Parents demand inquiry into child’s hospital infection death

Ten-year-old Milly Main died after contracting an infection potentially linked to water contamination.

Milly, pictured with mum Kimberly, was in remission from leukaemia.
Milly, pictured with mum Kimberly, was in remission from leukaemia.

The parents of a ten-year-old girl who died after contracting an infection at Glasgow’s flagship hospital have called for a fatal accident inquiry (FAI).

Milly Main was diagnosed with leukaemia aged five, but was in remission when she picked up an infection at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and died in August 17.

It’s been claimed NHS Greater Glasgow knew there were infection risks in the hospital’s water supply and the Main family claim they weren’t told about the potential link between contaminated water and her death.

The health board previously apologised to Milly’s parents for the distress they experienced, but now mum Kimberly Darroch and dad Neil Main have written to the Lord Advocate to seek an FAI.

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Nicola Sturgeon was asked about the issue at First Minister’s Questions and said the family’s treatment had been “completely unacceptable”.

She said: “Firstly, can I absolutely sympathise with Kimberly, Milly’s mum, and her wider family.

“What they have gone through is completely unacceptable and I think everybody’s heart is with them at this time.”

The First Minister said the reason for calling a public inquiry into issues at the hospital, announced by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman in September, was to deliver answers to Milly’s family and others who have lost loved ones.

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She added: “In terms of the call for a fatal accident inquiry, I can absolutely understand that call and sympathise with the reasons behind that.

“Decisions on fatal accident inquiries are entirely for the law officers, they’re not for the Scottish Government, but I’m sure that the Lord Advocate will listen carefully to the representations that have been made by Milly’s family and respond in due course and hopefully as quickly as possible.”

Patrick McGuire of Thompsons Solicitors has written to Lord Advocate James Wolffe on behalf of the ten-year-old’s parents.

Ms Darroch said: “It has been incredibly painful for us to relive Milly’s death, with bits of information slowly being fed to us thanks only to the work of brave NHS whistleblowers, Anas Sarwar and the media.

“The health board has let us down at every step of the way and kept us in the dark.

“We believe Milly would still be alive today if the managers had listened to all the warnings of infection risk when the QEUH first opened. We have lost all faith in the health board and its leadership

“As a family we have had to consider all options so that we can get answers about Milly’s death, and so that no family has to go through this ordeal again.

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“We are calling for a fatal accident inquiry to uncover the truth.”

The family, from Lanark, are being supported by Labour MSP Anas Sarwar, who blasted the way they had been treated.

He said: “The way that Milly’s family has been treated is an utter disgrace.

“They have been drip-fed information about their daughter’s tragic death, and heads should roll for that.

“If this had happened in the private sector there would be a criminal investigation, which is why there now needs to be a fatal accident inquiry. This is the very least the family deserves.

“I hope the Lord Advocate responds positively to this request on behalf of a grieving family. 

“Will not stop until we get justice for Milly’s parents and until the public receives answers.”

A Crown Office spokesman said: “I can confirm that we have received correspondence on behalf of the family of Milly Main and will respond in due course.”