Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Deputy First Minister to look into death of baby McKenzie Wallace after parents complain of ‘whitewash’ report by SPSO investigator Eileen Masterman

Death of baby McKenzie Wallace montageHealth Minister to look into NHS failures in case of death of baby in NHS Forth Valley hospital & SPSO report whitewash. SCOTLAND’S DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER Nicola Sturgeon has said she will look into the case of the death of little baby McKenzie Wallace at an NHS Forth Valley hospital after an exclusive report in the Sunday Mail newspaper revealed the baby’s grieving parents have fought a long & difficult battle to get answers over why little McKenzie died. The report in the Sunday Mail also revealed NHS Forth Valley FAILED to pick up on a rare heart defect in the couple’s baby which should have been detected during a 20 week scan but was missed after the scan, conducted by a trainee under the supervision of an experienced midwife was not properly interpreted. However, a senior consultant obstetrician who later studied the ultrasound pictures from the Stirlingshire hospital found a heart problem was visible and had been missed by both the midwife & the trainee.

On receipt of a further report into the tragedy, the family have accused the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) ‘Complaints Reviewer’, Eileen Masterman of producing a ‘whitewash’ report in the SPSO’s investigation of their complaints against NHS Forth Valley regarding the deadly failures in the provision of medical services which ultimately led to the death of McKenzie Wallace just five days after she was born.

While the death of baby McKenzie has been a terrible toll in itself for the family to bear, the nightmare continued when their complaints to NHS Forth Valley over the events which led to the death of their child were mishandled, leading to the family using Freedom of Information legislation to uncover more facts not disclosed by NHS Forth Valley during their investigations and ultimately, making a complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman who used an unnamed ‘expert’ to exonerate the hospital’s role in the death of the child.

The files accumulated by the family in their complaint to NHS Forth Valley can be read here : Complaint to NHS Forth Valley - Death of Baby McKenzie Wallace The responses received from NHS Forth Valley can be viewed here : NHS Forth Valley FOI - Death of Baby McKenzie Wallace and the report by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman into the way the hospital handled the case, can be viewed here : SPSO Report - Death of Baby McKenzie Wallace

m2Former SLCC Chief Executive Eileen Masterman wrote SPSO report which exonerated negligent medical staff at NHS Forth Valley. In what may come as a surprise to many, the author of the SPSO report now branded a whitewash is none other than Eileen Masterman, former Chief Executive of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC), who took a six month sick leave from the SLCC and then employed teams of lawyers to negotiate a massive SECRET PAYOFF so large & subject to such a complex agreement, the secret deal was required to be signed off personally by Scotland’s Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill. Legal insiders commenting on the case said today they were shocked to see Eileen Masterman show up again at the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman so soon after resigning under a cloud from the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, with an official explanation of “ill health”.

mkmc slcc openingFOI investigations by Diary of Injustice revealed Justice Secretary MacAskill personally signed off secret unpublished payment to Eileen Masterman. One Scottish Government insider who now claims he “did not agree with the terms of the settlement as put to Mr MacAskill” said the Justice Secretary was out on a limb over his involvement in the secret payoff to Masterman. The insider called for all details of the negotiations involving Ms Masterman, the SLCC & the Scottish Government along with the amount of the secret payoff to be made public.

The Scottish Government insider said : “Clearly there is a public confidence issue here were someone can resign from the highly controversial and underperforming Scottish Legal Complaints Commission claiming ill health and then go back to work at the highly questionable Scottish Public Services Ombudsman who have similar public confidence issues. There must be full transparency here otherwise there can be no confidence in the SPSO.”

