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Jeane Freeman under pressure over hospital scandals

SNP Health Secretary Jeane Freeman remains under pressure over scandals at hospitals across Scotland as opposition MSPs call for action.

Ms Freeman faced questions from Holyrood’s health committee today on a range of issues, including the 2017 deaths of two children at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) that may have been linked to contaminated water.

She said a public inquiry into safety and wellbeing issues at QUEH and Edinburgh’s delayed and over-budget children’s hospital will include the issue of potential water contamination.

Her remarks follow an apology issued to the children’s families from NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde on Monday.

Scottish Labour’s health spokeswoman Monica Lennon said it was right that the inquiry would investigate water contamination, but “too many parents and families feel let down and continue to fight the health board and the Scottish government for the truth.

“We must not lose sight of the fact that the issues at the QEUH campus and the Royal Hospital for Children & Young People in Edinburgh are continuing to disrupt patient care, especially for children with cancer.”

The Health Secretary’s statement on QUEH comes amid reports that the beleaguered hospital plans to open a pop-up A&E building in a parking area to cope with demand.

Ms Freeman was also criticised after a freedom of information request by the Scottish Tories revealed that a decision to delay the full reopening of the children’s ward at St John’s Hospital in Livingston had been taken a month before Parliament was informed last week.

Labour’s Neil Findlay MSP called ongoing delays “a saga” and said “SNP incompetence and arrogance” were to blame.

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