THE dad of a teenager from Gourock fighting cancer is calling for health board bosses to resign for a 'betrayal' over infections at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

John Cuddihy's daughter Molly is one of 84 young patients who suffered from bacterial infections contracted in the Royal, within the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus.

He says the situation is a 'scandal' which shames NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

Molly was diagnosed with the extremely rare Metastatic Ewing's Sarcoma when she was 15.

While in hospital she became dangerously ill from a bacterial infection, putting her life at risk by delaying her chemotherapy.

Greenock Telegraph Community Champions Awards 2019. Molly Cuddihy

Greenock Telegraph Community Champions Awards 2019. Molly Cuddihy

Now following the recent findings of two investigations - one from a case note review panel which came about because of pressure from families and experts - her dad John says it is time for health board chief executive Jane Grant and other senior figures to go.

A report from independent expert panels concluded that of all 85 patients reviewed, including Molly, it is most likely that a third contracted their infection from the hospital environment, with the remainder probably affected on the balance of probability.

Mr Cuddihy said: "I think it is time for the chief executive and other senior management to consider their positions.

"They have to take responsibility.

"It took five years to get this far and it is shameful.

"Your child goes into hospital and you put their life, your faith and your trust in their hands.

"This whole time the treatment from the doctors and staff on the ward has been world class, but NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde have undermined what they are doing.

"There are some feelings of justice for us [over the report] and we feel vindicated, but there is no joy for anyone here."

Professor Cuddihy, a former head of police in organised crime and terrorism, raised the alarm when he asked for an explanation about the rare bacterial infection Molly had picked up.

John Cuddihy

John Cuddihy

He said: "My daughter was in pain, the infection was still there and it was not under control, her chemotherapy was delayed for three months and Molly ended up in hospital for a year.

"I wrote and asked what had caused the bacterial infection and I continued to seek answers."

Molly, now 19, has fought through stem cell transplants, intensive care and having a rib removed to stop the spread of bone cancer.

The former Clydeview Academy pupil also had to contend with intravenous antiviral treatment for the infection.

Following a sustained campaign and pressure from families represented by Professor Cuddihy, the case note review and an oversight board was ordered by the government while NHS GGC was put in to 'special measures'.

The reports published recently highlighted significant failings in infection prevention and control, governance and risk management at the QEUH.

The independent review investigated 118 episodes of serious bacterial infection in 84 children who received treatment for blood disease, cancer or related conditions at the Royal.

It found that the deaths of two of 22 children who tragically died were, at least in part, the result of infection.

Molly's dad John sat on the oversight board led by as a representative for the families.

It found NHS GGC’s overall response was short-term and reactive and uncovered significant failings in governance, including building problems not being sufficiently escalated or acted upon.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “These findings, which will inform the ongoing public inquiry, do not fault the quality of care provided by frontline staff, but they do highlight serious failings at the health board level."

Despite this, chief executive Jane Grant has not stood down.

Jane Grant

Jane Grant

Ms Grant, pictured, said: "This has been a very challenging time for patients, families and staff and I am truly sorry for this.

"For families, children and young people undergoing cancer treatment is already an incredibly difficult situation and I very much regret the additional distress caused.

“Whilst we have taken robust and focused action to respond to issues, and at all times have made the best judgements we could, we accept that there are times when we should have done things differently."

A board spokesperson added: "The reports published cover an extremely challenging situation as we investigated and responded to unusual infections in young patients and the possibility that these infections were linked to the environment.

"The reports highlight a number of significant issues for the board.

"We fully accept that there is important learning for NHS GGC and are committed to continuing to address the issues within the reports.

"This has been an incredibly difficult period for patients, families and staff and we are very sorry for the distress caused.

"For those whose infection episodes were judged by the case note review panel to be possibly or probably linked to the hospital environment, we apologise unreservedly. "