One senior solicitor who does not wish to be named has already claimed the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission had been told during the “bitter negotiations” that “Eileen Masterman’s health was so bad that she may never work again”. It has also been alleged that involvement from Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney, who accused Ms Masterman of lying over secret meetings she took part in with convicted US insurers Marsh who handle the Law Society of Scotland’s notoriously corrupt Master Policy protection for negligent solicitors also ‘contributed to Ms Masterman’s alleged ill health’, an issue reported earlier by Diary of Injustice here : SLCC’s Eileen Masterman resigns, questions remain on attempt to mislead Cabinet Finance Chief John Swinney over secret meetings with insurers Marsh

However it appears after only a few months of leaving the SLCC, Eileen Ms Masterman was re-employed by Jim Martin, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, whose organisation was savaged last year by Scottish Government Minister Alex Neil during his testimony to the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee, which Diary of Injustice reported along with video footage of Minister Neil’s testimony, here : Holyrood considers nine petitions against Scottish Public Services Ombudsman as Housing Minister dubbed ‘out of touch’ over accusations

The Sunday Mail newspaper spoke to the parents about their views of Ms Masterman’s report on the death of their baby. The Sunday Mail reported : “The couple have also criticised a report issued last month by Eileen Masterman, of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. She rejected the view of the Forth Valley doctor. Instead, she agreed with an unnamed expert who said there was no need for a second scan due to the limited nature of what could be seen. She said: “The advice indicated that, even if the scan had been done again, it would have been likely the results would have been the same.”

Andrew said: “I have no faith in Masterman. The SPSO have refused to say who the expert is or hand over their report. “McKenzie’s death cannot be for nothing. Some sort of lesson has to be learnt.”

spso-logoSPSO refused to issue any comment on Eileen Masterman’s report. The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman was asked for media comment on Ms Masterman’s position at the SPSO and to explain how she was able to return to work so soon. One of it’s Press Officers said : “I am sorry but we are unable to comment on the employment status of individuals. This would be unfair to those individuals and in breach of data protection.” Later, the SPSO angrily REFUSED to disclose any material in response to Freedom of Information requests regarding Ms Masterman’s apparent speedy return to work at the SPSO, with SPSO officials blocking all further attempts to secure disclosures via Freedom of Information legislation.

Nicola SturgeonScottish Deputy First Minister & Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon MSP. Deputy First Minister & Scotland’s Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon was asked by Diary of Injustice for a comment on the tragic events and the SPSO’s handling of baby McKenzie’s parents complaints against NHS Forth Valley. Questions put by Diary of Injustice journalists to Ms Sturgeon, which were accompanied by papers relating to the case asked : “Has the Health Minister any comment on how the complaint involving the death of the baby has been handled, the fact this family have received little support in spite of what appears to be a cover up by NHS Forth Valley, and why can one individual who travels between regulators show up again in an old post to carry on her work after claiming she could never work again.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government replied to the questions put to the Health Secretary, stating : “The circumstances surrounding this event are extremely tragic, and our thoughts are with the parents. Where recommendations are made in an Ombudsman’s report, we expect NHS Boards to fully implement all necessary steps to ensure that similar circumstances do not recur.”

The spokesperson continued : “The SPSO is an organisation independent of the Scottish Government and as such appoints its own personnel. The circumstances surrounding any appointment of any individual is a matter for the SPSO.”

The parents of baby McKenzie have since received a letter from the Scottish Government replying on behalf of Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon. Andrew & Joanne have now been told Ms Sturgeon has agreed to look at the papers relating to the circumstances of baby McKenzie’s death, and how Andrew & Joanne were treated by NHS Forth Valley & the SPSO. Ms Sturgeon also offered her condolences in the letter to Andrew & Joanne over baby McKenzie’s death. The parents of baby McKenzie have also asked for a meeting with Ms Sturgeon over the case.

Clearly, the tragic case of the death of little baby McKenzie Wallace, just five days into her live is yet another clear demonstration of medical negligence in the NHS and the cover ups which kick in to prevent any justice for the bereaved family. The family deserve answers and the life of a child cannot be lost in an SPSO report or a promise of “lessons will be learned” which are, as we are all now sadly too aware, never learned.

