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‘Hospital murdered my child’, mum tells inquiry – STV news

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A mother whose daughter died at a children’s cancer ward after contracting an infection has described her child’s death as “murder”.

Kimberly Darroch told the Scottish Hospitals Inquiry she wants the children and adult hospitals at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) campus in Glasgow to close.

She believes NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board should be punished after she claims staff covered up the true cause of her daughter’s death, which she found out about two years later in the media.

The inquiry began hearing evidence on Monday into problems at two flagship hospitals that contributed to the deaths of two children.

It is investigating the construction of the QEUH campus in Glasgow and the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and Department of Clinical Neurosciences in Edinburgh.

In a statement read out at the inquiry on Wednesday, Ms Darroch said she was never given details of an infection that her daughter contracted when she died, which she later discovered contributed towards her death.

Ms Darroch also claimed hospital reports about her meeting with doctors to discuss the infection were false.

Her statement said: “My view is that the hospital should be closed. I don’t think it’s safe.

“I feel like the health board need to be punished for all of this. In my eyes, what happened to my daughter is murder.

“She should still be here and I am trying to come to terms with that, after coming to terms with losing her initially.

“I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to. I would never go back to the hospital, never.”

Ms Darroch’s daughter, ten-year-old Milly Main, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2012.

Glasgow, Europe’s drug hell – NZZ (Switzerland)

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Nowhere in Europe do more people die from drug abuse than in Scotland. This sad record is the result of social problems, political failure – and a deadly mix of heroin, cocaine and street Valium.

If only a little had turned out differently, Jason Wallace wouldn’t have been sitting here today. For 20 years, he lived alternately in prison and on the street. In between, he sometimes found shelter with drug-addicted girlfriends, until the police arrested him again. To finance his addiction, he committed violent robberies, stole firearms and sold heroin. In dirty Glasgow back alleys, he injected the drug into his veins with used needles, ultimately infecting himself with hepatitis. Several times he narrowly avoided overdosing.

Twelve years ago, the 46-year-old finally managed to quit, thanks to a self-help group, and has been clean ever since. He doesn’t even touch alcohol anymore.

Meeting in a Glasgow café, Wallace speaks in a careful but firm voice. His body has regained strength, but the past has left its mark on his gaunt face. He works at the Scottish Drugs Forum, a non-governmental organization, and is thus still in close contact with drug addicts today. «In Glasgow’s underprivileged neighborhoods, probably nearly four in 10 residents have an acute drug problem, even if you take alcohol out of the equation,» he says.

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Military personnel will deploy to support Scottish Ambulance Service – STV news

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Hundreds of military personnel will be deployed to support the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The UK Government approved the support through the Military Assistance to the Civil Authority (MACA) process.

It comes after a request from the Scotland Office, working with the Scottish Government, to tackle long response times, with the ambulance service under severe pressure due to the pandemic.

Last week at Holyrood, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that consideration was being given to asking for targeted military assistance to help with “short-term pressure points”.

It has now been confirmed that from Saturday, the Ministry of Defence will provide 114 people to augment ambulance drivers.

This will include drivers and support staff, who will provide resilience to the Scottish Ambulance Service by carrying out non-emergency driving work, with each being paired with a clinical professional.

A further 111 personnel will operate Mobile Testing Units, which the military previously supported in 2020.

They will be utilised to help identify infections and break chains of transmission, with their work beginning on Wednesday, September 29.

Brigadier Ben Wrench, commander of Joint Military Command Scotland said: “The Armed Forces in Scotland continue to support the Scottish Government’s response to the pandemic.

“We are working closely with the Scottish Government and Scottish Ambulance Service, following their requests for assistance with drivers and Mobile Testing Units.”

UK defence secretary Ben Wallace praised the lifesaving service being provided by members of the Armed forces.

“Our Armed Forces are once again stepping up, demonstrating their versatility as we support the Covid-19 response across the UK,” he said.

Parents have ‘lost faith in hospital as safe place for children’ – STV news

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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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The Fall Guy: Humza Yousaf takes a tumble as Scottish Government’s failings on health exposed again – StephenDaisly.com

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Someone — not, as is often claimed, Churchill — said the best argument against democracy was five minutes with the average voter.

Except, that is, in Scotland, where two minutes with the average Cabinet minister will produce much the same effect. Humza Yousaf didn’t utter a peep at First Minister’s Questions but his ears must’ve been burning because the whole 45 minutes was a raised-voices, furrowed-brows, heavy-sighing run-through of his report card after five months as health secretary. It was less a parliamentary Q&A than an incredibly awkward parents’ night broadcast live on BBC Scotland. Mammy Nicola took her wee angel’s side, of course, but she did so with a look that said: ‘Just wait till I get you home.’

Things were already going badly for Yousaf. Reliant on a knee-walker thanks to a recent badminton injury — you couldn’t get more Broughty Ferry if you tried — the health secretary who earlier this week warned Scots to ‘think twice’ before phoning for an ambulance tried racing his scooter up a notoriously slippery corridor outside the debating chamber only to dokey over and land in a manner reminiscent of Stan Laurel. The health secretary has a knack for slapstick comedy: he’s three stooges for the price of one.

Having already beclowned himself, Yousaf volunteered his face for another cream pie by whipping out his phone and griping to Twitter about the BBC’s political editor Glenn Campbell posting a video of his tumble. That he got so salty only guaranteed that the clip was shared farther and wider on social media. The nine-second scene is this generation’s Zapruder film. Years from now, people will ask, ‘Do you remember where you were the day Humza Yousaf made a complete prat of himself?’ and other people will reply, ‘Sorry, could you narrow it down a bit?’

