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‘Milly would still be here if hospital acted on warnings’

Kimberly Darroch criticised the NHS after claims it was told of infection risks in a water supply.

The mum of a ten-year-old girl who died after contracting an infection at Glasgow’s flagship hospital has accused the health board of failing “every single patient” at the facility.

Kimberly Darroch has criticised NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) after claims emerged it had been told of infection risks in the water supply at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) when it opened in 2015.

Documents seen by Labour MSP Anas Sarwar reportedly show NHS Estates commissioned three separate independent reports into the water supply at the QEUH, including one in April 2015.

Mr Sarwar has previously been made aware of concerns raised by doctors at the hospital into the possibility of infections on several occasions, including just weeks before Ms Darroch’s daughter, Milly Main, died after contracting an infection in August 2017.

Ms Darroch believes her daughter would still be here if the health board had acted on warnings.

She told STV News: “I’m shocked to be honest. I just quite can’t believe it.

“I feel the NHS has a duty of care to all their patients and they have failed every single patient in that hospital by not acting on the information that they have had.

“The fact that they have known since before the hospital opened in 2015 and not acted on it then.

“The fact they have opened the hospital knowing full well that the water was contaminated and they have still opened it.

“Also they have been given warning signs throughout the years and still have never done anything about the water until a child died, that child being Milly.

“I just think it’s a disgrace. How did they get away with not acting on the reports that they have received?

“We knew nothing of any concerns about line infections. Milly had only ever had one line infection and that was the fatal line infection unfortunately.

“Prior to that we were not aware that line infections were a cause for concern. No one ever came and told us that we had to be cautious with these lines when cleaning them or stay away from the water. There was no warnings then.

“I firmly believe this could all have been avoided and Milly would still be with us today if they had acted on these warnings.”

NHSGGC has assured the safety of patients is an “absolute priority” and has apologised for “distress and anxiety caused”.

A spokeswoman said: “We fully acknowledge that there have been issues at this site and senior managers sought to take robust action to address these issues when they became aware of them.

“We led, and asked for expert help, to investigate and resolve these issues and reports about these incidents are available to the public.

“In response to ongoing issues, we commissioned a further comprehensive independent technical review in 2018 which we believe can help inform the cabinet secretary’s wider external independent review into design, construction and maintenance of the QEUH/RHC.

“The potential link between the water supply and cases of infection in 2018 has already been fully reported.

“The Health Protection Scotland report highlights all the actions that were taken by the board – together with an acknowledgement that patient safety is at the forefront of our considerations.

“This has now resulted in a safe and effective water supply.”

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