Hospital death of three-year-old boy probed by police and prosecutors

The boy died while being treated at Glasgow’s flagship hospital campus which includes the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Children

BBC Scotland is reporting today that a three-year-old boy’s death at Scotland’s largest hospital in 2017 has been investigated by police.

The child died on 9 August 2017 at a unit within the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus, the Crown Office confirmed.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which serves West Dunbartonshire,  said they had fully investigated and shared their findings with the boy’s family.

The Scottish Mail on Sunday reported he was in the same hospital as 10-year-old Milly Main, who died three weeks later.

The ward he was treated on was later closed because of problems with the water supply, the paper reported.

The newspaper said the boy, who has not been named, was being treated for a rare genetic disease.

A Crown Office spokesman said: “The Procurator Fiscal has received a report in connection with the death of a three-year-old boy at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on 9 August 2017.

“The investigation into the death, under the direction of Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit (SFIU), is ongoing and the family will continue to be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.”

Police Scotland confirmed the death had been investigated and a report passed to the fiscal.

Independent experts

The Crown Office has recently received expert reports from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, having received the initial report of the death from Police Scotland in August 2017.

These will be considered to establish whether further investigation is required.

A Health Board spokesman said: “We have already provided information to this family but are sorry that they have further questions.

“We fully investigated this child’s death at the time and also asked for two independent experts to investigate the case, the outcome of which has been communicated to the family.

“We are absolutely committed to providing patients and families with information and ensuring they get answers to the questions they have. In this case the full findings were shared with the family.”

Last week it emerged that 10-year-old Milly Main died at the Royal Hospital for Children (RHC) which is part of the hospital campus, after contracting an infection while recovering from leukaemia treatment.

Her mother Kimberly Darroch told the BBC she was “100%” convinced her death was linked to problems with the water supply which were investigated the following year.

A whistleblower had earlier revealed that a doctor-led review had identified 26 infections at RHC during 2017 which were potentially linked to contaminated water.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde insists it is impossible to determine the source of Milly’s infection because there was no requirement to test the water supply at the time.

MSP Anas Sarwar called for the health board to be put in “special measures” over its handling of hospital infection issues.

Milly died at the hospital on 31 August 2017 while in remission from leukaemia following stem cell treatment.

‘Let down and lied to’

Her mother said she felt “let down and lied to” because she was given no information about water contamination as a possible factor in Milly’s death.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has offered to meet the family to discuss their concerns.

It said the hospital’s water had been independently assessed as safe, and it criticised the whistleblower for causing “stress and anxiety” for Milly’s parents when there was no evidence of a link.

The £842m Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) “super hospital” has faced a number of problems since it opened in 2015.

Two cancer wards at the adjoining children’s hospital were closed last year amid concern about infections and investigation of water supply issues, with patients decanted to the adult hospital.

In January it emerged that two patients at the QEUH had died after contracting a fungal infection linked to pigeon droppings.

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