Scottish Labour leader reprises his creepy role with anonymous sources

For years now Anas Sarwar has been a regular presence in Scotland’s MSM shouting about the deaths of children in Scottish hospitals.

Today we hear:

The deaths of two more children were linked to infections at a troubled Glasgow hospital, the Scottish Labour leader has claimed. Anas Sarwar said he had been told about the deaths by clinicians who were afraid to speak out publicly.

Death certificates list the cause of death plus often several contributory factors such as the bacterial infections all around us, sometimes picked up in wards but more likely taken there by patients. None have been recorded as dying due to these infections.

Readers will remember Sarwar’s recent attempts to undermine the reputation of NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government with ridiculous, evidence-free and fully-rebutted claims of care home deaths due to hospital discharges and rat infestation somehow unique to his home city during COP26, but for far longer he and his colleagues have been cynically grooming the traumatised parents of children who have died in hospital:

Glasgow health board 'not fit for purpose' after claim it tried to 'cover  up' death of 10-year-old - Daily Record

Four years after her tragic death from leukaemia ‘after contacting stenotrophomonas – an infection found in water, Sarwar will be heard shouting her name to anyone who will listen in press interviews or leader debates or in Holyrood. His empathy is not convincing.

In May this year, I looked at his performance more fully. Here it is again:

In March 2021, the Herald inadvertently illustrated the creepy uncle feel to the Labour campaign:

Glasgow health board 'not fit for purpose' after claim it tried to 'cover  up' death of 10-year-old - Daily Record

He was desperate, after the latest Opinium poll placed him 5th and last, as the best candidate for First Minister, after ‘None of these’, ‘don’t know‘ and Douglas Ross. That last one’s a slap.

I’m not [quite] suggesting that Scottish Labour have been grooming this family in the way that the Scottish Conservatives seem to have been grooming the Ayrshire family whose daughter was murdered and who are calling for the culprit to be banned from the area after release, or the Lib Dems when one of them ‘saved my daughter’s life’ then rushed to the media to tell them, but sources have told me they are.

Sarwar has returned to ‘support’ this family as they leak a report which might be referring to their child:

Leaving aside the ethics of reporting a release, this is certainly, shoddy and not probably shoddy journalism. Here’s the key part:

A case note review, which is due to be published on Monday, looked into the cases of 84 children who developed infections while undergoing treatment at the hospital and found that a third of infections “probably” originated in the hospital and the rest were possibly acquired there. Families of patients referred to in the review were given sight of an embargoed copy of the report ahead of its publication. The report does not name the child who died but Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said he had spoken to Kimberley Darroch who believes the patient referenced is her daughter, Milly Main.

If you were teaching journalism students, this would be a great example, for a 1st Year class on ethics. Would they believe it had actually been published?

If you were teaching politics students, this would be a great example for a 1st Year class on ethics. Would they believe that a party leader could sink so low?

In February 2020, the story was already old but quickly heated up:

A screenshot of a cell phone

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Let’s start with a fact:

‘We have fully tested the water supply and ward surfaces in Ward 6A and also reviewed individual infections and found no links between individual infections and no source of infections in the ward.’

Jane Grant, Chief Executive, NHSGGC, 1 December 2019

BBC Reporting Scotland have returned to this tragic case to further milk it morbidly after spending ten days on it in December. Accompanied with heart-breaking exploitative footage, once more, we hear:

‘Health Board bosses in Glasgow have referred the death of 10 year-old Milly Main to prosecutors. The move came after her family wrote to the Lord Advocate to call for a fatal accident inquiry following revelations about infections linked to the water supply at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.’

To be clear, only those unqualified to do so, the parents, Anas Sarwar and some journalists, have ‘linked’ any infections to any water supply. The link is journalistic, not scientific and, more worryingly for patient and staff morale, it’s wrong. There is no meaningful link. The referral to the prosecutors is because there is no scientific link and, so, still being accused by the unqualified, it has no choice but to pass it on.

The fuller website report uses the word ‘link’ eight times, only once to recognise the Health Board’s rebuttal. Seven times the inaccurate suggestion of a link is repeated.

Sickeningly and astonishingly brass-necked, Anas Sarwar, accuses the Health Board of cynicism. You have to laugh if you manage to keep your stomach down.

