Scandal-hit Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is safe, insists health board exec

Concern has been growing over infections at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Picture: John Devlin
Concern has been growing over infections at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Picture: John Devlin
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A health board chief has insisted that the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus is safe after reports that another child has died.

Concern has been growing in recent weeks about infections potentially linked to water contamination at the flagship £800 million hospital in Glasgow.

The mother of ten-year-old Milly Main, who died in August 2017, has said she is “100 per cent certain” the death of her daughter, who was being treated for cancer, was linked to contaminated water.

It was reported on Sunday that a young patient who was receiving treatment contracted a hospital-acquired infection and died last week.

Jane Grant, chief executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), was asked yesterday whether the hospital campus is safe. She replied: “Yes, it is safe. We’ve done a lot of work in the past few weeks, the last few months around, particularly, the water.

“The HPS report was published last week and gives assurance that the ward is safe. We’ve also put in a huge amount of additional measures into the ward to make sure that everything possible is being done to assure patients and families that it is safe.”

Last week, a report leaked by a whistle-blower indicated the health board was told that areas of the flagship hospital campus were at a “high risk” of infection before opening in 2015.

Another two reports, also leaked to Labour MSP Anas Sarwar, suggest that issues were still pervasive at the hospital in 2017 and 2018.

Ms Grant said the reports were not brought to her attention until 2018 and that, as soon as she became aware of them, action was 
taken to address the issues they raised.

She said: “In 2018, when the water issues were addressed, then we had a number of people - Health Protection Scotland, Health Facilities Scotland - working with us, and, as soon as those issues were raised, everything possible was done both internally and also external advice and we have now got independent advice that everything possible has been done, that everything that should have been done has been done.”

A group of parents of 15 children being treated at the site have said they have no confidence in the board and that those responsible should not remain in place while an investigation is carried out.

Parents are also asking why their children are being given prophylaxis antibiotics, which are to prevent an infection.