THE publication of an inquiry’s report into a deadly superbug outbreak at a Scottish hospital has been delayed again.
Lord MacLean, chairman of the Vale of Leven Hospital Inquiry, requested an extension to the May deadline due to illness.
The chairman is now home after several months in hospital due to illness following an operation. His rehabilitation was said to be progressing well.
But publication of his report into the outbreak in 2007/8 has now been pushed back again from the end of May to “autumn 2013” following a previous delay.
Lord MacLean wrote to Health Secretary Alex Neil to update him on progress and request additional time to allow him to consider all of the evidence and prepare his final report.
Julie-Anne Jamieson, secretary to the Inquiry, said: “During the chairman’s absence due to serious illness, the Inquiry Team has continued to make good progress, reviewing 126 days of evidence, statements, expert reports and many other documents in preparation for the final report.
“In view of the exceptional circumstances, Lord MacLean requires additional time to allow him to review all the evidence gathered and consider his conclusions and recommendations.
“Lord MacLean has assured the Cabinet Secretary that he will endeavour to meet this deadline. The Chairman will provide a further update on the reporting date to the Cabinet Secretary in August 2013.”
The inquiry is investigating the treatment of 63 patients at Vale of Leven Hospital in West Dunbartonshire during between December 2007 and June 2008, of whom 31 patients died.
Of these deaths, C difficile was identified as a cause of death or a contributory factor to death in 28 cases.
The inquiry is also considering the circumstances of two patients who were diagnosed with C difficile and died at Vale of Leven Hospital between 1 January 2007 and 30 November 2007.