A FORMER nursing chief and Scottish  Government adviser has made "horrific" comments in front of a Holyrood committee that a major coronavirus outbreak could help ease pressures on the NHS.

Professor June Andrews, a former director of the Scottish Government’s Centre for Change and Innovation, made the comments while speaking at a round-table discussion of pressures in the NHS at Holyrood.

Prof Andrews raised eyebrows after suggesting that a coronavirus pandemic “would be quite useful” in clearing delayed discharge levels because “people would be taken out of the system”.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Pandemic could clear bed blocking as people 'taken out of system'

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the number of people remaining in hospitals across Scotland, despite being well enough to go home has risen again.

Statistics show it was the highest number of days lost to bed blocking since October 2016.

Prof Andrews said: "Curiously, ripping off the sticking plaster, in a hospital that has 92 delayed discharges, a pandemic would be quite useful because your hospital would work because these people would be taken out of the system.”

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She added: “That sounds like it’s a horrific thing to say – but it is the case that somehow or other, we’ve put people in the wrong places by not having the kind of strategic views that we should have."