Health Secretary Jeane Freeman is facing calls to resign amid claims of a "cover-up" over the death of a child in a Glasgow hospital that may have been linked to contaminated water.

A whistleblower informed Labour MSP Anas Sarwar that a doctor-led investigation found the death of a young cancer patient at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in 2017 was linked to an infected water supply.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it was not possible to conclude infections identified in 2017 were connected to the water supply because it was not required to carry out tests for Stenotrophomonas at that time.

READ MORE: 'Cover up' claims after child with cancer dies from infection at Glasgow hospital

On Thursday Ms Freeman told BBC Scotland she knew of the child's death in September, but had not disclosed the information, arguing it "would be entirely wrong for me to do".

She said: "Not revealing it is not the same as not acting on it and I acted on it."

The Scottish Conservatives have said Ms Freeman should resign or be sacked after the Government "covered up" the case.

Tory MSP Miles Briggs said: "There's no way Jeane Freeman can continue in the role now the details of this case have been made clear.

"It should not take a whistleblower and an opposition MSP to drag the truth out of this SNP Government. It's completely unacceptable.

"Patients will be furious that such a serious failure has been covered up by this SNP Government.

"The Health Secretary must apologise to the family and resign or, if she refuses, be sacked."

An official investigation into water contamination at the hospital found 23 cases of child cancer patients with the bloodstream infection Stenotrophomonas in 2018, but an NHS whistleblower told Mr Sarwar an internal investigation uncovered an additional 26 cases since 2017 - including in one child who died.

According to the MSP, the parents of the child had never been told the true cause of death.

READ MORE: Child cancer patient 'died with infection' while being treated at Glasgow children's hospital

Following Ms Freeman's interview on the BBC's Reporting Scotland, Mr Sarwar said: "The parents of the child who tragically died deserve to know why they have never been told what happened, despite pleas from NHS staff to senior managers.

"There are now incredibly serious questions for the Government and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to answer, and a huge challenge to rebuild trust.

"This devastating death has been covered up since September. Jeane Freeman says she acted, but the most important act would be to inform the parents.

"At the centre of this scandal is a tragic loss of life, and the priority must be seeking answers for the parents who lost a child."

The health board has insisted its water supply is safe, and in a statement it criticised the whistleblower for passing information to Mr Sarwar, claiming it was "causing additional distress to families and to other families of cancer patients".

A spokeswoman said: "In 2017, we investigated two individual cases of Stenotrophomonas which were not linked. We reported these cases both to the national expert body, Health Protection Scotland and to our board.

"These cases were also reviewed again in July 2019 when the clinical view was that no further action was required.

"At the time of the initial investigation into these cases, national guidance did not include a requirement for health boards to test for Stenotrophomonas in the water supply.
"Stenotrophomonas is widespread and is present throughout the general environment.

"As no tests were carried out at the time, it is not possible to conclude that these infections were connected to the water supply."