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Sturgeon and Freeman running out of excuses on hospital deaths scandal

Nicola Sturgeon is running out of excuses after she backed her beleaguered health secretary over the “cover up” of deaths of children at a flagship hospital, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

She was challenged about inconsistencies in Jeane Freeman’s claim that she didn’t know anything about the death of a 3-year-old boy at the Queen Elizabeth hospital campus in Glasgow.

That claim on radio was later contested, after it emerged she’d received correspondence from the boy’s family a year ago.

However, today at First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon stood by Ms Freeman’s conduct throughout the process, and refused to join the criticism of her made by families.

It follows allegations of a cover-up last week over the death of a 10-year-old patient, also being linked to the water supply at the hospital.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said:

“Nicola Sturgeon had the chance to get a grip on this situation and finally bring some accountability to the SNP government.

“Instead, she backed her health secretary who clearly has some very tricky questions to answer over this scandal.

“We know two children have died at what was supposed to be a flagship, world-class hospital, and that is a tragedy.

“But there is an increasing issue of trust, and Nicola Sturgeon only damaged that further.

“Families of young patients feel they have been let down, and don’t trust the very hospitals that are supposed to be treating their youngsters.

“That’s a completely unacceptable situation, and one that needs to be addressed immediately.”

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