The Scottish Government changed the rules on discharging Covid-19 patients from hospital to care homes two days after the Sunday Mail exposed the shocking practice.
An official report last week told how Health Secretary Jeane Freeman introduced a new policy on April 21 requiring anyone infected with the virus to return two negative coronavirus tests before being transferred.
The move followed our front page report on April 19 revealing that staff at Newcarron Court care home in Falkirk had been warned of uncontrolled admissions of individuals “highly likely” to be carrying the killer illness.
Transfers also happened at a time when care homes were struggling with shortages in supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE).
In its new review, Health Protection Scotland (HPS) admits dozens of Covid-19 patients were discharged to care homes untested between March 1 and April 21, when Freeman changed the rules.
And a revealing email exchange with Government press officers on the eve of publication of our story suggests a Government in chaos, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her officials wrongly believing the two-test rule was already in place throughout this period.
When we asked for comment on our story on April 18, a spokesman said: “It is important to note that hospital patients with Covid-19 are not discharged until they complete two negative tests.”
It was only after we pointed out that HPS guidelines gave no such advice and supplied a link to its website that the Scottish Government admitted it had given the wrong information.
A spokesman said: “Just to say that the guidance in that link is the most up-to-date.
“And it is the case that two negative tests are not always required if strict isolation can take place following discharge or the patient no longer has symptoms and has completed their isolation period prior to arrival.”
Scottish Labour’s health brief Monica…