Pigeon-dropping deaths raise wider questions about SNP’s NHS record

The deaths at a Glasgow hospital from infections linked to pigeon droppings raise wider questions about the SNP’s stewardship of the NHS, the Scottish Conservatives have said.


Interim leader Jackson Carlaw told Nicola Sturgeon that public confidence in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital was shaken following the scandal.


At First Minister’s Questions yesterday, he said the incident was the latest in a catalogue of problems at the £840 million flagship facility, which only opened in 2015.


Two people, one of whom was a child, died after contracting an infection which came from pigeon droppings in the hospital, sparking an official Scottish Government review.


Yesterday, the Scottish Conservatives revealed the number of workers within maintenance and estate at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has been cut in recent years.


Now the party says the scandal points to wider problems within the SNP-run health service across the board.


The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is part of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which is the health board covering Mr Carlaw’s Eastwood constituency.


Scottish Conservative interim leader Jackson Carlaw said:


“The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital serves constituents living in my Eastwood constituency and the recent tragic events are clearly a matter of serious concern.


“Constituents have been in touch with my office regarding the troubling events at the Queen Elizabeth over the previous number of months including the closure of the cancer wards in the children’s hospital because of contaminated water and I have raised concerns directly with the health board.


“Anyone using the Queen Elizabeth deserves to do so safely and securely.


“However, that confidence will have been shaken in light of recent developments.


“The alarming story of two fatalities attributed to an infection from pigeon droppings has also raised wider questions about the SNP government’s record on the NHS.


“There is now a £900 million maintenance backlog in the NHS estate, which perhaps explains why we are seeing worrying incidents such as the one at the Queen Elizabeth.


“And what’s more, the SNP government hasn’t even planned a way to deal with this.


“Nicola Sturgeon needs to set out a sustainable long-term plan for the future of the NHS in Scotland.”