Nicola Sturgeon has said she “carries the weight” of the decision to move patients into care homes during the early days of the pandemic with her “every single day”.
During Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said she “can’t turn the clock back” in order to make different decisions over the care of older patients.
It comes as the Scottish health secretary admitted moving patients back from hospitals into care homes was a “mistake”.
In an interview with the BBC, Jeane Freeman said the Scottish Government had failed in “understanding the social care sector well enough” and “didn’t take the right precautions” when older people were leaving hospitals.
When asked about Freeman’s comments during the briefing, Sturgeon said: “We thought it was wrong to leave older people in hospitals that were about to be overrun with Covid.
“We thought they would be safer in other settings with the right infection protection procedures and isolation procedures in place, and we didn’t know what we know now about asymptomatic transmission.
“We have tried to learn as we have gone along and we’ve made changes as we’ve gone along and thankfully, although one death is one too many, in the second wave that we have experienced, deaths in care homes have been significantly lower than in the first because we had learned those lessons as we’ve gone along.
“I can’t turn the clock back and know everything then that I know now.
“We tried to make the best decisions but we would have got things wrong, it is inevitable given what we were dealing with but that doesn’t mean that the sense of responsibility we feel for that is any less.
“There will be a full public inquiry into all of this and I hope that we will see this public inquiry get under way later this year.
“Please believe me when I say I carry the weight of this every single day and alway will in terms of the decisions we were taking.”