Child’s mother says that the Health Board is making the families’ lives ‘hell’

Mother of Milly Main, Kimberly Darroch, said: “Grieving families deserve justice but instead it feels like we are being abandoned.”

By Bill Heaney

Scotland’s already tarnished SNP government have embarked on a major exercise to cover up the scandal at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, which takes patients from West Dunbartonshire and Argyll in addition to the city itself.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar told the Scottish Parliament today: “Next month it will be three years since the Scottish Hospitals Inquiry was announced. These are the facts we already know.

“First, there were serious failings at Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, which resulted in the Board being put into special measures.

“Second, two children died because of infections they contracted at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

“Finally, Louise Slorance, whose husband Andrew died after contracting aspergillus was kept in the dark by a cover up.

“Despite all of this, the Chair and Chief Executive of the Health Board [John Brown and Jane Grant, pictured left] still have their jobs, and no one has been held responsible.

“Now this week, the Health Board – under the same leadership – have shamefully refused to accept many of the conclusions of the oversight board. And they have even called into question the entire basis of the independent review that exposed fatal infections in clinically vulnerable children.

“As Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman, pictured right,  understood that grieving families needed justice. She listened to the voices of families and campaigners and put the Health Board into special measures and she established the inquiry.

“But when Humza Yousaf took over, he was too weak and easily led, lifting the Board out of special measures and empowering those that failed.

“Now, less than a year later the leadership of the Board are trying to rubbish the independent review and question accepted facts.

“Kimberly Darroch – whose daughter Milly Main died – says that the Board is making the families’ lives ‘hell’.

“And Louise Slorance [pictured left with her husband, Andrew, and their children] says this: ‘Enough is enough, patients have been harmed, others lost their life. Families lied to and bullied. For what? To protect the reputation of Scotland’s flagship hospital and that of the Scottish Government.’

“Six years into this scandal and the established facts are being denied by a health board leadership who are prepared to do anything to protect their own jobs.

“But this is what we have come to expect from this SNP Government: no one ever takes responsibility and failure is rewarded with promotion.

“The Chair of the health board: still in his job. The Chief Executive: awarded an “excellence in leadership” award. The Health Secretary when the hospital opened and when Milly Main died: now the Deputy First Minister [Shona Robison].

“And the Health Secretary [Humza Yousaf] who took the failing Board out of special measures: now the First Minister.

“Under the SNP failure is rewarded, incompetence is excused, and the Scottish people are left suffering the consequences.

“The people of Scotland cannot trust this weak First Minister to stand up for them when it matters.”

The mother of Milly Main, pictured right, Kimberly Darroch, said: “Grieving families deserve justice but instead it feels like we are being abandoned.

“It is unacceptable that the health board leadership is now questioning the findings of the review and gas-lighting the families and victims involved.

“I can’t put into words the pain their attacks have caused the families affected. It is making our lives hell.

“It feels like the government have empowered those that have failed us.”

Humza Yousaf replied: “Anas Sarwar has—rightly—raised those issues on many occasions. As he said in his question, a public inquiry has been taking place in relation to a number of the issues that he has raised.

“It is important that we do not prejudice an inquiry that is taking place and that we wait for the full outcome of that inquiry. Appropriate action will, of course, be taken on those issues. We have made it clear that it is important that we do not wait for that inquiry to finish if we can take remedial action to improve the situation.

“Anas Sarwar is right to raise a number of those issues in the chamber. My understanding is that not only have many of the oversight board’s recommendations been accepted but work on them is well under way.

It is important that members across the chamber raise such issues here. My thoughts are with all the families that have been affected by the challenges that the health board has undoubtedly faced.

“The Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care and I will continue to engage with the board of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to ensure that the oversight board’s recommendations are taken forward.”

First Minister Humza Yousaf and Deputy Shona Robison with members of the new SNP government following the sudden departure of Nicola Sturgeon who herself was Health Secretary for a time.


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