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Scottish Health Sec called to resign over claims over a cover-up in child's death

SCOTLAND’S Health Secretary Jeane Freeman faced calls to resign today after she admitted knowing that the death of a child cancer patient in 2017 may have been caused by contaminated water.

Ms Freeman learnt of the case in September, but the scandal only emerged this week after a whistleblower contacted Labour MSP Anas Sarwar.

Mr Sarwar said the child’s parents had not been informed that an infection outbreak in the cancer ward at the Royal Hospital for Children (RHC) was possibly linked to bacteria in the water supply.

He called for a full public inquiry following the revelation, which also involves the government’s controversial Queen Elizabeth University “super-hospital” (QEUH) on the same campus as the RHC.

Mr Sarwar’s calls were echoed by Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon MSP, who has written to the government to demand an inquiry.

“An urgent probe must get under way,” she said.

Ms Lennon called for support to be offered to bereaved parents and said: “The public inquiry into the wider scandals at the QEUH, that Scottish Labour successfully campaigned for, must get under way very soon.

“Public confidence in our hospitals is being put to the test and SNP ministers must urgently respond to this latest serious allegation.”

Tory health spokesman Miles Briggs called today for the minister to resign.

The Greater Glasgow health board said a definitive link could not be proven because water testing was not legally required at the time.

Ms Freeman said she had acted on the information when it came to her but did not publicise the case due to patient confidentiality.

The QEUH has suffered what Ms Lennon described as “a laundry list of problems” since its opening in 2015, including a leak of raw sewage and cancelled operations.


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