22 January 2020


News summary

COVID-19 in Scotland: more than 400 care homes investigated over deaths

A special Crown Office unit set up to probe Covid-linked deaths is investigating cases at 474 care homes in Scotland, the BBC can reveal. The unit was set up in May to gather information on the circumstances of all deaths in care homes. Prosecutors will eventually decide if the deaths should be the subject of a fatal accident inquiry or prosecution. Care homes say the investigation is "disproportionate" and placing a huge burden on overstretched staff. The COVID-19 Deaths Investigation Team (CDIT) had received 3,385 death reports as of Thursday. The majority of them relate to people who lived in care homes.

Ministers to consider £500 Covid payment to boost self-isolation rates

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 in England could be paid £500 to self-isolate under proposals to be discussed by ministers. It is among the suggestions in a leaked document from the Department of Health. There are fears the current financial support is not working because low paid workers cannot afford to self-isolate. But a senior UK Government source cast doubt on the idea, saying it had been drawn up by officials and had not been considered by the UK Prime Minister. Introducing a universal £500 payment could cost up to £453m per week - 12 times the cost of the current payouts. BBC Newsnight's Katie Razzall says ministers are aware self-isolation is crucial for stopping the spread of coronavirus and the "options paper" has been drawn up by civil servants at the DoH.

Cancer patients enduring ‘worst possible groundhog day’

Cancer patients in Scotland are living through the “worst possible Groundhog Day”, according to a charity. Research by Macmillan Cancer Support reveals a growing toll of the ongoing coronavirus crisis on people with cancer. It reveals that 15% of cancer patients in Scotland are worried disruption could reduce the likelihood of their treatment being successful. Janice Preston, Macmillan’s head of services in Scotland, said: “This is a time of almost unprecedented challenge for people with cancer. Those going through treatment are often doing so without loved ones by their side, even receiving a diagnosis alone. On top of this, many are scared to go outside because of their vulnerability to coronavirus, leaving them feeling incredibly isolated. For many, the pandemic feels like the worst possible Groundhog Day, but we want everyone with cancer to know that they aren’t alone”.

News in brief