THE former chief medical officer (CMO) for Scotland may face a probe by the medical watchdog over her conduct after she took two trips to her second home, in breach of emergency lockdown rules designed to prevent spreading the coronavirus.

Dr Catherine Calderwood resigned on Sunday night after receiving a police warning following the seaside visits. She has apologised for breaking the regulations requiring people to stay at home to safe lives and protect the NHS.

Photographs appeared that morning of her flouting lockdown rules by visiting her second home in Earlsferry, Fife, with her family.

But it later emerged she did not initially tell the police officers who spoke to her about her conduct about another visit she had made the previous weekend.

On Sunday, a Police Scotland source told The National: “The warning was for the incident reported in the media this morning, as we weren’t aware of the previous trip at that time. However, the appropriate advice and an informal warning has now been given regardless.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: Dr Catherine Calderwood didn't reveal second visit

The First Minister revealed yesterday that the leading doctor had also not initially told the Scottish Government about her previous visit.

Calum Steele, general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, raised concerns over Calderwood’s conduct.

Referring to the initial Scottish Government statement, Steele wrote: “Two consecutive weekends makes this not just an issue of judgment but one of integrity. You can always survive a cock-up. You can’t a cover-up.”

Kirstein Rummery, professor of social policy at Stirling University, tweeted: “I do wish everyone would stop acting as though #CatherineCalderwood screwed up because she made @ScotGovFM look bad.

READ MORE: Two die from coronavirus in ‘difficult 24 hours’ for Scottish Government

“It’s not up to civil servants to make elected politicians look good. It’s up to them to be trustworthy, and as #CMOScotland she destroyed that trust.”

Calderwood continues to work for the Scottish Government advising ministers on their approach to the pandemic. She will continue to do so until a new CMO has been appointed. Dr Gregor Smith has been promoted from deputy to interim CMO in the meantime.

In its guidance, the doctors’ watchdog body the General Medical Council (GMC, says medics must strive to act in a way that ensures the public “maintain trust in you and the profession by being open, honest, and acting with integrity”.

The GMC also states doctors must “tell us without delay if, anywhere in the world ... you have accepted a caution from the police”.

Police Scotland told The National the warning the former CMO received was “informal”, which is understood to fall below the level of a caution. As such it would not require Calderwood to refer herself to the watchdog.

READ MORE: Family tribute to care worker who died after contracting Covid-19

The GMC would not comment on whether receiving an informal warning for breaking the stay-at-home lockdown rules would require a doctor to make a self-referral to them.

At a press conference yesterday, the First Minister told reporters Calderwood had failed to reveal the second visit to her holiday home during the lockdown when the news story first broke.

The Scottish Government had initially claimed in a statement she “took the opportunity this weekend to check on a family home in Fife as she knows she will not be back again until the crisis is over”.

However, at Sunday’s press conference the then CMO admitted she had visited the holiday home twice in the past two weekends.

Questioned about the discrepancy yesterday, Sturgeon revealed Calderwood had only told her about one of the two visits on Saturday night, only disclosing the second trip the following day.

READ MORE: Hundreds of GCU student nurses join fight against coronavirus

The First Minister said: “The statement that went out was a reflection of our understanding at that time of the reasons for her visit that weekend.

“That reflected the understanding we had, but she later made clear that there had been a second visit and, of course, made that clear at the briefing yesterday.”

A GMC spokesperson said: “Our usual policy is not to comment on individual referrals or investigations to the General Medical Council.

“This also applies in Dr Calderwood’s case ... Our standards are clear: a doctor should inform the GMC if they have received a formal caution from the police. It is, however, unclear at this stage what

formal proceedings, if any, were brought against Dr Calderwood by the police.”

The spokesperson would not say whether breaching lockdown rules would require a doctor to make a self-referral.

The National was waiting to hear from the Scottish Government as to whether the former CMO has referred herself to the GMC.

Scotland is in lockdown. Shops are closing and newspaper sales are falling fast. It’s no exaggeration to say that the future of The National is at stake. Please consider supporting us through this with a digital subscription from just £2 for 2 months by following this link: Thanks – and stay safe.