For immediate release
My name is Patrick McGuire, I'm a partner with Thompsons Solicitors and the lawyer representing the families at this inquiry which examined events at the Vale of Leven Hospital during the outbreak of C. Difficile that began 2007.
The families have asked that I issue this statement on their behalf.
Today has been an emotionally difficult time for the families, one in which they have heard about the failings of care for their loved ones. They have had to confront why they needlessly lost their family members and would ask that you give them time to grieve and to fully consider the report.
In the first instance the families would like to make clear their heartfelt thanks to Lord Maclean and his inquiry team. Lord Maclean has worked in a diligent, robust and determined fashion to produce this complex and detailed report and for that all the families involved are extremely grateful.
As a group we comprise those who still grieve for the loved ones who lost their lives during this tragedy but also those who survived and continue to live with the terrible health problems they contracted during the outbreak.
There are no words we can say to you today that will accurately convey the anger, hurt and grief we have felt for the past 7 years over the suffering that our loved ones endured as they succumbed to this terrible outbreak.
Many of us watched completely powerless as our dearly loved family members died in distressing and degrading circumstances as hospital staff struggled to cope.
We have reached the stage today after 7 long years where Lord Maclean has identified many of the causes for the outbreak and has made recommendations which we sincerely hope will mean no other families will ever have to suffer the hell we have been through.
The recommendations are detailed and far reaching. There are 75 in total and they will take time to absorb. We expected the health authorities and the cabinet secretary for health in particular to assess and fully implement these recommendations.
We note that Lord MacLean has said that the determination of the families to get this inquiry held has now been fully vindicated and we remain united as a campaigning group.
We will not be deflected or palmed off and are resolute in our determination. We are therefore encouraged that Shona Robison, the newly appointed cabinet secretary for health has agreed to meet us today to outline how she will make good the recommendations in Lord MacLean’s report.
We are all hard working families who will never rest until we are certain that the catalogue of failure and neglect that led to the deaths of our loved ones can never happen again.
The events at Vale of Leven that began in the late months of 2007 are a shame on the conscious of the Scottish NHS. We all believe in the NHS but our faith has been shaken to its very core. As a group will continue to fight until our campaign for justice for loved ones is satisfied. We are sincere in our belief that if we can prevent something like this from ever happening again then at least it will be a fitting tribute to their memories.