates standing in the forthcoming Scottish parliamentary election. 

Mr Findlay described the refusal as “very disappointing.”

The Scottish Parliament said it had nothing to add.

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