Special unit investigating 827 hospital-linked Covid deaths

The deaths of people who died with or with suspected coronavirus are being considered.

Special unit investigating 827 hospital-linked Covid deaths Darwin Brandis via iStock
Doctors must report deaths to the Procurator Fiscal when a person had or is thought to have had Covid-19 and was in medical care.

A special investigation unit probing coronavirus-linked deaths is looking into 827 cases in Scottish hospitals.

The Crown Office set up the Covid Deaths Investigation Team (CDIT), which is working with Police Scotland and other agencies, in light of “significant public anxiety”.

The prosecution service is considering cases where the deceased was a resident in a care home when they caught the virus but it has also received hundreds of reports of deaths linked to hospitals.

Doctors must report deaths to the Procurator Fiscal when a person had or is thought to have had Covid-19 and was in medical care.

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The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, the country’s largest hospital, has the highest number of reported Covid-linked deaths with 113.

As of October 7, there have been 70 reported from the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, 55 at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock, and 46 at Ninewells in Dundee.

Up to September, figures show almost 3500 care home deaths have been reported to the CDIT.

In May, a collaborative project by STV News, The Herald, The Scotsman and DC Thomson had asked for data on care homes deaths as part of an effort to report the full scale of the pandemic on the sector.

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A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said: “COPFS has established a dedicated team to receive and consider reports of Covid-19 or presumed Covid-19 deaths, including in particular deaths in care homes or where the deceased may have contracted the virus in the course of their employment.

“The CDIT receives and deals with those reports and carries out any investigation which may be justified in the particular circumstances of any particular death or deaths.

“CDIT will work with the relevant agencies to ensure that all necessary and appropriate enquiries are made as quickly as possible.”