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28 May, 2020 13:28

‘A terrible indictment on society’: Man who lost father to Covid-19 amid outbreak at Scottish nursing home shares story with RT

‘A terrible indictment on society’: Man who lost father to Covid-19 amid outbreak at Scottish nursing home shares story with RT

The son of a Covid-19 victim in Scotland has told RT how the government and senior staff failed to protect the residents at nursing homes hit by the deadly virus. Authorities have promised an inquiry into the crisis.

John Gordon told RT that his father, John Angus Gordon, was “a quiet and humble man.”

“[His last] four years were spent at Home Farm nursing home, where he was very happy and very content. He was healthy enough, despite being 83 and having dementia,” he said.

Gordon initially found out about a Covid-19 outbreak on Scotland’s northwestern Isle of Skye, where the nursing home is based, from social media. He then learned that his father had tested positive for the virus. The man displayed no symptoms at first, but his condition worsened rapidly.

For us it was very poignant, the last day of my dad’s life, when we got a phone call in the morning to say that he was about to pass. My sister, and her family, and myself were able to FaceTime with him, and literally say our goodbyes to him… We could see my dad reaching his hand at the side of his bed for a carer, who was in full PPE with her blue gloves on.


Gordon’s father became one of the ten seniors who died at Home Farm – more than a quarter of its residents. Nearly all other seniors became infected with Covid-19, as did over half of the staff. The high death toll prompted an outcry, after which police launched an investigation into three deaths at Home Farm.

As of May 24, Scotland has registered 3,779 deaths from Covid-19, with nearly half of them having occurred at nursing homes. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon promised a public inquiry into the situation.

“We put our loved ones into these homes with the assurance that they’re going to be protected. In this situation, that did not happen,” Gordon noted.

As a family, we were reassured that they were really leading the way in terms of dealing with the pandemic and everything that needed to happen. And we felt that our father was in a secured environment. So it became utterly shocking within our community when it became evident that there was such a high number of cases of Covid-19 at the [nursing] home.


The British media has reported on shortages of protective gear and insufficient testing at nursing homes, which has led to the deaths of residents not only in Scotland, but in other parts of the UK as well.

“The lack of clear planning from the government, and from directors and senior managers of homes, has been a huge failing,” Gordon said, adding that the inability to protect the most vulnerable is “a terrible indictment on society.”

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