The Sunday Mail reports :

Grieving parents say medics missed tragic toddler's heart problem Sunday Mail March 25 2012Grieving parents say medics missed tragic toddler's heart problem

Mar 25 2012 Exclusive by Russell Findlay

HEARTBROKEN parents yesterday told how they fear a midwife missed their baby daughter’s fatal heart condition because she was in the huff. McKenzie Wallace died just five days after being born because of a heart defect linked to rare genetic disorder Ivemark syndrome.

But mum Joanne Weir, 27, and dad Andrew Wallace, 31, say the condition would have been picked up at a 20-week scan if the midwife had not been annoyed that they asked the sex of their baby. The scan was conducted by a trainee sonographer at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert and was supervised by an ­experienced midwife, who did not flag up any problems.

But a senior consultant obstetrician who studied the ultrasound pictures from the Stirlingshire hospital found a heart problem was visible. He also stated that “he would have suggested a repeat scan or asked for a second opinion”. As a result, the midwife who supervised the trainee was ordered to undergo further training. The couple said that a consultant at Yorkhill Hospital, Glasgow, agreed the heart defect – known as right atrial isomerism – should have been spotted.

Joanne, who is due to give birth again in 10 weeks at Edinburgh Royal, said: “It should have been glaringly obvious and was ‘too big to miss’, according to McKenzie’s consultant at Yorkhill.”

Fuel tanker driver Andrew, who lost a brother and an uncle to the genetic condition, said: “A trainee carried out the scan but the supervisor was so busy moaning at us for daring to ask if we were to buy blue or pink that she was obviously distracted.“Apparently it’s all right, though, because she has now been for training – but this should not have happened.

“We had to make the decision not to attempt to treat McKenzie as all options were horrific and had life-extending probabilities of less than a few months. Had we known she had this condition, we may have considered ­termination early in pregnancy as it was incredibly unfair to put McKenzie through that.”

The couple, from Bo’ness, Stirlingshire, also said that another midwife ignored their concern about McKenzie’s blue appearance when she was born at Stirling Royal Infirmary. During Joanne’s labour, a sewage pipe became blocked below the maternity ward, which caused chaos. Andrew said: “They were distracted. They should have listened to what I was saying about McKenzie turning blue.”

It took 24 hours before they admitted any problem and the baby was immediately sent to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill. From there, McKenzie was sent to the Rachel House Hospice in Kinross, where she died in her parents’ arms on February 18 last year.

The couple have also criticised a report issued last month by Eileen Masterman, of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. She rejected the view of the Forth Valley doctor. Instead, she agreed with an unnamed expert who said there was no need for a second scan due to the limited nature of what could be seen. She said: “The advice indicated that, even if the scan had been done again, it would have been likely the results would have been the same.”

Andrew said: “I have no faith in Masterman. The SPSO have refused to say who the expert is or hand over their report. “McKenzie’s death cannot be for nothing. Some sort of lesson has to be learnt.”

The NHS said: “We carried out an internal review and could find no evidence of errors in the clinical care provided by staff.”


Anonymous said...

Former SLCC Chief Executive Eileen Masterman wrote SPSO report which exonerated negligent medical staff at NHS Forth Valley.
That is what I would expect her to do.

Anonymous said...

Words fail me on this one Peter suffice to say people who go from one quango to the other and cause this kind of suffering.Well.I'm sure you will keep us all posted.
My condolences and best wishes to Andrew & Joanne over their loss.

Anonymous said...


will she take another sickie now due to publicity?

I think you need to be asking people for any reports compiled by Mrs Masterman and get them published instead of all this secrecy lark..

After all we are talking about the DEATH of a BABY..something NOT TO BE COVERED UP..

Anonymous said...

Anyone have any confidence in the SPSO or Jim Martin now?

I dont!

Anonymous said...

Ms. Masterman's only 'expertise' is that she can always be relied on to allow the powers that be to escape their responsibilities - and on the flimsiest of pretences.

Anonymous said...

