Jeane Freeman tells NHS chiefs to ‘publish review’ into Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital

A review that prompted NHS chiefs to take legal action against the contractors who built Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital complex must be published as soon as possible, the health secretary has insisted.
The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Picture: John DevlinThe Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Picture: John Devlin
The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Picture: John Devlin

Jeane Freeman said she had instructed NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGC&C)to consider if the documents could be published in part. She spoke out after the health board confirmed it was starting court proceedings against construction firm Brookfield Multiplex amid infection concerns. At the same time NHSGC&C clarified the deaths of two further patients at the Royal Hospital for Children – which is part of the same site – were not linked to infections acquired at the hospital.

One child who died had acquired an infection in the community, while in a second case the infection was not related to the cause of death.

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A spokeswoman for NHSGC&C said: “Our sympathies go to the families who have been affected by the heartbreak of losing a child and we are absolutely committed to supporting families who have faced such a tragedy.

“As part of our infection control governance processes we update the board on our performance against healthcare associated infection standards.”

The spokeswoman added that an incident management team had examined the cases and “the team determined that one infection was community acquired and that the cause of death in the second case was unrelated to the infection”.

NHSGC&C was escalated to stage four of the NHS Board Performance Framework by Ms Freeman last month – the second highest level of Scottish Government intervention – following its response to an infection scandal.

Concerns about the water supply at the hospital were raised after it emerged ten-year-old cancer patient Milly Main died after contracting an infection in August 2017.

Last week health board chief executive Jane Grant revealed lawyers had been instructed to prepare legal action against contractor Brookfield Multiplex “as a matter of urgency”.

As a result of that she said the findings of a review to address building concerns could not be published yet – but would be made public when possible.

Ms Freeman said she had asked the board “to clarify when their lawyers think they could publish the report, and whether or not their lawyers think they could publish the report in part”.