Health boss blames for­mer board over in­fec­tion scan­dal

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY STE­WART PATER­SON

THE head of Glas­gow’s health board has blamed the pre­vi­ous lead­er­ship team for its han­dling of the in­fec­tions out­break and safety of the wa­ter sup­ply.

NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde chief ex­ec­u­tive Jane Grant said she was not made aware of re­ports the wa­ter was not safe when the Queen El­iz­a­beth Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal opened in 2015 un­til last year.

Ms Grant spoke out af­ter Glas­gow MSP Anas Sar­war said she and the cur­rent man­age­ment should be “moved aside” while the in­fec­tion out­break is in­ves­ti­gated.

In 2017, 10-year-old Milly Main died at the chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal from an in­fec­tion, which has been linked to con­tam­i­nated wa­ter.

Ms Grant is­sued a state­ment say­ing in­fec­tions rates were “within ex­pected levels”.

Mr Sar­war re­vealed re­ports last week that showed con­cerns with the wa­ter sup­ply as far back as 2015 and that doc­tors raised con­cerns about in­fec­tion months be­fore Milly died.

Ms Grant said: “Ev­ery mem­ber of the team has been en­tirely com­mit­ted through­out this dif­fi­cult pe­riod to en­sur­ing the safety and qual­ity of care of the chil­dren.

“This has not been easy given the chal­lenges we in­her­ited from the pre­vi­ous lead­er­ship team and we ac­cept com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the fam­i­lies could have been bet­ter but I re­main con­vinced we have the right peo­ple to take the Royal Hos­pi­tal for Chil­dren for­ward so that it ful­fils its po­ten­tial to be one of the lead­ing chil­dren’s hos­pi­tals in the UK.”

She added that “tech­ni­cal re­ports on the qual­ity of the wa­ter sup­plies at the QEUH Cam­pus men­tioned by Mr Sar­war in the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment were not brought to the Se­nior Lead­er­ship Team’s at­ten­tion un­til 2018”.

She said once aware she en­sured “im­me­di­ate ac­tion” to pro­vide as­sur­ances about the safety of the wa­ter.

She said there were no at­tempts to ig­nore the re­ports once brought to her at­ten­tion.

Ms Grant added: “I would, there­fore, hope the fam­i­lies who have called for changes at the top of the or­gan­i­sa­tion can ac­cept that the cur­rent lead­er­ship team have made sig­nif­i­cant ef­forts to ad­dress the sit­u­a­tion.”

Mr Sar­war said: “The chief ex­ec­u­tive is ul­ti­mately re­spon­si­ble for the rot­ten cul­ture of fear and in­tim­i­da­tion at this hos­pi­tal.

“It should never have taken brave whistle­blow­ers to come for­ward for this scan­dal to emerge.

“With­out them, par­ents would still be in the dark.

“Yet when the cover-up was ex­posed, health board chiefs re­sorted to at­tack­ing the whistle­blow­ers in an at­tempt to si­lence them, and now they are try­ing to shift the blame to oth­ers.

“While se­nior man­agers re­main in place there is a risk the in­ves­ti­ga­tion will be com­pro­mised, which is why they should be moved aside – as would surely have hap­pened in a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion if this was in the pri­vate sec­tor.”

Glas­gow MSP Anas Sar­war crit­i­cised a ‘cul­ture of fear’ at the hos­pi­tal

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