Covid Scotland: Widow of senior Scottish government official feels ‘disappointed’ by Nicola Sturgeon over his death

Louise Slorance said she felt ‘disappointed by everyone involved’ as she claimed a lack of answers about her husband Andrew’s care had prevented his family from grieving properly.

Mr Slorance, a father-of-five and head of the Scottish Government’s response and communications unit, was being treated for cancer at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow in 2020 when he tested positive for coronavirus.

However, Ms Slorance said she later discovered he also had aspergillus – a fungal infection caused by a type of mold – when she went through his medical notes.

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Prime Minister Ms Sturgeon has previously promised that her government will ‘do everything possible to ensure Andrew’s family gets the answers they seek’.

Speaking in November last year, she said: ‘I won’t and this government won’t tolerate cover-ups or secrecy on the part of a health board, and where there are concerns about that, we will address those concerns.”

But Ms Slorance, who first spoke publicly about her husband’s death in November 2021, said the health board involved, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, “seems very reluctant to give me any information”.

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Andrew Slorance died last December at QEUH.

She told the BBC: “My family and I need answers, we need to be able to grieve. We cannot cry without answers and without explanation.

“I feel very disappointed with everyone involved – the health board, the government and the Prime Minister calling Andrew a friend.

“As a friend, she can surely understand why her family desperately needs answers about what happened.

“I don’t know if his involvement was too passive and that’s why the external review didn’t achieve the purpose it was supposed to achieve, or I guess I’m incredibly suspicious that whatever was done to date has been done to make sure the truth doesn’t come out and it’s for a cover up.

Asked if she felt Ms Sturgeon had failed in her commitment to fully investigate her husband’s death, she replied: ‘Absolutely.

Ms Slorance has now written to the Prime Minister about it.

A Scottish Government spokesperson told the BBC: ‘Clinicians at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have issued an invitation to discuss Andrew’s care, and that offer remains open.

“We encourage Ms Slorance to take the opportunity to meet NHS GGC clinicians and ask questions relevant to Andrew’s care.”

A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde told the BBC: “At all times, our clinicians follow rigorous national processes governing death certificate documentation.

“It is inconceivable that a clinician would agree to withhold information from a death certificate in order to protect the reputation of the department or a hospital.

“We also strongly refute that individuals within the organization would ask any clinician to do so.”

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