Widow of Scottish government official accuses ailing hospital of deliberately covering up her husband’s death
Andrew Slorance, who was the head of the Scottish Government’s Response and Communication Unit, went to hospital for cancer treatment in October 2020.
He then tested positive for Covid-19 and another potentially fatal infection, which his widow, Louise Slorance, believes she contracted while at QEUH.
Ms Slorance only found out her husband had been infected with the common fungus, Aspergillus, which can be dangerous if it infects people with weaker immune systems, when she asked for a copy of his medical records .
She accused officials of wanting to protect the hospital and its reputation “regardless of the cost.”
The QEUH is currently the subject of an ongoing public inquiry into its construction after years of controversy over the quality of the building that could lead to the deaths of children and other patients.
The board of health said it had been opened and there was “no attempt to withhold information.”
Andrew, a father of five and living in Edinburgh, worked as the Scottish Government’s Emergency Response Communications official and previously worked as the Prime Minister’s chief spokesperson under Alex Salmond.
He also had cancer, having been diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma in 2015, suffering a relapse in 2019.
His admission to QEUH was due to receive stem cell treatment in October.
Andrew then tested positive for Covid in early November before passing away on December 5 last year, at the age of 49.
Louise said she blamed the hospital for the onset of Covid at Andrew’s, after spending months living and working in a 10ft by 10ft room without close contact with anyone.
She added: “I think that someone and probably a number of people have made an active decision not to inform their family of this infection, either upon admission or after death.”
“The impact of the board of health hiding the fungal infection will have lifelong impacts on all of our family members, including five children.
“The reason? To protect a building, a board of health and political decision-making.”
When asked if she believed Andrew would still be alive if he had not been admitted to Glasgow hospital, she replied: “Yes, his cancer was in remission”.
Louise called for an independent review of the aspergillus case notes at QEUH and a “full” investigation into hospital-acquired Covid by the Crown Office.
In response, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: ‘We are sorry the family are not happy with aspects of Mr Slorance’s treatment, details of which were discussed with the family at the time.
“While we cannot comment on individual patients, we do not acknowledge the claims made.
“We are confident that the proper care has been provided. There has been a clinical review of this case and we would like to reassure the family that we have been open and honest and that there has been no attempt to hide it from them. informations.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with Andrew’s wife and family. Andrew was a much appreciated member of the Scottish Government team who is deeply missed by all who have had the privilege of meeting him and he has made an exceptional contribution to our work.
“While we cannot comment on individual cases, we will work with the board of health to ensure that concerns raised are properly investigated.
“We are testing more patients in the hospital, which allows us to identify more asymptomatic positive cases.
“This ensures that we can provide the right care and treatment to patients while using improved infection prevention and control measures to reduce the risk of further transmission. “