Widow of Scot who died from QEUH fungus infection slams award for NHS chief executive

The widow of a Scot who died after being infected by a fungus at a Glasgow hospital says an award handed by the health board to its chief executive is a “kick in the guts”.

Jane Grant and the health board’s senior leadership team have been given an “excellence in leadership award” by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, sparking outrage among critics of its management.

Louise Slorance, whose husband Andrew died in 2020, has accused the health board of covering up the fact he had been infected by a potentially deadly fungus caused by a type of mold while in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) for treatment for cancer and coronavirus.

The health board claims it has been honest and transparent with the Slorance family, despite Ms Slorance saying she only found out her husband had been infected by a fungus called aspergillus when she received the 49-year-old’s medical records after his death.

Andrew Slorance was the head of the Scottish Government's response and communication unit
Andrew Slorance was the head of the Scottish Government’s response and communication unit

According to the health board, the award “recognized the exceptional demands made on leaders across the organization who have had to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, support their teams, make fleet of foot changes to how the organization operates and embed new technology, while continuing to manage the day-to-day business of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde”.

Ms Slorance said: “The factors to support excellent leadership of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are actually a reflection of the highly skilled and dedicated healthcare workforce in Glasgow, who strive every day to provide the best possible care for their patients in impossible circumstances.

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“The body of evidence supporting the worst of leadership by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is substantial.

“This is a kick in the guts for all the families, patients and staff affected by the issues at the QEUH.”

Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar, who previously said the scandal of water-borne infections linked to deaths at the hospital was a “human tragedy on an unimaginable scale”, also condemned the award.

I tweeted: “Do they have no shame?

“Children have died. Families heartbroken. Staff failed. A public inquiry. Criminal investigations.

“Instead of being sacked, the chair presents his own chief executive with an award. It’s leadership of brave families & staff that should be awarded.”

Addressing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, he added: “You cannot underestimate how much hurt this will cause to already heartbroken families and staff struggling to fight the system to get justice.

“@HumzaYousaf & @NicolaSturgeon – your failure to act has embedded this culture.

“This is on you. Shame.”

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde chairman Professor John Brown said: “We were delighted to recognize the tremendous contribution of many of our staff at last night’s awards, including the senior management team, our corporate directors and those who manage our hospitals and health and social care partnerships.

“This award was to recognize their exceptional leadership and the organisation’s very effective response to the challenges we faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We believe it is right to commend people for their contribution, irrespective of where they work, and I want to personally thank everyone at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for everything they gave to providing health and social care to the people of Greater Glasgow and Clyde during the pandemic.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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