In 2017, 10 year old Milly Main died after contracting an infection at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was in remission from leukaemia and had her entire life ahead of her – but it was tragically cut short.
Last week, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was named as a suspect in a corporate homicide investigation into the deaths of four patients, including Milly.
The significance of this investigation cannot be overstated – this is the first time in history that a Scottish public body has been a formal suspect in a corporate homicide case.
This takes us one step closer to getting justice for Milly Main and everyone else who lost their lives in this scandal – but it shouldn’t have been this difficult.
For six years now Milly Main’s mum Kimberly has had to fight for the truth.
Kimberly was kept in the dark about the true cause of her daughter’s death until NHS whistleblowers uncovered the truth. At every step of the way the very institutions that should have been helping her were working against her. The leadership of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde orchestrated a cover-up and the SNP government enabled them.
After all this time, no-one has been held accountable. No-one has lost their job. No-one has faced any consequences.
It is astounding. Catastrophic mistakes were made, lives were lost and a cover-up was conducted – but not one person has been held responsible for any of it.
Even now, during a corporate homicide investigation into NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the Chief Executive in charge when Milly died is still in post and the outgoing Chair of the Board remains the Scottish Government’s adviser on “good governance”.
Time and time again I have called on the First Minister to remove the Health Board’s leadership, but he has refused. In fact, it was Humza Yousaf as Health Secretary who took the Board out of special measures.
He has supported the Board’s leadership at every opportunity, allowing the suspects in this case to remain in position without proper accountability or consequences.
Meanwhile, grieving families like Milly Main’s are forced to relive the most painful moments of their lives over and over again in search of answers.
Brave NHS staff are forced to blow the whistle on grave mistakes and shameful cover-ups while working under impossible conditions.
I hope the police investigation can uncover the truth of this scandal, but justice shouldn’t be such an uphill battle.
This scandal has shown that for too many people, institutions work against them instead of for them in their hour of need.
What happened in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is the greatest scandal in the history of devolution and the truth must come to light – but more than that, we need to deliver lasting change so this cannot happen again.
This must be a watershed moment in our politics. We need to tip balance of power back towards individuals, so no other family will be forced to endure what Milly Main’s family went through.
Scottish Labour will vote for a ceasefire in Gaza
I - like millions of others - am heartbroken by the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. There is never any justification for the loss of innocent life. Every life must be treated as equal.
The Labour party is united in our commitment to seeing a cessation of violence in Palestine and Israel.
What we need to see now is an end to rocket fire into and out of Gaza – let me be clear that means a ceasefire right now – and we need to see the immediate release of hostages, the immediate and free flow of humanitarian supplies including water, food, electricity and medicine, and a pathway to a peace process based on a two-state solution.
This week, the Scottish Parliament will debate the ongoing crisis in Israel and Palestine.
I - and the Scottish Labour Party - will vote in favour of a ceasefire.
But, in order for any ceasefire to happen, and for it to work, it requires both sides to be willing to comply. Sadly, Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear he will not support a ceasefire and Hamas too have said they intend to continue rocket fire.
This deadlock needs to be broken. We have to use every form of diplomacy with international partners to try and create the conditions on the ground to make it a reality.
The light of peace may feel distant now, but it is our duty to keep the flame of hope for peace alive. I continue to believe that peace is possible; let’s all do what we can to make it happen.
To sign up to the Daily Record Politics newsletter, click here.