Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar has called on the Scottish government to step in after alleging two other children died after contracting infections in a Glasgow hospital.
Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) has been the focus of controversy in recent years as a number of people died from infections related to the water and the atmosphere and a public inquiry was opened to investigate – in part – the conditions Hospital.
Last week, the widow of Scottish government official Andrew Slorance, who was hospitalized last year, linked his death to Aspergillus, an infection linked to a type of mold.
According to Sarwar, a clinician came forward and told him that another infection of the same type was found in a child cancer patient who later died around the same time as Slorance’s.
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A separate doctor, the Labor chief claimed, had also told him of another infection just two months ago in the children’s hospital, where the patient later died – four years after the death of 10-year-old Milly Main, who died of illness Water borne infection.
In quotes the Labor leader sent to the media, the clinician, who warned about the infection around the same time as Slorance, said: “A child cancer patient died after contracting the infection in November 2020.
“The question arises – if there was a case as early as November 4th, what did the health department do to investigate it? Were they looking for an environmental source and could future infections have been prevented?
“In cases like this, in which two patients died of Aspergillus in a short period of time, a HIIAT (Healthcare Infection Incident Assessment Tool) Red report should have been submitted and the Minister of Health should therefore have been informed.
“Then why wasn’t that implemented? We could have lost the chance to prevent secondary infections and deaths. ”
The Labor leader refused to confirm the identity of the clinicians he claims face “retaliation”.
The second agent said there was a “culture of bullying and intimidation” and added, “The result is inaction, with potentially fatal consequences.
“In the past few months there has been at least one death in the children’s hospital in which a child was infected with a water and environmental bacterium.
“We cannot hide behind a public inquiry. We now urgently need measures so that we can make it safe and give the necessary assurances with regard to the risks from the environment and the water supply. ”
Sarwar urged the First Minister to use emergency powers to allow Ministers to take control of the hospital and dismiss the heads of the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
“The health department has failed, the Scottish government oversight has failed and, frankly, the Prime Minister continues to fail,” he said of the Prime Minister’s questions.
“The employees are now being bullied and intimidated. I have brought this up in this chamber for years and have heard the same answers and the same excuses.
“Now there are infections, now patients are dying.”
He added, “Dismiss the leadership of the health committee today, dismiss the oversight committee today and use your emergency powers to take control of this hospital.
“First Minister, how many families will have to be devastated before you do the right thing?”
Nicola Sturgeon replied (above): “Dismissing a health department doesn’t change the practice in a hospital overnight, so the real work has to be done.
“When concerns are raised about the cause of death, it must be thoroughly investigated so that the actions taken are the correct ones.”
She added, “These are serious matters – they are serious matters that we should all take seriously, but we are not doing justice to the families concerned by simply asking for action that is not based on proper investigation, scrutiny and consideration .
“That is the duty of the government and we will continue to take this duty seriously.”