Scotland's care home deaths during the coronavirus outbreak are 'the single greatest failure of the Scottish Parliament' since devolution, according to a think thank.

Common Weal outlined 'failures' leading to the death toll in the country's care homes in a report on Wednesday.

More than 1400 (45%) of coronavirus-related deaths have been in such facilities, as shown in statistics by National Records of Scotland.

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The report notes that in 2016 the UK Government carried out a pandemic planning exercise and none of the recommendations were implemented.

It claims the Care Inspectorate having few enforcement powers, private providers cutting down on training and services to reduce costs, and provision of PPE in care homes all contributed to the higher death toll.

Report author Nick Kempe states: "The nature of the deaths of care home residents was not taken to be a Government responsibility and so the use of palliative measures was also left to providers.

"This almost certainly means many old people faced an absolutely unnecessarily uncomfortable and painful death."

He added he hopes the report shows the individual tragedies "now being played out in Scotland's care homes are no accident but a consequence of the state abandoning responsibility for the welfare of its citizens".

Mr Kempe continued: "To redress the disaster we need not just guidance but action from the Scottish Government.

"That will require significant additional resources aimed at protecting older people and the staff who work in care homes while respecting their rights"

Common Weal director Robin McAlpine said the report "makes painful reading".

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"Of course mistakes would be made during this crisis but the scale of the mistakes made should lead to an urgent inquiry," he said.

"But the problem is more fundamental. Scotland's care sector is almost all privatised and is run largely like a property speculation industry, which has minimised the more expensive medical services it provides.

"In combination with major mistakes, this has proved to be a lethal cocktail and Scotland should commit to returning care for older people to being a public service delivered for the public good."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "This report paints a wholly misleading picture.

"The Scottish Government has from the outset taken firm action to protect care home staff and residents.

"In early March we issued clinical and practice guidance for care homes setting out the clinical and practical steps to be taken. That guidance was then updated on March 26, and again on May 15. Each iteration is a reflection of our growing understanding of the virus and of the situation on the ground.

"On May 1, the First Minister announced enhanced outbreak investigations in care homes and on May 17 the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport introduced enhanced clinical and professional oversight for all care homes in Scotland.

"We have taken a number of other steps such as direct delivery of personal protective equipment, a stepped increase in testing, with the introduction from next week of testing for all care home staff, and emergency legislation to ensure continuity of care in the event of a care home failing."