Mom sues hospital after being accused of trying to murder disabled daughter


A mother is suing a hospital, claiming staff covered up the ward’s contamination by accusing her of trying to murder her disabled daughter.

Kirsteen Cooper was arrested in 2017 after senior staff at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children (RHC) falsely claimed she had tried to harm Baillie, who has cerebral palsy.

Mother-of-three Kirsteen was made aware of the allegation just days after complaining about poor hygiene at the ward where her four-year-old daughter was being treated. The Sunday Mail reports.

But now that the hospital is at the center of a major public inquiry into child deaths and contamination, Kirsteen believes her case was an attempt at a “blatant cover-up”.

Kirsteen is taking legal action against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde after the health body failed to apologize even when the allegations against her were revealed to be completely false.

She said: “I can hardly describe the hell I went through between that moment and being fully confirmed at a court hearing.

Kirsteen was arrested by hospital officials in 2017 following the allegation


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“I was accused of trying to murder my own sick daughter. It was incomprehensible, I felt suicidal.

“I am now firmly convinced – considering everything we heard at the public inquiry – that I was the victim of a blatant cover-up.”

The RHC, which is part of the £842million Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) campus, is under investigation over safety concerns, patient deaths from infection and claims of water pollution.

Baillie, who uses a wheelchair and has suffered from a serious illness since birth, was admitted to the RHC in December 2016.

Kirsteen claims the child protection investigation against her came to light on January 26, 2017, after she filed a formal complaint with the hospital alleging serious hygiene issues, including that Baillie’s room was not cleaned.

At that time, however, she was informed that she could not receive an answer to the hygiene complaint because of the child protection counterclaims.

She is taking legal action against the RHC in Glasgow


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She said: “I complained in January 2017 because I really didn’t think the hygiene standards were good enough.

“Baillie had contracted several infections while she was being treated in hospital and at one point her room had not been cleaned for a week.

“But days later they came back and said nothing could be investigated because I had been reported to the youth welfare office.

“A proper investigation of my complaint could have exposed too many things, so these horrible allegations were made against me.

“Again and again, families have been treated with contempt. At every turn, management would rather find ways to take them down than listen to legitimate concerns.

“I honestly believe nothing will change in this hospital until there are resignations at the top.”

On February 2, 2017, Baillie’s feeding tube leaked and Kirsteen was accused of tampering by staff and removed from the hospital by police and social work.

She spent a night in a prison cell in July 2017 and was charged with attempted murder.

Kirsteen, from Cambuslang near Glasgow, felt suicidal and was forced to spend long periods away from Baillie due to visiting restrictions.

She was accused of stealing Baillie’s blood to make her anemic.

But the criminal case was never pursued after Scottish police hired a blood expert – consultant pediatric haematologist Russell Keenan from Alderhey Hospital in Liverpool – who concluded Baillie’s anemia was caused by her illness.

The charges against Kirsteen were dropped and they were fully upheld at a children’s hearing.

In September, the QEUH Public Inquiry heard evidence from the father of a boy being treated for cancer who had been given antifungal drugs.

David Campbell said he believes his child was given a “secret” supply of medicines to prevent illness because the hospital knew there were hygiene concerns.

Kirsteen, 45, said Baillie was also treated with antifungal drugs.

She added: “I think Baillie contracted infections in hospital and was put on antifungal medication. This whole thing stinks and people are still not getting the answers they deserve.

“Baillie is now nine and doing well. She is being treated in Edinburgh and I want nothing to do with the QEUH.”

Two years ago, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) launched an investigation into the then head of child protection services.

The NMC declined to comment on the investigation or whether it had been closed.

Kirsteen’s legal team said child protection helped prepare a damning and inaccurate hematology report that led to Kirsteen’s arrest.

The complaint alleges the report was used to support claims that Kirsteen had a manufactured or induced illness (FII), formerly known as Proxy’s Munchausen Syndrome, the controversial theory that some mothers harm their children in order to take on herself to draw attention to.

Scottish work Health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “This is a shocking case that speaks volumes about the culture of cover-up and deception at the heart of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde senior management.

“For Ms. Cooper to be accused of such an act by the Health Department is scandalous.

“For years, employees and families have failed and lives have been lost.

“Those responsible must be held accountable for their actions and resignations must follow.”

Kirsteen’s attorney, Michael Gallen of Fleming and Reid Solicitors, said: “Kirsteen faced the most gruesome allegations with the prospect of prosecution that she had faced in years.

“She and her family strove for an explanation and apology.

“With no reply, they had no choice but to sue. She hopes no other family is subjected to a similar experience.”

An independent review in 2020 found 84 children at QEUH were infected with rare bacteria.

Despite this, the Sunday Mail revealed how an NHSGGC public inquiry submission dismissed evidence from families as “undisputed and untested”.

In response to parents who shared their heartbreaking stories, health department executives said the investigation had not heard from “witnesses who are reasonably qualified to offer an opinion.”

They also said families used suspicion and internet research to level unfair criticism.

Kimberly Darroch, whose daughter Milly Main, 10, died at QEUH in August 2017 after contracting a waterborne infection and suffering toxic shock, has accused senior health agency executives of “denying the reality”.

NHSGGC said: “We take the well-being of the people in our care very seriously and the priority for staff is to ensure patients and their families receive the treatment and support they need.

“We strictly monitor cleanliness in all our hospitals and maintain high standards.

“In relation to this case, we do not recognize the account shared with the Sunday Mail.”

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