Ambulance crisis caused by more than pandemic, senior surgeon warns – STV news

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A majority of the issues in Scotland’s hospitals and the knock-on effect to the ambulance service are not due to Covid, a top surgeon has said.

Professor Michael Griffin, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, warned Scotland has “a real workforce problem in the NHS and in social care” that needs to be addressed and it is causing a “vicious circle” impacting all parts of the health service.

He told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme that increasing numbers of Covid cases and infected patients in hospitals are adding to the “very, very complex problem” facing the health service – including under pressure paramedics.

It comes after the Scottish Government officially requested help from the army to support the ambulance service amid deteriorating response times.

“It’s not just due to Covid,” Prof Griffin said, adding that the pandemic is responsible for “probably 30-40% of the issues that we’re seeing”.

He said: “With the reduction in elective surgery in many of the health boards across Scotland, it’s not just Covid.

“It has a significant contribution, but there are other multiple factors involved and it’s quite a complex situation.

“We have staff absences from illness, recruitment and isolation, such that we’re not able to staff certain areas.

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More than 4400 Covid vaccine doses ‘wasted in one week in Scotland’ – STV news

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More than 4400 doses of coronavirus vaccine were wasted in Scotland in one week, figures have revealed.

Statistics published by the Scottish Government under freedom of information requests showed that in the week ending August 1, a total of 4,448 doses of vaccine were not administered.

Between February and July the number totalled 34,026.

The Scottish Government said there are “several reasons a vaccine may not be administered before being discarded, and therefore ‘wasted’”, including issues with storage, expired doses and “specific clinical situations where there may be some dose loss”.

The figures covered all three of the coronavirus vaccines being given in Scotland – Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna – with the total wasted amounting to 0.51% of the 6,643,551 jabs given.

However the statistics do not include wastage of vaccines in GPs practices, as “GPs do not record this information”.

The figures were released as the Scottish Government continues to urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

From Monday this will include healthy youngsters aged between 12 and 15, after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the vaccine programme was being expanded following advice from the UK’s chief medical officers.

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Warning as nurse and midwife vacancy rate breaks record in Scotland – Nursing Times

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Nursing and midwifery vacancies have been at a record high in Scotland since March, with over 4,800 posts unfilled, unions have warned in response to latest workforce figures.

Latest NHS Scotland workforce statistics, published this week, show that 4,845 whole-time equivalent (WTE) nursing and midwifery posts were vacant at the end of June, representing 7.1% of the total.

They also reveal that in the previous quarter, ending in March, 4,494, or 6.6%, of WTE nursing and midwifery posts were unfilled.

The latter figure has only just been published as not all health boards were able to submit data. The Royal College of Nursing highlighted that the previous record had been 4,013, or 6.3%, in June 2019.

The RCN noted that there were “particular challenges” in a number of health boards and in some nursing areas, such as community and mental health.

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Pensioner dies waiting 40 hours for ambulance after collapsing in Glasgow flat – The Scotsman

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According to a report in the Herald Gerard Brown, 65, was found by family on the floor of his flat in Dumbreck, Glasgow last Monday with injuries to his back and arms from a fall.

Paramedics eventually arrived around 3am on Wednesday, after which time Mr Brown had passed away.

Mr Brown’s son Dylan, told the Herald: “They pronounced that he was only just dead because he still had warmth in his body.

“In this day and age, it should not be happening. I know with Covid people are busy and the NHS is struggling, but that’s unacceptable and we just don’t want it happening to another family.”

Dylan added that his father’s GP had told him “I can assure you that if they’d got to him your Dad would still be here”.

Mr Brown was reportedly a cancer survivor, weighing just six stone, who had a history of alcohol-related health problems.

The GP, Dr O’Neill, was reported as first being made aware of Mr Brown’s situation by his ex-wife on Monday morning, after she called let the practice know the family were waiting for an ambulance.

Dr O’Neill told the Herald: “At 9am on Tuesday we get a phonecall from his ex-wife to say ‘listen, he’s still in the house’. I was like ‘you are kidding me?’.

“I got on the phone to the ambulance service at 9.15am and I said ‘this man is going to be found dead’ – and I used that language, because I knew the situation he was in.

The GP was called by police on Wednesday to inform him of Mr Brown’s death. But he said that the long wait was not an isolated incident.

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Doctors are exhausted, says BMA Scotland chief – BBC news

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Scotland’s doctors are “exhausted” and many are cutting working hours or leaving the health service altogether, according to a senior doctors’ leader.

BMA Scotland chairman Dr Lewis Morrison told BBC Scotland that doctors were “washed out physically and mentally” after 18 months of the Covid pandemic.

He said action was needed to stop doctors leaving the profession and to boost recruitment of new medics.

The Scottish government said it was working to manage the pressures.

Speaking ahead of the BMA’s annual representative meeting, Dr Morrison said the “workforce crisis” had its roots in the number of senior doctor vacancies before the pandemic.

But he said that the NHS “being run at 110% capacity” during Covid had deepened the crisis.

The pressures across the NHS had been “immense” in the past few weeks, he said.

Dr Morrison said doctors traditionally had low levels of sickness but it was starting to rise.

“I think the cumulative effect of the pandemic is now starting to show,” he said.

“The main other thing is to look after people, to give people the space to have rest and recuperation as best they can, to not pressurise people to do more and more.

“The message needs to go to the public to still be patient with the NHS because it cannot meet the needs of everybody right now.”

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