Bereaved women whose loved ones died after being infected at a Glasgow hospital have described pictures of mould on wards as “beyond belief”.
Photos of mould within the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, where dozens of patients are believed to have been infected by a water-borne fungus, were released by Scottish Labour.
The pictures were taken between early 2017 and December 2019 and show signs of extensive mould, one of which involves a haematology ward.
Kimberley Darroch, whose 10-year-old daughter, Milly Main, died after contracting an infection at the QEUH’s Royal Hospital for Children, and Louise Slorance, whose husband, Andrew, died with an infection caused by a fungus called aspergillus, both called for urgent action.
I was absolutely disgusted by the photographs that I saw this morning
Reacting to the publication of the photos, Ms Darroch said: “I was absolutely disgusted by the photographs that I saw this morning.
“How long that’s been going on for I don’t know. But something needs to be done.
“Either the hospital is closed or the wards moved until the areas are sorted.
“It’s beyond belief that a hospital that has just been built is in such a state.”
Speaking at a press conference alongside Ms Darroch and Mr Sarwar, Ms Slorance added: “I saw the article when it was published with the photos and it’s on a haematology ward. They are protective environments because of the risks of infection.
“That is not safe for the patients that they are looking after.
“We need to protect the patients that are there today and the patients that will be there tomorrow.
(from left) Louise Slorance, Kimberly Darroch and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar (Jane Barlow/PA)
“The insides of the hospital need to be ripped out to make sure there’s no mould in that building or any other.”
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), which is facing calls from Labour to sack its senior management team over the infection scandal, said it had “always been open” about problems at the flagship hospital.
The health board added it is suing the hospital builders because of the “technical issues” with the site that opened in 2015.
In a statement responding to the publication of the mould photos, NHSGGC said: “We have a detailed programme of ongoing planned and proactive maintenance in place to ensure ongoing patient safety.
“Across our entire hospital estate, if there is water ingress, our highly skilled staff work to remedy faults as soon as they are found.
“We take active steps when leaks are identified to look for mould growth around affected areas.
“If there is any evidence of mould, we would immediately take steps to remove it with full infection prevention and control oversight.
“The academic paper published early this year acknowledges that this happens in hospitals every day and makes clear that no patient harm was caused in the scenarios described.”