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by Louise Wilson
18 May 2023
FMQs: Glasgow health board leaders accused of ‘rubbishing’ review into child deaths

FMQs: Glasgow health board leaders accused of ‘rubbishing’ review into child deaths

Leaders at Glasgow's health board are refusing to accept recommendations of an oversight board established following the deaths of patients, Anas Sarwar has claimed.

Raising the matter at First Minister's Questions, the Scottish Labour leader said the leadership of the board “are trying to rubbish the independent review” which was published following the board’s escalation to stage 4 measures, meaning there were significant risks to delivery, quality or safety.

But the First Minister insisted many of the recommendations were already being actioned and the government was holding the health board to account.

The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde oversight board published recommendations for infection control and governance following the deaths of two children after they caught an infection at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

An inquiry is currently underway into the construction of that hospital.

Sarwar said: “This week, the health board – under the same leadership – has shamefully refused to accept many of the conclusions of the oversight board and they even called into question the entire basis of the independent review that exposed fatal infections in clinically vulnerable children.

“First minister, why should people who refuse to accept even the most basic facts be trusted to run Scotland’s largest health board?”

The first minister said a number of the recommendations have been accepted and work is underway in relation to some of them.

He added: "We’ll do everything we can in our power. We'll hold, of course, the health board absolutely to account."

And he went on to detail various measures brought in the Scottish Government to ensure “families get answers” when things do go wrong.

Sarwar said the families involved will have listened to the first minister's answers with "rage".

"How can the people of Scotland trust you to stand up for them when it really matters?" he asked.

Yousaf said the people of Scotland had placed their trust in the SNP "time and time again" in successive elections.

A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "Provisional Paper 5 is a working draft paper which reflects the inquiry’s present understanding of events which have been said by some to indicate concerns, in order to frame the inquiry’s investigations.

"As counsel to the inquiry makes clear, these 'events of concern' have not been analysed or investigated by the inquiry, nor have they been proved to be factually correct. Additionally, the paper does not present a full chronology of events, nor does it detail a full picture of actions by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in respect of the identified 'events of concern'. 

"The draft working paper seeks input as to whether the inquiry’s understanding of these events is correct, and NHSGGC has issued a detailed response, which is available on the inquiry’s website, drawing upon appropriate expert input.

"NHSGGC will continue to support the work of the public inquiry to fully ascertain the facts of events it is investigating."

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