It seems Ms Masterman is fit enough to hop from one quango to another, courtesy of the cosy Edinburgh establishment.

Anonymous said...

Hope Sturgeon wields the big stick - this is a disgraceful case.All those who covered this up deserve to be sacked otherwise they will do it again to someone else.

Anonymous said...

Just incredible really these kind of people go from one club to another and cover up for the rest.How about putting a stop to all this Nicola et Alex?

Anonymous said...

Dont you just love the SPSO press comment

“I am sorry but we are unable to comment on the employment status of individuals. This would be unfair to those individuals and in breach of data protection.”


Asked about the death of a baby and the investigator who did the whitewash the SPSO hide behind Data Protection.

Clearly these persons are unfit for purpose along with the entire SPSO.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone not picked up on the fact the death of this baby has no less than three of the top Scottish Cabinet Ministers involved in it?

I doubt your friend John Swinney will be happy to see all these headlines about Masterman back at the SPSO after accusing him of being instrumental in her resignation from the SLCC.

Inquiry needed!

Anonymous said...

Put simply if people work together to defeat complaints from a family over the death of their baby through [as you rightly point] out medical negligence,none of us are safe.

The SPSO report is full of "I do not uphold your complaint"

How does this square with the dead baby?

Time to close this drive through disaster they call the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

Anonymous said...

I hope the papers now go forward and investigate all these SPSO people like Masterman telling us we cant complain about anyone because nothing ever happened.Its about time all was exposed!

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

Just incredible really these kind of people go from one club to another and cover up for the rest.How about putting a stop to all this Nicola et Alex?

28 March 2012 20:50"

Now Peter has given us the exposure of these complaints investigators who migrate between quangos/regulators/Gov departments we all need to get wise to these people and start publishing their so-called reports allowing tragedies such as this to be covered up.

RIP baby McKenzie and also my condolences to the mother & father.


Anonymous said...

Masterman is a master at the cover up, if she was not some lawyers would have been dealt with during her tenure at the SLCC. As Peter has stated they fill quango's with people of a like mind and hey presto, no one did any wrong.

This little baby's death is a tragedy and I cannot see the family getting justice because the system has been designed specifically to prevent that.

Anonymous said...

The medical profession are quite evil in many ways, oh they do save lives but how many have Shipman tendencies. They certainly protect each other. Try getting a doctor into a court of law, more chance of patients becoming astronauts.

The laws we live by are not applied to the professions, oh no they always have the right friends in the right places to exonerate them, look how long it took to apprehend Harold Shipman.

Fron A Diary of Injustice said...

A Doctor is negligent, and allows your family member to die. You engage lawyers to sue the Doctor & the local Health Authority for negligence .. but unbeknown to you, your lawyer is insured by the same insurers, who insure the Health Authority, and possibly even the Doctor ... How about that ? Well, it happens .. and I can attest to that one myself, from my experience with crooked lawyer Michael Robson in the case of the death of my mother at Borders General Hospital.
Yes Peter I know what you and the parents of this little baby are up against. Nothing shocks me about the medical and legal professions any more.

Anonymous said...

Well done Sunday Mail now I hope they go back and revisit Masterman and all these jobs she has and then gets paid off to go to another.Definitely in the public interest this one.

Anonymous said...

Masterman has no credibility left after this case.

How can nothing have gone wrong if the child died and the doctor said the defect should have been picked up when scanned.My thoughts are with the parents.

Anonymous said...

Andrew said: “I have no faith in Masterman. Neither do we Andrew. Sorry about your liitle child. NHS Primary Care in Motherwell covered up a GP's lies, and yes I agree they will cover everything up, that is the culture of the system.

Doctors are teflon in that nothing sticks.

Anonymous said...

It is near impossible to get justice against anyone in the professions in my experience anyway. Expert witnesses in court have legal privilidge which means they are immune from prosecution when giving a medical opinion. Look at Angela Cannings, Mrs Patel and the lawyer Sally Clark all jailed for killing their children when they were innocent on the expert witness testimony of professsor Sir Roy Meadow.

