Public inquiry into hospitals begins in August

Brodie Lord 1

Lord Brodie, who will preside at the hospitals inquiry.

By Democrat reporter

A public inquiry into safety issues at two new Scottish hospitals will begin on 3 August, it has been announced.

It will look at issues relating to ventilation and building systems at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus in Glasgow.

The Royal Hospital for Children and the Department of Clinical Neurosciences in Edinburgh will also be examined.

The inquiry was ordered after patients’ families raised safety concerns.

Last year it emerged that two patients at the Glasgow hospital died from infections linked to pigeon droppings.

The case of 10-year-old Milly Main was referred to prosecutors in January after she contracted an infection and died at the hospital. Her mother said the family were not informed about a potential link to contaminated water problems at the hospital.

However NHSGCC maintains there has been no link established between the water in the hospital and the patient’s death.

And last summer the opening of the new children’s hospital in Edinburgh was delayed due to concerns over its ventilation system.

The Scottish government stepped in to prevent it from opening just a day before it was due to accept patients.

Earlier this month, a review into the QEUH found cancer patients had been “exposed to risk that could have been lower” due to the way the building was designed and maintained.

However it found no sound evidence that any avoidable deaths had been caused by the design of the campus.

  • Doctors’ safety concerns ‘not taken seriously’ at Glasgow hospital
  • Family want ‘truth’ over pigeon dropping infection

The Scottish government said the inquiry would be led by Lord Brodie QC.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “The safety and well-being of all patients and their families is my top priority and should be the primary consideration in all NHS construction projects.

“I want to make sure this is the case for all future projects, which is why, following calls from affected parents, I announced a public inquiry to examine the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and Department of Clinical Neurosciences and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital sites.”

Ten-year-old Milly Main died after contracting an infection while receiving treatment for leukaemia. Her mother, Kimberley Darroch, is pictured left.

Lord Brodie said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has inevitably had an impact on preparations for the inquiry and I look forward to being able to make progress in due course.

“An early action will be to invite those who have been impacted by the issues set out in the terms of reference to contact the inquiry.”

According to the remit of the inquiry, which was published this month, its aim is to ascertain how the problems occurred, if they could have been prevented, their impact on patients and families and if the hospitals provide a safe environment.

The announcement follows a BBC investigation into safety fears at Glasgow’s flagship hospital.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was criticised by senior doctors who said attempts to highlight risks to patient safety were not taken seriously.

Medics spoke about their concerns for the first time to BBC’s Disclosure: Secrets of Scotland’s Superhospital

In the programme, doctors said they were branded “troublemakers” for raising the alarm.

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