Patients undergoing treatment at Scotland's largest hospital may have been put at risk of infection after an investigation revealed a chronic lack of anti-bacterial hand sanitiser outside wards.
The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow is currently facing a Scottish Government probe following the deaths of two patients from an infection linked to pigeon droppings.
But tests on almost a hundred hand-gel dispensers - including those located immediately outside wards specialising in treatment for illnesses spread by human contact - found over 30 were empty, risking the spread of several "communicable diseases".
A study carried out by the Evening Times discovered 36 of the 96 hand sanitisers tested in publicly accessible wards had not been refilled, with several also found to be broken.
The investigation found over half the dispensers outside the Arran wards, which treat patients affected by respiratory diseases and gastroenterology issues, found empty during three separate tests.
Alcohol-based hand rubs are used to ward off the effects of bacteria including E.coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), as well as respiratory viruses.
One cancer ward in the hospital was found to have no direct access to a dispenser, while several located outside wards that care for patients recovering from kidney transplants, orthopedic surgeries were also found to be empty.
It comes just months after an air filter issue at the £842 million medical facility was blamed for the deaths of two patients, aged 10 and 73, after they contracted an infection related to pigeon droppings.
Another investigation, surround the death of a 63-year-old patient from the Fungal infection Mucor has also been launched.
A health board spokesman said the 2,608 dispensers in the hospital would be "more robustly monitored".