Anonymous said...

This whitewash is no surprise to me.

Forth Valley NHS missed a scan and then the so called review of the scan was also somehow missed clearly showing a kidney stone stuck in my ureter.

I was sent home from my hospital bed in agony with fevers.

This failure resulted in an abscess in my kidney where I nearly died.

I now suffer from permanent pain and loss of kidney function plus high blood pressure due to this abscess.

When I recovered from the imediate abscess problem I contacted Forth Valley NHS to see what had happened. I met with my urology consultant (not the person who missed the scan) who revealed to me the scan, which looked like an ostrich having swallowed a brick! He said, 'can you see what is in this scan?'I responded, 'of course, it is impossible not to see that a kidney stone was stuck in my ureter' He then said, 'Exactly. You should not have been sent home as you required emergency surgery to break up the kidney stone'

On hearing that my urology consultant was adamant that I had been the victim of malpractice, firstly by the house doctor who requested the scan and therafter by the Ward Consultant Doctor who was responsible for reviewing his house doctor's decision, I sought to have sight of my medical records for this evidence.

I was initially refused access to my own medical records. They said that I first had to ask the Consultant Doctor's (the one responsible for the review of the scan) permission to be able to see my medical records.

This request was initially refused!

Sometime later I was eventually allowed sight of my medical records in a room with an NHS staff member watching over me, only to find that all of the paperwork and the scan concerned was no longer in my medical records and all record of me having being admitted as an emergency with suspected renal colic was wiped clean.

Now I have to live the rest of my shortened life in pain as a result!

A short research into Forth Valley NHS medical negligence history showed that they were paying out £Millions a year!

Anonymous said...

It sounds more and more like Eileen Masterman was caught with her preverbial pants down at the SLCC in lying about her siding with the enemy the Law Society of Scotland?

On being rumbled, she has cried foul and downed tools to muddy the water and to force the Scottish Government to pay her off so that she keeps her mouth shut and then to parachute her into a new job once the Scottish Public's eye is taken off the ball?

Anonymous said...

Are the trainee and the midwife still in their jobs?

Surely someone must face a court to answer for the death of a baby?

Diary of Injustice said...

Thanks for the comments on this article.I'm happy to see good constructive comments on this article & those of you sending best wishes for the family in what has been a terrible tragedy for Andrew & Joanne.

If anyone has a complaint being looked at by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman and you feel you are not being given a fair hearing, or if you have grounds to question the SPSO staff's handling in any way, please contact Diary of Injustice via

If, like many other organisations, the SPSO fails to live up to expectations they too should be named & shamed just like any other professional or public body who fail to live up to expectations ...

Diary of Injustice will continue to report on any stories brought to its attention and assist those whose cases could benefit from publicity in the wider media.

Anonymous said...

I agree - publish all these SPSO reports and lets see who they are letting off the hook or covering up for.

Time for transparency!

Anonymous said...

Keep up the pressure Mr C - very good expose of all these secretive people seeing to it no one gets any justice even for the death of a child.

Anonymous said...

Is Nicola Sturgeon likely to do ANYTHING about this, afteral she IS a Scottish Lawyer?

Sounds fishy to me?

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that Eileen Masterman has been at the centre of two quasi Governmental organisations where she has brought the organisations into disrepute?

Anonymous said...

What exactly did Nicola Sturgeon do about this?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for publishing my comment.
I'm guessing Sturgeon did nothing?

Diary of Injustice said...

@ 28 August 2014 20:53

As matters stand on this case, it appears the Deputy First Minister did not take part in any meeting with the family and the Sunday Mail article is self explanatory on the NHS Trust's attitude towards the family.

Anyone with a complaint against a hospital or any public service which is being investigated by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman should think about going to the media before the SPSO and the in-each-other's-pockets quango club wrap things up neatly for whichever public service is the offender ...