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MSP: Hospital report cannot whitewash fatal contamination

© Jane Barlow/PA WireQueen Elizabeth University Hospital
Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

An MSP who has campaigned on behalf of parents caught up in the contaminated water scandal at Scotland’s super-hospital has warned an imminent report cannot be a whitewash.

Parents of children who died at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QUEH) in Glasgow have also expressed doubts the report will give them answers.

The review, examining water contamination and other problems at QUEH, will be published tomorrow. Concerns about the water supply at the £850 million hospital were raised after Milly Main, 10, and three-year-old Mason Djemat died of infections in 2017.

A report leaked by a whistleblower said NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) was told shortly before QUEH opened in 2015 that areas of the campus were at a “high risk” of infection.

© Kimberly Darroch/PA Wire
Milly Main, 10, with mum Kimberly Darroch

In February last year, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman ordered a review into whether the design, build and maintenance of the building had an “adverse impact” on infection.

Glasgow Labour MSP Anas Sarwar said: “I hope this review provides some answers about the tragedies at the QEUH. However, there are widespread concerns about the independence of this process. This can’t be a whitewash.”

Milly Main’s mother, Kimberly Darroch, has previously said she was “100%” certain contaminated water caused the infection stenotrophomonas, listed as a possible cause on her daughter’s death certificate. She has called for a fatal accident inquiry.

© Andrew Cawley
Anas Sarwar

Kimberly was not interviewed by the review team and has not been given a copy of the report ahead of its publication.

Mr Sarwar said: “Given the fact Kimberly hasn’t been spoken to and families haven’t seen the document in advance, it’s doubtful this review will provide all the answers that parents and patients deserve..”

NHSGGC, which has launched legal action against three contractors involved in the construction of the hospital, declined to comment prior to the report’s publication.

The Scottish Government said: “The Health Secretary will respond to the independent review when it is published.”