• STV
  • MySTV

Crown to probe deaths after pigeon droppings infection

Prosecutors are investigating the deaths of two patients at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Probe: Crown to investigate deaths at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
Probe: Crown to investigate deaths at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. HEMEDIA/SWNS

Prosecutors are now investigating the deaths of two patients at Scotland's flagship hospital who contracted an infection connected to pigeon droppings.

The Crown Office confirmed it is looking into the death of a 73-year-old woman at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow earlier this month.

The development comes days after prosecutors revealed they were investigating the death in December of a ten-year-old boy who had also contracted the Cryptococcus infection.

Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman has previously confirmed the Cryptococcus infection was a contributory factor in the boy's death.

The second death at the £842m hospital, which opened in 2015, was initially said not to be connected to the infection.

However, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service confirmed on Tuesday it is now probing both deaths. 

A Crown Office spokesman said: "The Procurator Fiscal has received reports in connection with the deaths of a ten-year-old boy and a 73-year-old woman at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in December 2018 and January 2019 respectively.

"The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the deaths, under the direction of the Crown's health and safety division, is ongoing and the family will be kept updated in relation to any significant developments."

The infection is believed to be from pigeon droppings found in a plant room on the hospital's roof. Investigations are continuing to establish how the bacteria entered a closed ventilation system.

'It's bad enough that two people have lost their lives in such unacceptable circumstances. But in the weeks since, the SNP government has been complacent and badly lacked transparency.'
Conservative health spokesman Miles Briggs

Ms Freeman recently ordered a review of the design, build, handover and maintenance at the hospital and how they contribute to "effective infection control".

Meanwhile, Holyrood's Health Committee has also been urged to investigate claims that infections are spreading as though in "Victorian times" at the hospital.

Conservative health spokesman Miles Briggs wants MSPs on the committee to look into the issue after Ms Freeman confirmed on Sunday that another patient at the hospital was seriously ill after contracting a separate fungal infection called Mucor.

Mr Briggs said it was "imperative" that MSPs on the Health Committee "investigate this scandal as a matter of urgency".

He added: "It's bad enough that two people have lost their lives in such unacceptable circumstances.

"But in the weeks since, the SNP government has been complacent and badly lacked transparency.

"The families involved will have questions that deserved to be answered, but so too will the patients, visitors and staff who use the hospital on a daily basis."

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1434939-investigation-into-death-of-ten-year-old-boy-in-hospital/ | default

Mr Briggs added: "The new Queen Elizabeth was supposed to be a flagship hospital offering the very best care in a safe, clean environment.

"Instead, infections have been allowed to spread in a way you would associate with the Victorian times."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "As the health secretary set out to Parliament last week, an independent expert review will look at the hospital's design, commissioning, construction, handover and maintenance, including how these matters support effective infection prevention and any other areas considered necessary by those carrying out the review.

"The health secretary has also asked the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate to fully inspect and review this incident and to make any further recommendations they consider appropriate.

"Any committee activity is, of course, a matter for the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee to determine.

"The Scottish Government and the NHS will always engage positively with the Health Committee on any matters they consider."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.