Anas Sarwar renews calls for sacking of senior management team at infection-hit Glasgow hospital
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has written to the First Minister calling for the senior management team of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGCC) to be sacked as a result of the ongoing scandal at the hospital.
At First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Mr Sarwar revealed senior clinicians at the hospital had told him a child cancer patient at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) had died of the same fungal infection contracted by Scottish Government adviser Andrew Slorance – while in the same ward at around the same time.
Separately, he revealed doctors had told him another patient had died of a waterborne infection in the past two months, akin to that believed to have killed ten-year-old Millie Main in 2017.
In the Holyrood chamber at FMQS, Ms Sturgeon claimed Scottish Government intervention at NHSGCC was “at the highest level of escalation”.
However, it was later pointed out the health board was currently at level four, not level five, which allows the exercise of ministerial power over the health board and the replacement of senior management.
In the letter, Mr Sarwar renewed claims there was a “culture of bullying and intimidation at the board”, that has left staff fearful of speaking out if they are aware of failings.
The Scottish Labour leader wrote: “It has been four years since the death of Milly Main, and two years since the culture of cover-up and secrecy at NHSGCC was brought to light. People are still dying from preventable hospital acquired infections.
“A culture of bullying and intimidation at the board continues to leave staff fearful of speaking out.
"The leadership at the health board and the oversight board put in place by your government have failed. So, I repeat my demands from yesterday. You must sack the chairman and chief executive at NHSGCC, sack the oversight board and put the hospital under direct ministerial control.”
Mr Sarwar added: “More families should not have to pay the price for your government failing to do the right thing.”
Mr Slorance, who was head of the Scottish Government’s response and communication unit, went into hospital to be treated for cancer in October last year and died in December.
The 49-year-old had been fighting a rare and incurable cancer – mantle cell lymphoma – for the previous five years.
During his time in hospital, Mr Slorance tested positive for Covid-19 and another life-threatening infection, both of which his widow, Louise Slorance, believes he contracted while at QEUH.
Ms Slorance only discovered the fact her husband had been infected with the fungus Aspergillus, which can be dangerous for people who have a weakened immune system, when she requested a copy of his medical records after his death.
Ms Sturgeon said on Thursday she had written to Mrs Slorance on Thursday to tell her what action had been taken, including an independent external review of her husband’s case notes.
Health secretary Humza Yousaf has asked Health Improvement Scotland to carry out a wider review into infections at the QUEH.
The Scottish Government could not be contacted for comment.
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