A senior doctor says her attempts to raise concerns about risks to patient safety at Scotland’s biggest hospital were not taken seriously.

A series of infection outbreaks – and at least four deaths - at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus in Glasgow have been investigated over fears they were linked to the building, after widespread water contamination and substandard ventilation were discovered.

An Independent Review published last week said flaw in the building's design had increased the risk to cancer patients, but found 'no clear evidence' of a link to deaths.

Dr Christine Peters, clinical lead for microbiology at the ‘superhospital’, said she was branded a troublemaker for raising concerns and that her requests for infection control information about the systems were either ignored or rejected.

READ MORE: Families 'failed by secrecy' over confidential QEUH evidence

Dr Peters was an infection control doctor at the time the £842 million hospital opened in June 2015.

She said: "When I started in 2014, I had raised some issues in writing and I was phoned by a more senior person to say to me – you’re new to Glasgow but here we don’t put things in writing because of inquiries and things.

"That’s what I was told do not put things in writing."

In a statement, NHS GGC said the suggestion that staff were discouraged from putting things in writing in case of future inquiries was "untrue and not accepted", adding that "these issues have been the subject of intensive scrutiny by the Independent Review [which] found 'no evidence of institutionalised bullying'".

Dr Peters said she asked for details of water safety and the ventilator specifications.

She added: "When the doors opened I still didn’t have an understanding of what the ventilation strategy was or what the sign-off and commissioning had been for the building or any area of the building."

She said she was also unsuccessful in her attempts to examine the water risk assessments which are a legal requirement for the building.

Dr Peters only saw the reports for the first analysis of the water in the hospital when documents were leaked to the press last year.

She said her reaction was "absolute horror".

"I don’t have copies of them but I read them and I just couldn’t believe it," said Dr Peters.

"I just couldn’t believe it and what I couldn’t believe is that I hadn’t been told."

NHS GGC said it had seen no evidence to support the allegation that infection control doctors were not given the water risk assessments they requested.

BBC Disclosure also commissioned a public health expert with expertise in water to analyse the leaked reports that flag up a high risk of infection in the hospitals water supply.

READ MORE: Independent Review accused of 'targetting' whistleblowers 

Susanne Lee said she would have called for the hospital opening to be delayed.

Ms Lee said: "It would take a long time to go through all the matters I was really concerned about.

"There’s all sorts of things, problems in here with management of water temperatures…these are your basic control measures that are not actually working.

"I would have said to delay. There was so much wrong with the system, the processes, the documentation."

The hospital opened as scheduled in July 2015.

It comes after the family of one of the cancer patients whose death triggered the Independent Review said they remain convinced that she caught her infection during treatment at the QEUH.

Gail Armstrong, 73, from Glasgow, was being treated for blood cancer when she tested positive for Cryptococcus neoformans in November 2018.

The fungus is most commonly linked to pigeons and their droppings.

Her daughter Beth told Disclosure that the infection knocked her mother "for six".

"She really took a nosedive," Beth says. "She became very weak, lost the use of her legs, you know her brain was getting a bit scrambled."

Mrs Armstrong died in January 2019 and Cryptococcus was initially ruled out as a factor in her death.

However, the case was subsequently referred to the Crown Office for investigation along with the death of a 10-year-old leukaemia patient who was also found to be infected with the same type of Cryptococcus following his death in December 2018.

It was originally believed that fungal spores from pigeon carcasses or their excrement must have travelled through the hospital's ventilation system and been inhaled by the patients, causing infection.

However, the Independent Review said there was "not a sound evidential basis" to link the infections to presence of pigeons on the site.

Their conclusions were based on reports commissioned by or conducted internally by NHS GGC expert groups which were released to the Review team, but have not been made public.

The Herald revealed that a final report on the cause of the patients' infection by NHS GGC's Cyptococcus Expert Advisory Group is now three months late. It was due in March.

Andrew Streifel, a US expert who has consulted on infection prevention and outbreaks at more than 400 hospitals around the world said it was very unusual for patients to contract Cryptococcus.

"Unless the patient was around the rookery or some kind of intense bird sanctuary, I wouldn't believe that anybody in a hospital would get something like that," he said.

The programme also reports that NHS GGC has been provided with a report from an independent haematologist commissioned by the procurator fiscal, which says that Cryptococcus was a contributory factor in Mrs Armstrong's death.

The health board said it could not comment on individual cases.

Asked whether the opening of the hospital should have been delayed because of the contamination risk, NHS GGC said it could not comment due to ongoing legal action.

It is currently suing the lead contractor on the build, Brookfield Multiplex, for £73m in damages in relation to alleged design flaws.

A joint public inquiry is also due to take place into the building of the QEUH and Edinburgh's new children's hospital, whose opening was delayed last year due to design faults.

Disclosure: The Secrets of Scotland’s Superhospital tonight 8pm BBC One Scotland and on iPlayer after transmission