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Angry relatives of the C-Diff victims accused Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon of 'stealing' their proposals for an independent hospital inspectorate in a bid to head off their campaign for a public inquiry.

Michelle Stewart, Secretary of the C-Diff Justice Group said: "We came up with the idea of an independent inspectorate for hospitals like HM Inspector of Schools and put it to Nicola Sturgeon when we met her.

We think she keeps announcing things we suggest to shut the families up and stop us campaigning for a public inquiry.

But every time she announces one of our ideas, it just shows how much was wrong and underlines the need for a public inquiry."
Michelle, a mother of five whose mother in law Sarah McGinty 67 died in the Vale of Leven outbreak added: "Today's announcement doesn't go nearly far enough.

We need inspections of every hospital every three years. They must look at all the problems, and not just those the health boards have identified as risks, and their findings must be made public."

Solicitor Advocate Patrick McGuire of Thompsons Solicitors who represents the families said: "It was very churlish of Nicola Sturgeon not to acknowledge the families' contribution to the idea of a hospital inspectorate.

She seems to want to be seen as some sort of white knight solving all the problems single handedly, and she certainly doesn't want a high court judge telling her what do.

She has to realise that this issue has become too big for her to tackle on her own, and recognise the undeniable case for a public inquiry, given the number of deaths and the level of public concern."
The C-Diff Justice Group was set up after the Vale of Leven Hospital outbreak claimed 18 lives - nine directly attributed to C-Diff and another nine where it was a major factor.

Around 15 families are members and the group is widening its scope to include those who have survived the superbug.

Among suggestions the Health Secretary has adopted in the past is the C-Diff Justice Group' suggestion of putting someone in charge of infection control when an outbreak was identified, just before she unveiled her plans to re-introduce matrons.

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