HEALTH Secretary Jeane Freeman has revealed she has yet to see the findings of an inquiry it is claimed took place into possible infections at a scandal-hit hospital.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament about water contamination at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, Ms Freeman told MSPs that officials are “urgently seeking details” about a doctor-led investigation, that was allegedly carried out in 2017.

A whistle-blower has told Labour MSP Anas Sarwar that the internal investigation uncovered 26 cases of the infection stenotrophomonas in child cancer patients at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Glasgow – in addition to the 23 found by an official investigation.

Ms Freeman said she had not been told by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) about the clinician-led probe and was still waiting for the health board to give answers about what it may have found.

NHSGGC has refused to comment on the investigation raised by the whistle-blower, but has issued an apology to families for its poor communication.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon backs Health Secretary in row over scandal-hit Glasgow Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Promising that all affected families will get “the answers they are entitled to”, Ms Freeman said: “The whistle-blower who came forward last week stated that an internal clinician-led within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde had identified additional cases of infection among paediatric cancer patients, including a child who died in 2017.

“My officials are urgently seeking details of this review so we can fully understand the findings and what action the board took in response.”

Asked by Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP about this inquiry, Ms Freeman added: “That is the work that we are undertaking, to have that information from the board, to look at the review that was undertaken by those clinicians in 2017, to see what actions the board took.

“If we are unhappy or dissatisfied with any of that, then we will take action.”

Ms Freeman had opened her statement by expressing her “deepest sympathies” to the affected families and offered an apology, saying “they feel they have not had their questions answered”.

She said that the health board chairman and chief executive “needed to significantly improve their relationships with families involved” and said that any parents of children treated in the affected wards have since been contacted by NHSGGC with an offer to meet the health board bosses.

Ms Freeman defended the actions of the whistle-blower – following criticism of them by NHSGGC – and told MSPs Government officials would consider escalating action against the health board if not satisfied with their response to the scandal.

READ MORE: Health Secretary issues apology to parents over Glasgow hospital child deaths

“I take very seriously the concerns highlighted to me about the deeply concerning issues that have been raised by a whistle-blower,” she said. “There is no room in our health service for anyone to criticise whistle-blowers, publicly or otherwise, or to put them in fear for the safety of their jobs.”

Mr Sarwar argued the health board “has lost the confidence of all concerned”.

He said: “Given the seriousness of what has happened and the frankly insulting public statements, this health board should have been put into special measures.

“I also welcome the commitment that the jobs of the brave NHS whiste-blowers will be safe and that they will not be victimised for speaking out. I hope that encourages more staff to come forward so that parents, patients and the public can find out the truth of what happened.”

Scottish Conservative MSP Miles Briggs said: “The families deserve to get the vital answers they seek and Ms Freeman has today simply posed more questions regarding what she knew and when around patients, as well as the SNP government not being informed or to this date provided with health board reports.

“The fact that Jeane Freeman has not been provided with a report from 2017 is deeply concerning.

“The SNP planned and built this hospital, and has presided over its first few years in operation - it can’t just keep pointing the finger at everyone else.”

A NHSGGC statement said: “We completely understand that this has been a distressing time for families and our staff and we apologise for the anxiety caused.

“Our communication with families and parents has not been good enough and we deeply regret this.

“There are clearly lessons for this Board to learn and we are committed to making the necessary improvements.”