Expert panel to investigate flagship Glasgow hospital as part of public inquiry

An expert group has been set up to carry out further investigations at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) as part of a public inquiry probing problems at the flagship site.

The panel will be led by Dr Sara Mumford, an expert on infectious diseases and patient safety.

It will look at issues related to healthcare acquired infections at the Glasgow hospital.

Kimberly Darroch, whose 10-year-old daughter Milly Main died after contracting infection while being treated on a children’s cancer ward there, has already told the inquiry: “In my eyes, what happened to my daughter is murder.”

Lord Brodie, who is chairing the Scottish Hospitals Inquiry set up to examine issues at both the QEUH and the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh, announced the appointment of the expert panel.

He said the group would also provide an “independent and unbiased assessment” of evidence gathered as part of the inquiry.

Lord Brodie said: “With every stage of the inquiry’s investigations, I am mindful of the life-changing impact patients and families have experienced as a result at the issues found at the QEUH.

“Their testimony led to multiple lines of investigation which we continue to pursue.

“Therefore, I have instructed a panel of experts, who will give an independent and unbiased assessment of the evidence gathered to assist with our investigations.”

Dr Mumford, who will convene the panel, is currently the director of infection prevention and consultant microbiologist at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in Kent, England.

The panel’s two other members are: Linda Dempster, an infection prevention practitioner for over 20 years; and Dr Jimmy Walker, a microbiologist with over 30 years’ experience in water microbiology and decontamination – although other members could be appointed to the group at any time.

The independent inquiry was set up to investigate the construction of the two hospitals, and will make recommendations to ensure any mistakes made are not repeated in future NHS infrastructure projects.

The announcement of the expert panel comes ahead of the inquiry’s next round of hearings, which are scheduled for April 2023 concerning the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and Department of Clinical Neurosciences (RHCYP/DCN) in Edinburgh.

The next set of Glasgow hearings, scheduled for June, will focus on the testimony of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde nursing and clinical staff.

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