The mother of a child whose death at Glasgow’s flagship hospital has been linked to contaminated water has said she feels let down and lied to.

Kimberly Darroch said her ten-year-old daughter Milly Main caught an infection when she was in remission for cancer.

She spoke out amid calls for Health Secretary Jeane Freeman to resign and claims of a “cover-up”.

READ MORE: Health minister Jeane Freeman says she knew about child's hospital death

A whistleblower told 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.

Mr Sarwar raised the issue at First Minister’s Questions in Holyrood, where he insisted Nicola Sturgeon and Ms Freeman were not being told the truth about what had happened.

Ms Freeman later confirmed she learned of the case after the bereaved family wrote to her in September, but did not make this public due to patient confidentiality, 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."

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.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Ms Darroch said she wanted an apology.

She said: “I want them to admit what they have done is wrong. And I want them to admit that they’ve covered it up.”

“I was getting to a point in life where I was able to face each day. It’s taken me back to when Milly died. It’s just opened it all up again.”

The 35-year-old said she burst into tears when she read this week’s coverage of her daughter's death.

She said Milly was recovering from leukaemia when she contracted an infection in her Hickman line, a catheter used to administer chemotherapy.

Ms Darroch, from Lanark, said she and her partner were given little information after Milly’s death, but suspicions grew when "Stenotrophomonas" was cited on the death certificate.

She then wrote to Ms Freeman in September, but felt her questions were not answered. 

She told the Daily Record: “Of course there is patient confidentiality, but should that be kept back from Milly’s parents? No. She is a ten-year-old child. We are her parents. We deserve to know the truth.”

Earlier, Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said there is “no way Jeane Freeman can continue in the role now the details of this case have been made clear”.

He said: “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 absolutely 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.”

Mr Sarwar said the priority should be getting answers for the family.

He said: "This is a devastating human tragedy and listening to Kimberly bravely tell her story was truly heart-breaking.

"I have promised Milly’s family I will stand by them until they get the answers and justice they deserve, no matter how long it takes.

"Getting answers for the family is the top priority.

"It is also imperative that the courageous NHS whistleblower who brought this to light is protected.

“It is disgusting that the Glasgow health board is attacking the whistleblower and trying to intimidate and silence them.

"This individual put their job on the line to expose this scandal, in the hope that bereaved parents receive answers and something like this can never happen again.

"Jeane Freeman also has very serious questions to answer and needs to come before Parliament.

"The Health Secretary needs to remember her job is to protect patients, families and staff, not institutions."

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP also called for Ms Freeman to make an urgent statement at Holyrood.

He said: “Given the intense public concern about infections and the safety of hospital buildings, it is incomprehensible that the Health Secretary decided that the right approach was to keep this new information private."

An official investigation into water contamination at the hospital found 23 cases of child cancer patients with infections linked to the water supply in 2018.

However, an NHS whistleblower told Mr Sarwar an internal investigation had uncovered an additional 26 cases since 2017, including in one child who died.

In September, the Scottish Government announced a public inquiry into issues at Glasgow's QEUH and the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh.

The Herald has highlighted a raft of problems at the two hospitals, including by publishing leaked documents and shedding light on individual cases.

In a statement, Ms Freeman said: “Following the announcement of a public inquiry into issues at the QEUH and the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh on 17 September, I received correspondence on 20 September from the bereaved parent of a child who had died after receiving treatment at the QEUH in 2017. 

"This was the first time I had been made aware of this child’s death. On the date I received the letter, the ward which haemotology/oncology patients were receiving care, 6A, was closed to new admissions and had been since August 2019.

“On 23 October I wrote to the parent expressing my condolences for their very sad loss and I would like to again take this opportunity to do so.

"I also advised them that I was ensuring that senior staff from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde would make personal contact with them to address the questions I was sure they would have.

“Following my intervention I have checked and been assured that communication has been established, which will provide the necessary information for the family.

"I also made clear to the parent my intention that the public inquiry will be an opportunity for the voices of families to be heard and for answers to be provided.

“I am at all times aware of the importance of patient confidentiality and so rightly I believe, I did not treat this correspondence as a public matter.  

"The ward in which the child concerned in the correspondence I received on 20 September, 2A/2B, was closed and undergoing remedial and upgrading work. Any suggestion that children were at risk after I received this information is therefore incorrect.”

The Health Secretary has written to Mr Sarwar and asked him to pass on additional information he may have. 

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “This week’s coverage will have been very challenging for Milly’s family.

"It is a tragedy in any situation when a young child dies. We would again like to share our deepest condolences with the family involved.

“We have offered to meet Ms Darroch to discuss her concerns, and to answer her questions where we can. 

“We fully understand that the family wants to know whether the infection Milly had is connected to the water supply. 

READ MORE: Tories call for health secretary to resign over Glasgow super hospital child death

“The truth is there is no way to know this as we did not consider this to be the source at the time and we did not test for the particular infection in the water supply.

“We remain very concerned that a member of staff has made a claim of a link when there is no evidence of this, causing significant distress and anxiety to Milly’s parents.

“The water in the hospital is safe and has been independently assessed as such.”