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11 thoughts on “Scottish Labour leader reprises his creepy role with anonymous sources

  1. On the BBC post FMQ’s reporter and two newspaper ones were suggesting Sarwar had made a significant impact and their interpretation was that FM should be sacking Health Board and The investigators too! I ask you.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. “Hospital borne infection”. A phrase I seem to have heard all my life.
    Hospitals are the places where sick people are-people with infections.
    The difficult thing, something we have fought for centuries, is how to prevent these infections, infecting others.
    No surprise to sensible people, that sometimes we fail, and people, already weak with an illness, suffer an infection as well.

    Sadly, in Scotland a “sick” politician has found, in BBC Hootsmon, a blood-curdling soulmate, and we can see nightly just how much “fun” can be had chasing hearses.
    How low can they go? I think we are about to find out!

    Liked by 6 people

  3. From the minute the QEUH was due to open the Scottish MSM and opposition politicians have had it in for the hospital. Just days before it opened the Herald’s then Health Correspondent referred to it as the ‘Death Star’ and claimed that people locally referred to the hospital as the ‘Death Star’. Since she left the Herald I have not heard it referred to in that way but it is still a target for the MSM and opposition politicians.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Indeed!! Some examples of the tone of the early coverage from BBC Scotland:

      1) by Eleanor Bradford, BBC Scotland Health Correspondent (27 April 2015): ‘South Glasgow University Hospital welcomes first patients’

      ‘It has been nicknamed the “Death Star” by locals because of its imposing 14-storey star-shaped design, …’

      And in the same article, keen it seems to dampen any sense of satisfaction: ‘The new hospital has not been without its problems. Staff say there are not enough car parking spaces and there have been claims that there are not enough beds, despite its huge size.

      The Board’s response? “We’re opening more beds on this site than we’re closing on the other sites,” and “We’ll have 3,500 car parking spaces and 60 buses arriving per hour at peak times.”

      2) In another piece online by Eleanor Bradford, BBC (27 April 2015): ‘South Glasgow University Hospital cost £842m to build, but the medical equipment inside has brought the final total closer to £1bn.’ The ‘but’ is working hard to achieve ‘something’ here!

      3) From the BBC News online (26 May 2015): ‘Claims of ‘chaos’ at new South Glasgow University Hospital’

      ‘One woman told the BBC that the South Glasgow University Hospital was like “a war zone” over the bank holiday weekend ….’

      Yes, to confirm that’s from one complainant during what was probably the largest ever patient transfer operation, from multiple ‘old’ hospitals to the new South Glasgow facility, in history anywhere in the UK, perhaps anywhere in Europe.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Aye, the old Death Star routine! Again its trying to imply or promote something that might catch on. It failed, as no one ever called it the Death Star and it became embarrassing for the even BBC to keep mentioning it.

        As for Mr, Sarwar. Well he needs a totem and it seems that he has latched onto unfortunate deaths as his mission to attack the QEUH, its staff and by implication the Health Board and beyond.

        Well Mr. Sarwar I lost a daughter, where the hospital and its staff did everything it could to save her and I thanked them through my tears for all that they had tried to do for her. I have nothing but praise for them.

        I my opinion Mr. Sarwar you are a chancer, a “man of the people” next to a bin for a daft photo shoot. I hope you feel good when you do the next stunt with BBC Scotland and the Herald etc. While the rest of us hope we will never see your likes in power in Scotland.

        Liked by 6 people

      2. Indeed Stewartb. They also omit to mention it was finished on budget and 6 weeks early. The latter caught Glasgow Council (Labour) on the hop because they were supposed to be organising the bus services to the hospital and did not have them in place in time for the hospital opening. That created another stooshie against the hospital – in the wrong place etc. – but no mention of who fell down on that job.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t get why the clinicians are ‘afraid to speak out publicly’. Just that alone has so many connotations, and obviously it’s meant to.
    Sarwar and his writers must spend ages trying to come up with soundbites to find fault and criticise the SNP. A wee bit of history might be required to remind him about the legacy of his party after their ten year tenure in government in Scotland.
    The thing is, and it’s the most abhorrent part, Sarwar and the other English HQ’d parties at Holyrood, are not bothered about people suffering or dying in Scotland, whatever the cause, and they use tragic cases to their own political ends, not because they care. I find it incredibly distasteful quite frankly, their faux concern for anyone but themselves and their own pockets. Be honest, unionists, stop pretending to care about the people of Scotland, you are wasting our time and you are wasting Scotland’s money by taking a generous renumeration, from the public purse.
    There is much be concerned about, the UK is a total scary mess, the world is at a dangerous tipping point, people are drowning trying to get to safety, and Covid is not going away, yet these people go searching for stories to bash the democratically elected government of Scotland with, who are having to deploy political and economic gymnastics, in order to try keep Scotland afloat against huge odds, on so many levels.

