Freeman: ‘I won’t rule out hos­pi­tal in­ter­ven­tion’

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY STE­WART WARD

SCOT­LAND’S Health Sec­re­tary has said she has “a great deal of con­cerns” over the way Glas­gow’s health board has han­dled a scan­dal-hit hos­pi­tal

– and has not ruled out Govern­ment in­ter­ven­tion.

Speak­ing yes­ter­day,

Jeane Freeman said putting NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde (NHSGGC) in spe­cial mea­sures is “al­ways an op­tion”.

Freeman said she would be mak­ing a state­ment at Holy­rood this week on the mat­ter.

Last used on a be­lea­guered NHS Tay­side in 2018, spe­cial mea­sures mean the Scot­tish Govern­ment takes a more di­rect role in the man­age­ment of a cho­sen health board.

NHSGGC has again come un­der fire af­ter it emerged that po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the death of a three­year-old boy at the Queen El­iz­a­beth Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal (QEUH) in Au­gust 2017, the same month as 10-year-old Milly Main.

Two wards at the Royal Hos­pi­tal for Chil­dren – on the same cam­pus as QEUH – were closed in Septem­ber last year fol­low­ing con­cerns from Health Pro­tec­tion Scot­land over wa­ter con­tam­i­na­tion.

Milly’s mother, Kim­berly Dar­roch, said she is “100%” cer­tain her daugh­ter died due to in­fected wa­ter at the hos­pi­tal.

Freeman said: “Later this week, I will make a state­ment on all of these mat­ters and it is not ap­pro­pri­ate for me to say this morn­ing, be­fore I make my state­ment to Par­lia­ment, what it is I’m go­ing to do.”

Asked if the use of spe­cial mea­sures is an op­tion, Freeman replied: “It’s al­ways an op­tion. It’s some­thing that we’ve done be­fore in other cases, so of course it’s an op­tion to look at how we es­ca­late any board. By es­ca­la­tion, that means that the Govern­ment takes a more in­ter­ven­tion­ist role.”

The Health Sec­re­tary also said she had “con­cerns” about the han­dling of the deaths of Milly and the three-year-old boy, named by the Daily Record as Ma­son Dje­mat.

She said: “I have a great deal of con­cern and I have made it re­ally clear that it is un­ac­cept­able for this board or any board not to fully in­form fam­i­lies.

“A mat­ter of weeks ago, when I met fam­i­lies whose chil­dren are in the haema­tol­ogy and on­col­ogy wards... fol­low­ing that, I made sure I put some­one into that board to make sure fam­i­lies got the de­tailed an­swers from the board they are en­ti­tled to and re­quired.”

Freeman will ap­pear be­fore the Health and Sport Com­mit­tee at Holy­rood to­day.

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