The mother of 10-year-old Milly Main, who died at Glasgow’s flagship hospital, has said the public inquiry which starts on Monday must “uncover the truth” about what happened.
The inquiry will examine issues at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) campus in Glasgow and the mothballed Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh.
Labour MSP for Glasgow Anas Sarwar said families must be at the heart of the investigation.
Kimberly Darroch believes her daughter Milly’s death was due to contaminated water at the hospital but says the family are still “in the dark”.
Milly had leukaemia from the age of five, but was in remission before contracting an infection at the QEUH in 2017.
She died in August that year, with her death certificate listing a stenotrophomonas infection of the Hickman line – a catheter used to administer drugs – as a cause of death.
The family say they were not told about the link to contaminated water problems at the hospital.
Ms Darroch, 36, from Lanark, said: “Nearly three years since Milly died, we feel the heart-breaking loss of our daughter every day and feel we’re still in the dark about her death.
“Having been let down by the health board, we hope the public inquiry will uncover the truth about what happened at the hospital – not just for us but for all the families affected, and to ensure no other family ever has to go through what we went through.”
Mr Sarwar said: “There is a huge amount of pressure on this public inquiry, which must deliver answers for parents, patients and the public.
“The catastrophic failures at the QEUH, and the associated problems with the Sick Kids in Edinburgh, are a national tragedy.
“There has been a complete loss of public trust in the Glasgow health board, which engaged in a disgraceful cover-up with the water contamination problems only coming to light because of the bravery of NHS clinicians.
“Success or failure of this inquiry will depend on getting answers for Milly’s parents and all the families affected.
“The Health Secretary has made a firm commitment that families will be at the heart of the inquiry and that promise must be kept on behalf of grieving parents.”
An independent review by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) into the water supply confirmed contamination of the system in 2018.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said in a statement: “We are truly sorry that we have not been able to provide Milly’s family with satisfactory responses to the questions that remain unanswered for them and recognise the additional distress this has resulted in.
“We welcome the forthcoming public inquiry and are committed to participating fully in that process.”
The statement said the health board recognises “the importance of ensuring that the voice and experience of families remain at the centre of this work”.
It continued: “We are committed to rebuilding trust and demonstrating through our actions the importance we place on continuously learning, improving and collaborating with families – particularly those whose lives have been impacted upon by the areas that will be examined by the public inquiry.”