PARENTS and NHS staff have called for the public inquiry into Scotland's super hospital to be transparent, truthful and put people at its core.

Employees working at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, and those who were treated in it have laid out their hopes for the judge-led public inquiry which is due to begin tomorrow.

The inquiry was announced following a series of scandals at the £842m flagship hospital, including infections of vulnerable children from contaminated water, pigeon droppings within the building, and the deaths of several immunocompromised patients.

Jeane Freeman, health secretary, commissioned the judge-led inquiry after the Herald on Sunday revealed the contents of several reports about the hospital, including findings that it was not built for purpose and the ventilation could be contributing to the spread of bacteria.

After families began speaking out about their concerns and continuing pressure from Labour politician Monica Lennon, Ms Freeman agreed to hold the inquiry. She has appointed High Court judge Lord Brodie to oversee it.

Today several families as well as the former lead infection control doctor for the hospital, Teresa Inkster, have told of how they hope the inquiry will resolve many of the unanswered questions about the facility.

Dr Inkster said the inquiry had to put patients at the centre of it, and cover a broader spectrum of issues than that examined by the independent review, which was published last month.

The review has caused controversy after it emerged Dr Inkster and her colleague were not given a right to reply to the conclusions, vital evidence had not been received and conclusions by reviewers said there was no link between pigeons at the campus and the infections of two patients, who later died, with fungus linked to bird faeces.

Dr Inkster said: "I hope that the public inquiry will cover everything we need to know about these new builds so that any learning we don’t already have is captured by the end.

"The process has to enable all the relevant evidence, as well as the veracity of the evidence, to be assessed.

"People have to be able to speak freely and openly, and all the relevant people must be involved. That includes staff like me, patients who have been affected and their families as well as those responsible for the project. It needs to get to the heart of what happened here in a way that the Independent Review failed to do."

The microbiologist added: " I’d also like to see patient and family engagement at the very heart of it.I’m hopeful that the independent inquiry will help uncover the truth about what happened at the hospital and put people’s minds at ease. It should also look at the culture within our NHS to see what went wrong when staff spoke up about the QEUH, as we know they were not listened to and if they had been many of the current problems could have been avoided.

Annemarie Kirkpatrick's daughter Stevie-Jo Kirkpatrick contracted a rare blood infection from the water at the hospital in 2019 and had to stop her chemotherapy early as a result.

She was the first parent to publicly speak out about what had happened to their child at the QEUH, inspiring other parents to come forward with their concerns and experiences.

Annemarie said: "I’m hoping that the inquiry will get to the bottom of what has went wrong and who has allowed this to happen to these kids.

"I feel that the way that the hospital has went about the situation is utterly disgusting, they have known that things were not right for some time but still continued, and things were covered up. The sickest of children in Scotland were allowed to be treated in a hospital not fit for purpose, which made them more all than they already were.

" While I hope the inquiry will get to the bottom of what has happened, I'm not altogether confident that the questions will all be answered as I fear a lot of the evidence will have been 'lost' or not there in the first place."

Kimberley Darroch, the mother of tragic Milly Main who died at the hospital in 2017 while being treated for leukaemia, said: "Nearly three years since Milly died, we feel the heart-breaking loss of our daughter every day and feel we’re still in the dark about her death.

“Having been let down by the health board, we hope the public inquiry will uncover the truth about what happened at the hospital – not just for us, but for all the families affected and to ensure no other family ever has to go through what we went through.”

Theresa Smith, whose baby daughter Sophia died at the site after contracting a rare bacteria similar to MRSA, said she had trouble trusting that the inquiry would resolve her concerns, but was glad it was finally getting underway.

She said: " While I'm pleased there is a recognised need for a public inquiry, I'm of the strong opinion that the remit doesn't stretch far enough. It focuses solely on the planning and design of the building, excluding the failings with infection prevention and control.

"It totally omits individual cases including those that ended in fatalities. This is another kick in the teeth to the memory of my daughter Sophia and our family and all the others like us.

"With this in mind, I don't feel that this public inquiry will bring any answers or closure to the problems at QEUH."

Theresa said the inquiry felt as though it would "only scratch the surface of an ocean of problems" and must not become a "political exercise to gain back public trust".

John Cuddihy, whose daughter Molly was being treated in the hospital and contracted a bacterial infection, now represents parents on the health board's oversight board, as well as in their communication sub-group.

He said: "My hope is that Lord Brodie enables us to come to terms with exactly what occurred within the hospital and to hold to account those individuals or bodies, if indeed it is found that they are complicit. It will not change the past, but it may influence change that better protects those children and young people, who will sadly be diagnosed in the future.

"I'm pleased that the Public Inquiry will conduct an independent examination of the many issues highlighted, which have had, and continue to have, a profound impact on our children, young people and their families.

"To be able to independently and impartially examine the ways in which the many problems were identified, responded to and managed, with particular reference to whether the rights to information, and participation of those children and families were respected, is welcome.