Min­is­ter says all tests were done as probe calls es­ca­late

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - NEWS -

Health Min­is­ter Jeane Free­man or­dered an im­me­di­ate in­quiry af­ter be­ing told trans­plant pa­tients had been given lethal can­cer by a donor’s or­gans.

But the Holy­rood min­is­ter yes­ter­day said that, af­ter re­ceiv­ing as­sur­ances from the trans­plant ser­vice, she was sat­is­fied ev­ery pos­si­ble check had been car­ried out prop­erly.

A spokes­woman for the min­is­ter said: “We have been very clear that any nec­es­sary lessons should be learned from this very tragic case. NHS Blood and Trans­plant have sought to as­sure us that an ap­pro­pri­ate in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been car­ried out with all the par­ties in­volved.

“Spe­cial­ist med­i­cal staff un­der­take rig­or­ous checks and tests for all or­gan trans­plants, which in­clude de­tailed checks in ad­vance of the donor and their fam­ily’s med­i­cal his­tory and care­ful ex­am­i­na­tion of the or­gan by the re­trieval and trans­plant­ing sur­geons.

“These pro­cesses are bal­anced with the ne­ces­sity for a lim­ited time frame for the trans­plant to take place. De­spite this, we un­der­stand that sadly noth­ing that could have been done in this case which would have en­abled the can­cer to have been de­tected prior to trans­plan­ta­tion.”

How­ever, there were calls for a fuller in­quiry into the tragedy yes­ter­day. Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tive Shadow Health Sec­re­tary Miles Briggs said both Tom, Pauline, and their fam­i­lies had not been told the truth quickly enough.

He said: “There seems to have been some se­crecy here which should not be hap­pen­ing par­tic­u­larly when Tom had lost his life and Pauline is liv­ing with can­cer be­cause of what hap­pened to them both.

”Thank­fully cases like these are in­cred­i­bly rare, but we must en­sure the sys­tem is safe and pro­ce­dures are ro­bust enough to pre­vent it hap­pen­ing again where pos­si­ble.

“There are lots of ques­tions that still need to be an­swered, and we must be as­sured fam­i­lies are told the truth and told quickly.”

Health Min­is­ter Jeane Free­man

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