    It takes a special kind of mentality to go looking for tragic cases, for political gain, and it’s an utter disgrace. Sarwar and the rest of them working against Scotland, need to take a long hard look in the mirror. They might not like what they see.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Let’s call Sarwar’s and Pacific Quay’s behaviour for what it is, abusing the memory of dead kids and adults for political gain.
    I skimmed this latest outing of “troubled QEUH”, promoted in prime position on both Scotland and the Politics web-pages, and learned precisely nothing.

    As stewarb outlined above, the QEUH has been the focus of BBC Scotland’s ire since first being put into service 6 years ago, but recent attempts to denigrate the hospital have gone beyond the pale in abusing the dead.

    I’m convinced the roots of Sarwar and the BBC’s determination to undermine this flagship hospital lies in Labour’s demise as the dominant force in Scotland’s politics, QEUH for some reason has become totemic.
    I mean what kind of person trawls through thousands of post-mortems for the Millie Main or Andrew Slorance nuggets to exploit against a backdrop of hundreds of thousands of patients successfully treated and discharged ?

    I only visited QEUH once to see my dad following a heart operation, a man who had fought for years for hospitals to up their efforts in preventing hospital acquired infections. His praise for QEUH was unqualified.

    You cannot eradicate the risk of cross-infection in a hospital, all you can do is suppress it to exceedingly low levels.
    NHS Scotland should getting praised for that in the media, instead we get incontinent pigeons, the FM must resign, and a pointy fingered nobody chasing ambulances.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A matter of concern for the whole planet and not just the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

    “Covid ‘perfect storm’ as more patients hit by fungal infections

    Weakened lungs and immune systems make people increasingly vulnerable, warn scientists”


    “The drug-resistant fungus, Candida auris, was only discovered 10 years ago, but is now one of the world’s most feared hospital microbes.”


  7. The problem with this is that even given all your above (which I agree with) Sarwar “owns” this.
    I dont know the number of children who can be treated as in-patients at QEUH children’s hospital, but the cases he has identified so far must be a vanishingly small proportion of them. But what he trades on is that “one case is one too many”.
    Against that standard – and it would be a brave politician to say that the death of one child (or even one adult) was just “one of those things” – Sarwar has the SG on the ropes. You don’t need much expertise in body language to see that from Sturgeon’s posture at FMQs, as well as her highly formalistic response, which itself is hard to disagree with – let’s investigate and find out what went wrong. BUT in a competition between bureaucrats and their no doubt lengthy report on one hand, and grieving parents with a photo of their dead child, who do you think is more newsworthy.
    QEUH is well on its way as being portrayed as the “hospital from hell”, and the problem is that there is something to be said for this. Frankly the place is just too big and the whole idea should have been tramped on by the Health Secy at the time the decision was taken. That Secy was, of course Nicola Sturgeon.
    I have no doubt she was facing the dominant coalition in Health Management of bean pushers and consultants. Consultants, given the increasing specialisation in medicine want to see patients of their specialism, and one way to assure them of this is to bring as many patients as possible to the same place – like QEUH. On the other hand, it is also possible, in many cases, for patients to be seen initially at local day hospitals, before going off to a surgical hospital for whatever is necessary. That would reduce the necessary capacity of a place like QEUH (many fewer day patients), but of course the consultants dont like this because it means them travelling about from one place to another. Bean pushers (aka accountants) prefer big hospitals because they get scale economies – lower cost per patient, more bed occupancy – and given that latter one in particular, this is where cross infection becomes a problem (though I am sure they change the sheets!). This infection may well be brought in from the community, BUT once it’s in the hospital it has to be managed and the scope for problems is much greater in a large hospital. It’s just too big (and bear in mind that my suspicion is that it numbers the days of the RAH, at least in terms of what it does now – more throughput).
    To revert to Sarwar given all the above, my suspicion is that no report will be acceptable to him that doesnt include the recommendation of the resignation of the Health Secy at the time QEUH was built who is now FM.


  8. Is QEUH the same as the “scandalous” “hospital in crisis” where “2 more children have died” (don’t remember the papers) which should be “closed at once” (that ‘suggestion’ was put forward by the Scottish DM)?

    I don’t know because I didn’t have the time, energy or inclination to pick any of them off the supermarket shelf to read the article.

    Using the deaths of anybody of any age? My heart goes out to their families. Words (publishable ones anyway) fail me…


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