AT least four hospital patients were discharged to care homes in Largs at the start of the pandemic without being tested for Covid-19.

New figures released by Public Health Scotland focus on hospital discharges between March and May 2020.

The data highlights what proportion of people discharged were untested, and what proportion of beds in care homes might have been occupied by discharged patients.

In Largs, untested patients were discharged to four separate care homes between March 1 and May 31 2020.

Seven patients were discharged to Burnlea in that time, and at least one of those was never tested for the virus.

At Moorburn Manor and Hutton Park, at least one patient was discharged to each, with at least one in each also never tested for Covid-19 before leaving hospital.

Haylie House saw at least one patient discharged without getting a test, with that care home also reporting one death in the first three months of the pandemic.

Thousands of people were discharged in the first three months of the pandemic without being tested.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has since called the policy a mistake.

Lawyer Aamer Anwar, who represents members of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, says that although the data cannot prove a link between discharges and deaths, it proves that lives were put at risk.

He said: “The data supports what many bereaved families have always suspected, that elderly patients were discharged without any regard for a duty of care owed to them, or to residents and care home staff.”