Scotland

MSP Jackie Baillie's tears over C. diff hospital deaths

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Media captionAn emotional Jackie Baillie presses for greater compensation for families affected by the C. diff outbreak

An MSP who campaigned on behalf of patients whose deaths were linked to a hospital infection broke down in tears as she said justice had not been done.

Health chiefs were criticised after a Clostridium difficile outbreak at Vale of Leven Hospital, in Jackie Baillie's Dumbarton constituency.

The Labour MSP said the inquiry into what happened cost more than £10m.

She told parliament the offer of compensation to affected families, in comparison, was £1m.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said the issue would be looked into.

An inquiry into care at Vale of Leven Hospital between 2007 and 2008 said NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) had "badly let down" patients.

Contributory factor

Of the 143 patients with C. diff, it was a contributory factor in 34 deaths.

A tearful Ms Baillie told parliament: "The cost of the inquiry is in excess of £10m, but the offer of compensation to the families - the victims in all of this - is about £1m.

"Although the families are solely motivated by the desire to ensure that this doesn't happen to anyone else in Scotland, I cannot help but feel that justice has not yet been done."

Ms Robison, who said the NHS had "failed" the 34 Vale of Leven patients, said she recognised Ms Baillie's role in supporting their families.

The health secretary added: "I'm clear that those who have been harmed or those who have lost loved ones as a result of negligent acts by the NHS should be adequately compensated for their loss."

Ms Robison said it was difficult for the government to control the costs of an inquiry, adding: "That's partly one of the issues with the Inquiries Act that I think we should look at."

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