Milly Main's family 'still in the dark' over 10-year-old’s hospital infection death

The mother of a girl who died after contracting an infection at a flagship Scottish hospital has said she is “disappointed” a review of infection control concerns has not provided answers over her daughter’s death.

Milly Main, 10, died after contracting an infection while recovering from leukaemia treatment at a children’s cancer ward at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) campus in Glasgow.

Her mother Kimberly Darroch, 36, said she believes her daughter’s death in August 2017 was “100 per cent” due to contaminated water but she is “still in the dark” about it.

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An independent review, published on Monday, found no sound evidence that avoidable deaths have resulted from failures in the design, build, commissioning or maintenance of the QEUH and Royal Hospital for Children (RHC), which is part of the campus.

Milly Main from Lanark, pictured here with her mum Kimberly Darroch, died at the age of 10 in 2017 after contracting an infection at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow

Ms Darroch said: “I'm disappointed the review hasn’t given us any answers about Milly’s death.

“We weren’t spoken to as part of the review, but we hoped it might help us understand more about why Milly contracted an infection.

“We feel we’re still in the dark.”

She added: “I don’t understand how they can claim there is no evidence linking failures in the hospital design to avoidable deaths.

“I don’t feel the report has restored any trust in the health board.”

The review team was asked to investigate if the management and execution of the project had an adverse impact on the risk of healthcare associated infection at the hospital.

An independent review by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) into the water supply confirmed contamination of the system in 2018.

Anas Sarwar, Labour MSP for Glasgow, who has been supporting Milly’s parents, said the review leaves “too many unanswered questions”.

He said: “This review falls short of being a truly independent inquiry.

“It’s a first step towards understanding the scale of the scandal and the catastrophic errors which took place but there is still a lot of work to do to uncover the full truth.”

He said while ensuring future patient safety is vital, we also need to know the “full truth about what happened in the past”.

Mr Sarwar added: “This now puts even more pressure on the public inquiry.

“Most importantly, the review doesn’t provide the answers that Milly’s family and other families deserve, and that is deeply regrettable.

“I will not stop until there is justice for Milly’s parents.”

Dr Brian Montgomery, one of the authors of the report, told the PA news agency: “We clearly are saddened by what happened to Milly but we were quite clear when our review was set up that we were about looking at the building and construction and if there was a possible risk of infection, not about individual cases or patients, and we were never going to provide the answers Milly’s family and others were looking for.”

The authors said their review was fully independent.

A public inquiry is to take place to examine issues at the QEUH site and the delayed Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Young People in Edinburgh.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde reported Milly’s death to the procurator fiscal in February this year.

The Crown Office said the investigation into the death is ongoing.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has been asked for comment.

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