People who lost their loved ones to Covid were treated as "mugs" by Partygate, the Scottish Covid Inquiry has heard. 

Jane Morrison, a member of the Scottish Covid Bereaved, said the revelations came as the "ultimate insult" to people like her who had been "punished for following the rules".

Speaking during the third day of the inquiry on Friday (October 27), she said: "As time went by and conspiracy theories and Covid deniers were becoming more vocal, it was incredibly distressing. 

"But I think the ultimate insult came when all the so-called Partygate stories came out. People became so angry, and felt they had been punished for following the rules.

"They felt they had been treated with absolute contempt and they felt they had been taken for a ride and treated as mugs."

The Herald: Jane and her wife JackyJane and her wife Jacky (Image: Family handout)

Ms Morrison, whose wife of 20 years Jacky died from Covid on 24 October 2020 aged 49, said there was "so much anger, it's difficult to find the words to adequately describe". 

The Perthshire resident was the first witness to speak at the inquiry, which is in its third day in Edinburgh. 

Ms Morrison's wife Jacky Morrison-Hart caught Covid while being treated for Jaundice at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. 

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"I couldn't be with her when she was told she was dying," Ms Morrison said, "To be there on your own thinking about it, and the realisation that that's going on, provides its own trauma."

However, she was able to be with Jacky in her final moments. She said: "I was able to sit with her for 15 minutes before she died.

"And I sat with her for a while afterwards. The two young male nurses on the ward were lovely. They did everything they could."

'They felt medical staff didn't care'

But she said there were other people who had much worse experiences with their loved ones' care during the pandemic. 

Ms Morrison said many concerns were due to "poor communication" from hospital staff during the time leading up to the person's death.  

She said: "They are left feeling that their loved one was not being properly looked after or cared for. Some people who were getting little or poor communication felt that this was because medical staff didn't care."

While the people who weren't able to be there when their loved ones died were left "haunted" about what happened.  

Ms Morrison said: "Whether they were just left to die on their own. Did they know if the death was peaceful or traumatic? When you're not there, your imagination runs riot.

"I know that many hospitals and care homes try to have someone with the person at this time, but even then it's not a family member, it's not someone who knew and loved them.

"Many people feel guilt because of this. It's just a natural reaction. 'I wasn't there for them'."

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One member of the Covid bereaved group was able to be with her father in hospital when he died, Ms Morrison told the inquiry.

"But immediately after he died she was taken into a side room, where she was sprayed down with something by a nurse. She doesn't know what it was, some type of disinfectant. And she was told to go home.

"She was unable to tell her mother, who was in the same hospital, that her husband had died. And her mother died a few days after this."

Other members were able to be with their loved ones at the end but "not offered to sit with them for a while afterwards when they died. And they felt they were being rushed out of the hospital."

Because of the Covid restrictions there were "people going back on their own to an empty house unable to have even their own adult children around to come over and support them and help organise the funeral".

One woman received a bill of £500 from the council for staying in a property after her parents' deaths, Ms Morrison said. 

'You couldn't even kiss them goodbye'

And she also spoke about the treatment of families whose loved ones were in care homes.

One woman, who had an agreement to remove her mother from the care home at any time, was told her mother had caught Covid and was receiving end of life care. 

Ms Morrison said: "She wanted to take her mother home to nurse her and was threatened with action by the social services. 

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"Imagine the trauma of coping with your worst fear realised, your mother has Covid and dying, and on top of that you are having to battle the system and cope with threats. 

"All she wanted to do was enable her mother's final days to be with her daughter who loves her and have time to properly care for her."

Others, she said, had the "trauma" of: "Looking through a window trying to shout messages of love, knowing full well nobody has helped put their loved one's hearing aids in so they could be heard.

"Even the final holding of hands was marred because you were wearing gloves, you couldn't even kiss them goodbye."

The Scottish Covid Inquiry continues.