HEALTH BOARD ORDERED TO IMPROVE VENTILATION SYSTEM

Statement on Health and Safety Executive improvement notice at showpiece hospital

The QE2 University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Children.

By Bill Heaney

Immediate improvements have been ordered at the controversial £850 million showpiece Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Children which is at the centre of a major investigation following the deaths of two children earlier this year.

It said: “As part of our ongoing commitment to providing a safe environment for our patients and staff, we have been working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over the past few months to look at governance and processes relating to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Children on areas highlighted in the March 2019 Healthcare Improvement Scotland Report.

“On 24th December our Chief Executive received notification from the HSE that they were serving an Improvement Notice in relation to Ward 4C as part of these investigations.

“In the interests of openness and transparency and building public confidence in NHSGGC, we are today publishing the Improvement Notice on our website.
This notice requires us to carry out a verification of the ventilation system for Ward 4C.

“Ward 4C is a renal transplant/haemato-oncology ward and neither of the groups of patients cared for in this ward require specialist ventilation.

“Any ‘at risk’ haemato-oncology patients are cared for in Ward 4B which is a fully HEPA-filtered ward.

“We have also confirmed with other UK centres who care for renal transplant patients they similarly treat these patients in a general ward environment.

“As an additional precaution, however, to further safeguard our patients, we installed mobile HEPA filters in Ward 4C in January 2019 as part of our control measures when we were investigating infections at that time.

“Under Scottish health technical memoranda, general wards do not require to undergo the critical system verification that has been required in the Ward 4C Improvement Notice.

“In view of this, and the additional safeguards that we have already implemented, we have asked for an early meeting with HSE to discuss the content of the Improvement Notice in more detail.

“This meeting will take place in the first week in January.”

Grant Jane Health Board CEO 1Jane Grant, Chief Executive, pictured left, said: “We are sorry for the distress that patients and their families have experienced by the current issues and want to assure them and the public that we are working with the Scottish Government to do everything necessary to remedy the situation.

“I also want to thank our staff for the commitment and professionalism they have demonstrated throughout this time, ensuring that our patients continue to receive the safe, high quality healthcare they deserve.

“Patients who require specialist ventilation are cared for in Ward 4B which is a fully HEPA-filtered ward.  As a further precaution we introduced mobile HEPA filters in Ward 4C in January as part of our control measures when we were investigating infections at that time.

“We welcome the opportunity to discuss these actions with the Health and Safety Executive when we meet them in the New Year.”
 
* Link to Improvement Notice: https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/media/257740/improvement-notice-kwqeuhdec1901.pdf

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