NATS ministers faced criticism yesterday over “damning” reports into the “inhumane” treatment of care home residents in Scotland during the pandemic.

Academic research, commissioned by Scotland’s public inquiry into Covid, found severe curbs imposed in OAP facilities caused “harm and distress” and could have led to deaths.

It said care home residents were discriminated against compared to other citizens due to the stricter restrictions faced.

One report, produced by Edinburgh Napier Uni, said the legal basis for such curbs – like longer quarantine periods and visitor bans – was “unclear” and there was “little evidence” human rights had been considered.

Another study, by the University of the Highlands and Islands, said: “The inhumane policy for care homes, where residents were unable to see their families, contained in their rooms 24/7 and where some residents died alone, should be acknowledged and not repeated.

“Risk of infection during a pandemic must be weighed against the risk of losing humanity.”

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