THE number of elderly people dying with Covid in care homes has reached its highest level since March, new figures show.

The latest Care Inspectorate figures show that 11 people who tested positive for the virus died in one week from July 19 to 25. 

There were 209 deaths from all causes meaning Covid was responsible for 6 per cent.

That is almost double the number of deaths recorded in the previous week and is the highest number since March 1, by which time the second dose of Covid vaccines had been given to almost half of all care home residents.

The Scottish Government is working with NHS boards to prepare for a rollout of booster vaccinations from September. 

READ MORE: 'Serious concerns': Scots care home given lowest ratings in almost every category 

It will coincide with the rollout of flu jags, which health officials have said will be vital this winter as they prepare for a potentially difficult influenza season.

People will be offered a single jag as a booster, so the rollout will be logistically easier for the NHS to manage.

The first stage will see 15 million of the most vulnerable people across the UK offered a booster including over-70s, health and care workers, older care home residents, the clinically extremely vulnerable (those who were asked to shield previously), and people who are immunocompromised.

Commenting on the latest care home death figures, a government spokesman said: “We mourn every death from Covid-19 and express our sympathy for all those who have lost loved ones. 

“We have confirmed there will be a public inquiry into all aspects of the impact and handling of Covid-19 including care homes, and our immediate focus is on continuing to do everything necessary to save lives for the remainder of this pandemic.

 “In addition, the First Minister announced an independent review into how adult social care can be most effectively reformed to deliver a national approach to care and support services.”

It comes as new figures show care home regulators in Scotland investigated just 5% of complaints last year.

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Data shows there was a huge drop in the number of investigations carried out by the Care Inspectorate into concerns raised by relatives, carers and staff.

Figures show 122 of the 2,316 complaints were fully investigated in 2020/21, down from more than 600 in previous years. 

Of the 20 facilities with the most complaints last year, 18 were privately run.

The Care Inspectorate said the way it worked had to be “rapidly adapted” last year, including limiting on-site investigations in order to avoid spreading the virus.

However, Highland councillor John Gordon, whose father John Angus Gordon died with Covid-19 at Home Farm, has called for an inquiry into the way the regulator has been overseeing the sector during the pandemic.