Woman behind Sick Kids scandal denies wrongdoing


Elaine McGonigle (left) with Jack McConnell and George Foulkes

By Cara Sulieman

A WOMAN at the centre of a fundraising scandal affecting a famous Scots children’s hospital has slammed her critics – and insisted she has done nothing wrong.

Elaine McGonigle, who headed of New Pyjamas fundraising campaign to raise cash for the Sick Kids in Edinburgh, has been suspended while alleged irregularities in campaign finances are investigated.

It was also claimed that she had kept on a job a second job at Rosslyn Chapel that the bosses at the fundraising appeal for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh didn’t know about.

But in a statement released yesterday (Tues), Ms McGonigle denied that she had done anything wrong and that she had herself raised concerns with the charity.

“Strongly refute”

She said: “I strongly refute the accusations in regard to any failures on my part at the new pyjamas campaign; I am required, under my Professional Code of Conduct and Practise, to ensure that I advise on, and act in accordance with, those laws and regulations attendant to charitable activity in Scotland.

“I have raised a number of concerns over many months within the organisation – these concerns now rest with The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

“It would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment about these matters at this time.”

She went on to say that claims about her past employment at Rosslyn Chapel were also inaccurate.

Secret job

Ms McGonigle said: “I would also strongly refute the allegations, reported in recent press articles of any wrongdoing on my part whether relating to my present or past employment.

“The references provided for my current post were both factual and exemplary; these and my past employment record, were thoroughly checked at the time of my appointment to my current post.

“Additionally, I would note that I have not, as has been stated, held a ‘secret job’ at any time.

“I am required, under my Professional Code of Conduct and Practise, to ensure that I inform those organisations I work with of any conflict or other contracts; I have always done so and have been transparent in this at all times.

“I terminated the contract with Rosslyn Chapel in March 2009.”

It had been claimed that £500,000 was spent on fundraisers for New Pyjamas, but just £60,000 had been brought in, raising questions about the financial situation.

The campaign was set up to raise £15m for new hospital at Little France to pay for top-class equipment and research facilities outwith standard NHS budgets.

The Sick Kids is due to move from its current site in Sciennes in 2013.

Already, the campaign has announced it will be funding a drop-in centre at the £150m hospital and help to provide a family hotel so that relatives can stay nearby as the children undergo treatment.