Nicola Sturgeon accused by widow of not being ‘honest’ about death of her husband

A grieving widow has accused Nicola Sturgeon of not being honest with her over the death of her husband at a scandal-hit hospital.

Louise Slorance also said Sturgeon had not responded to an email about the death of Andrew – who had worked for the First Minister – nearly two months ago.

She hit out, saying: “Myself, his children, family and friends, deserve better, we deserve answers.”

Dad-of-five Andrew was part of the Scottish Government’s emergency communications team dealing with the pandemic.

He was also a cancer sufferer who was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, in October 2020.

He tested positive for Covid when he was in hospital and died in December.

As revealed by the Record, Louise accused NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde of concealing the circumstances of her husband’s death.

Louise Slorance, widow of civil servant Andrew
Louise Slorance, widow of civil servant Andrew

She said she was never told about repeated mentions in Andrew’s medical notes of the deadly infection aspergillus days before he died.

Sturgeon promised Louise’s concerns would be “properly investigated” after they were raised at First Minister’s Questions by Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

But yesterday, Louise said: “Nicola Sturgeon wrote to me 15 minutes before FMQs. I replied the same day. I still have no response to my letter.”

Louise’s November 25th email to the FM had demanded “immediate action” over safety at the QUEH and she urged Sturgeon to ensure some categories of patient be taken out of the hospital.

She also posted a Twitter thread on January 16th, which would have been Andrew’s birthday.

She wrote: “On this @slorance 2nd birthday not with us, his family are left with more questions than 13 months ago. The normal routes of gathering this information produce nothing.”

She continued: “Despite comments by @NicolaSturgeon in @ScotParl and GGC in the media that they have always been & will be open & honest with myself, the evidence suggests otherwise. (The meeting with GGC has no date. I have asked Qs to be answered 1st, the answers have not been provided).

“At best these ‘delays’ suggest a complex process of obtaining information that should be readily available, at worst it is a careful selection of the information that would build the desired picture, rather than the truth.”

She concluded: “Whichever it is @slorance family deserve the whole truth now, 13 months after his death and over 15 months since he was with his wife and children at home.

“Today is his birthday, so today of all days it seems apt to ask, if anyone willing to provide the whole, unedited story of what happened to our husband, father, son, brother, friend and, loyal & rule abiding, public servant, to please get in touch. We need answers.”

Sturgeon previously described Andrew as a “greatly valued” member of the Government who would be “deeply missed”.

Louise told the Record it seemed “fruitless” to send the FM a letter, adding: “I have had no contact regarding Andrew since this letter despite the assurance made by the FM that I will be kept updated.

“Since the circumstances around Andrew’s death became public, I have not received any answers to my questions regarding what happened at the QEUH from the Scottish Government or NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.”

Sarwar said: “The First Minister made a series of promises to Louise and it’s incredibly disappointing that she hasn’t responded.

“It gives the impression that all the government cared about was getting through a difficult session of FMQs.

“Louise – and all families affected by the QEUH infections scandal – have been fobbed off by the health board and the same cannot happen when it comes to the Government.

“This scandal is far from over and people deserve answers and justice.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Ministers have been awaiting details to update Mrs Slorance and will be writing shortly.

“The NHS Lothian Peer Review has been examining the care and treatment received at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital as well as the communications Mrs Slorance and the family received from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

“We expect the findings of the peer review to be shared with the family in the near future.”

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde said in a statement: “Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with the family and loved ones of Mr Slorance during this difficult time.

“We are sorry that any questions they have around his care have further added to their grief and we are fully committed to responding to Mrs Slorance, and her family, in a full response which is currently being prepared.

“We have offered to meet with Mrs Slorance to discuss the care provided to Mr Slorance and remain committed to doing so.

“We hope Mrs Slorance accepts this offer and that we can address concerns and reassure her of our commitment to openness and transparency with all of our patients and their families at all times.”

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