9am news briefing

HOSPITALS are to be exposed to more "shock inspections" after Scotland's health watchdog found inadequate staff infection prevention.

The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate found that staff cleaning procedure at two Lothians hospitals, The Western General and St John's in Livingston, was poor, while it criticised the ERI for not having up to date policies on wards.

During its first year of inspections the inspectorate found that staff at the Western General had "an inconsistent approach to the recording of cleaning tasks across the hospital". At St John's the HEI found that one of the 11 wards inspected, Ward 21, was dusty and required to be "brought up to the standard of other wards".

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The authority's chief Susan Brimelow has now pledged to make 90 per cent of inspections unannounced.

• A GRIEVING mother has accused the Lothians church minister who killed her son of lying about the tragedy, it was reported today.

The Rev Keith Johnston revealed he had served a sentence for stabbing to death his friend Steven Hughes when he was 16. He was sentenced to seven years for culpable homicide in 1990 but is now a minister at Dalkeith Baptist Church.

But Steven's mum, June Deans, has reportedly contradicted his claim that the fatal blow was struck after a fight.

She said: "There was no fight. Steven was lured out of his house and stabbed. He was killed in cold blood and Johnston's account is an affront to his memory."

• A STUNNED dog owner ended up with 14 bloodhound puppies after being told by a vet to expect just "two or three."

Judy Jenkinson is being eaten out of her East Lothian house and home after the huge litter was delivered by two-year-old Corrente.

She said: "The puppies are getting through three cartons or 1500 grams of yoghurt per day and three litres of goat's milk."