The boss of a care home where 11 OAPs died from suspected coronavirus recalled daily tears - and said she had to spend seven hours on the phone 'begging' for PPE.

Westacres Care Home, in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, has now been declared 'infection free' by health officials - but is believed to be one of the first in Scotland to be hit by the deadly bug.

It went into lockdown on March 11, after discussion with umbrella organisation Newark Care, two weeks before the UK Government implemented the national lockdown.

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But the first infection in the home was identified on March 25, and the death toll rose to 11 residents - but all of those are from 'suspected' coronavirus as no tests were carried out.

And it was April 24, nearly seven weeks into the home's lockdown, when staff members were tested.

Care home manager Linda Carruthers told of the heartache staff and families faced - and was scathing about the accessibility of personal protective equipment (PPE).

She said it was a perverse blessing that the home was one of the first to be affected, as staff were shielded from the terror of stories from other care homes.

Ms Carruthers said: "With hindsight, we were lucky and incredibly unlucky.

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"Because it hit us so quickly, the staff didn't get a chance to feel the terror they probably should have.

"We were the first home in the area to be hit so we didn't really know what to expect.

"Effectively we just worked through it.

"At that point, it was just heads down and let's go.

"We were absolutely terrified.

"The girls upped their game, they worked extra shifts, extra hours - we were never short staffed.

"There wasn't a day when somebody wasn't crying, which would set the rest of us off.

"It was horrific.

"We just didn't get a chance to grieve.

"We didn't even get a chance to say goodbye to relatives, which is enormous.

"Now that we're past it, it almost seems like a nightmare."

The home had masks and aprons, but PPE was sourced from GP surgeries rather than the official channels.

Despite the tragic death toll, Ms Carruthers said: "We couldn't have done anymore than we did."

And she recalled a phone conversation in a bid to obtain PPE which brought her to tears, as well as the woman she was speaking to.

Ms Carruthers said: "I remember saying, I was so frustrated, 'You're making me kill people because we can't protect them'.

"And she started crying and I started crying. I was so terrified we wouldn't get PPE supplies.

"We did get it, but it took me seven hours, and a massive complaint from the Care Inspectorate."

Staff have created a display board to cherish the memories of the residents who passed away, many of whom had lived there for years.

Ms Carruthers said: "What I tried to do was make sure that we didn't feel guilty. But we did.

"The virus could have come in on anything.

"They all felt incredibly guilty, as did I. To not keep it out of the building feels like a failure."

She added: "We had kept a lot of these residents going way past what was their expected lifespan and the aim was still to continue to do that - that's what we were trying to protect.

"We loved every single one of them.

"We smile when we look at it and we remember them and the funny things they used to do.

"Some of these people were with us for years.

"We won't ever forget them."