MSP fights back tears during debate over Glasgow hospital

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A veteran politician fought back tears as she urged MSPs to sack the leadership of Glasgow's embattled health board.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie was visibly emotional as she accused health bosses and the SNP Government of using NHS staff as a "human shield".

It came as grieving families at the centre of the infection scandal at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital warned more deaths will occur unless action is taken.

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Kimberly Darroch, whose ten-year-old daughter Milly Main died at hospital campus in 2017, and Louise Slorance, whose husband Andrew died last year, both called for urgent action.

No confidence

Labour tabled a motion of no confidence in the leadership of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in Holyrood.

Ms Baillie said the parliamentary debate will have been a "deeply upsetting experience" for families who have lost loved ones, sparking "anger towards those who covered up the truth from them".

She said: "So we owe those families answers and we owe them action."

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Ms Baillie urged MSPs to "tell the health board leadership at Greater Glasgow and Clyde that this Parliament has no confidence in them, and that enough is enough".

Her voice thick with emotion, Ms Baillie said: "Tell them we will not tolerate their bullying, their cover-ups, their disgusting attempts to blame courageous NHS staff and yes, their lies."

She said frontline clinicians and nurses at the hospital were "heroes".

The Dumbarton MSP said: "How dare the health board and the Scottish Government use these hard-working staff as a human shield for their failures."

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Unfounded criticism

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has said it has “always been open” about problems at the flagship hospital.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said: "Each and every single one of us wants the best, most safe patient experience for members of the public. We are all on the same side."

His amendment to the Labour motion noted an independent inquiry was underway into the QEUH building.

The Holyrood debate came as a group of senior clinicians at the hospital complained of “unfounded criticism” of clinical teams and staff.

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In a letter to the First Minister and Mr Yousaf, they expressed their “immense disappointment and frustration about the way in which our hospitals, our colleagues and the treatment of our patients is being portrayed in the press” and in the Scottish Parliament.

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