Glasgow hospital patients moved due to air quality

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PATIENTS have been moved from the Bone Marrow Unit at the new £842 million Queen Elizabeth University Hospital due to concerns over the air quality.

Routine air quality monitoring identified “a higher particle count than is desirable” in the unit, forcing NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde bosses to transfer 18 patients back to the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre as a precautionary measure.

We cannot afford to lose momentum now

Maureen Watt

Dr Anne Parker, lead consultant for haemato-oncology, said: “This is purely a precautionary step and we have no evidence that any patient has been adversely affected as a result of the environment issues. We are fortunate that the Beatson is available to us and we are working with our critical care colleagues in the new High Acuity Unit which has been established there.”

Bone Marrow Transplant services at the Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow are separate and unaffected.

This news comes as the flagship hospital suffered a fresh setback after another rise in emergency patients facing lengthy waits to be seen.

The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is still the worst in Scotland for being dealt with at accident and emergency – despite a team of government troubleshooters recently being sent in to tackle the problem. Twenty-five patients a day are now waiting longer than the four-hour national target to be seen.

Over the past year, patients across Scotland have faced longer waits in accident and emergency departments, health service statistics show.

Labour health spokeswoman Jenny Marra said: “A&E performance under the SNP government in Edinburgh has gone backwards in the last year despite the heroic efforts of our hardworking NHS staff.

“The flagship Glasgow Hospital is still not close to hitting performance targets, despite expert support teams being sent into the hospital weeks ago.

“The truth about our NHS in Scotland is that it has been underfunded by an SNP government that has squeezed spending on our NHS in Scotland harder than the Tories. That decision has let down patients and staff across Scotland.”

South Glasgow University hospital has been beset by problems since opening earlier this year. The latest weekly statistics show 88.6 per cent of emergency patients were seen inside four hours – against a national target of 95 per cent. The hospital had initially improved after health secretary Shona Robison sent in a team of government experts. The number of patients being seen inside four hours jumped from 78.6 per cent to 89.6 per cent, before falling back again last week.

A&E performance has deteriorated across Scotland over the past year, with a fall from 93.8 per cent to 92 per cent in the 12 months to June.

Public health minister Maureen Watt said A&E performance is “steadily improving”.

She added: “We cannot afford to lose momentum now and our focus remains on hitting that target, ensuring the best possible service for patients across ­Scotland.

“It is vital that, with ongoing support from the Scottish Government, health boards continue to deliver strong performance across Scotland in the summer months to ensure they are in the best position they can be heading into next winter.”