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Many parents whose children were treated at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital have lost faith in it as a safe place for them to be cared for and want answers over what went wrong, an inquiry has heard.
The Scottish Hospitals Inquiry began hearing evidence on Monday into problems at two flagship Scottish hospitals that contributed to the deaths of two children.
It is investigating the construction of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) campus in Glasgow and the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and Department of Clinical Neurosciences in Edinburgh.
The inquiry was ordered after patients at the Glasgow hospital died from infections linked to pigeon droppings and the water supply, and the opening of the Edinburgh site was delayed due to concerns over the ventilation system.
Steve Love QC is appearing on behalf of 54 parents or family members of patients, represented by Thompsons Solicitors Scotland, who were or are still being treated on the children’s cancer ward and neonatal unit at QEUH.
In his opening statement, he said: “The children of those we represent were admitted to hospital for treatment for serious illnesses such as conditions like leukaemia and other cancers as well as other serious medical issues and they reasonably expected that the best possible medical care and treatment would be provided for their children in a suitably safe and clean hospital environment.
“Your Lordship will be told that what they in fact faced was serious infections, life threatening additional illnesses and a catalogue of other problems as a result of the hospital environment, the hospital water supply and the conduct of some of the medical staff there.”
He said that “significant numbers” suffered infection from 2017 onwards and that parents “could not believe that the hospital environment was as far as they were concerned making their already sick children more ill”.
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