NHS board named as suspect in corporate homicide investigation

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed it had received the update from the Crown Office
The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in GlasgowThe Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow
The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow

Scotland’s largest health board has been named as a suspect in a corporate homicide investigation following the deaths of three children and an adult at a Glasgow hospital.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) confirmed it had received a letter from the Crown Office about the update.

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Police Scotland launched an investigation in 2021 following deaths at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH).

These included 10-year-old Milly Main, a cancer patient who contracted a water-based infection that has been linked to the hospital environment.

Milly’s mother, Kimberly Darroch, previously told a public inquiry into the building of hospitals including the QEUH that her daughter’s death was “murder”. She said: "My view is that the hospital should be closed. I don't think it's safe."

Ms Darroch told the Sunday Mail the latest update was “a step in the right direction”.

The deaths of two other children and 73-year-old Gail Armstrong at the QEUH campus are also being investigated by police. Ms Armstrong was treated for blood cancer and contracted the fungal infection Cryptococcus.

Her daughter Beth Armstrong previously told the BBC: “We feel as we've been looking for answers and ever since my mum died, a huge PR machine kicked in at the hospital. We've found it very difficult to get straight answers and it has felt to us like a cover up.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, who has campaigned on behalf of families, said: "It has taken four years to get this far, and what Kimberly has been told by the police could mean we are now one step closer to getting justice for Milly.

"Throughout this entire ordeal, Kimberly and all those who lost loved ones have shown extraordinary courage, while the health board engaged in denial and cover-up. To this day, nobody has been held to account for what went so tragically wrong.

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"I long argued that had this scandal occurred in the private sector, there would have been a criminal investigation. I hope the full force of the law is used so that no family ever again has to go through what Milly's family have been through."

A spokesman for NHSGCC said: “Our sympathies remain with the families who have been affected by events at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Children.

“We have received a communication from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) about this update to the status of their ongoing inquiry. It should be made clear that this letter does not indicate that the COPFS have formed a final view.

“They have thanked us for our voluntary contribution so far, and we will continue to co-operate with this investigation."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "COPFS asked Police Scotland to investigate a number of deaths at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus, Glasgow. Our investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further."

The ongoing Scottish Hospitals Inquiry is investigating the construction of the QEUH and Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, and the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh.

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