Glasgow hospital cleaning staff ‘not briefed’ on infection control, MSPs told

Cleaning staff at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Glasgow have not been briefed on infection control measures despite the recent death of a child patient from pigeon-linked infection, MSPs were told today.

Nicola Sturgeon pledged to investigate the claims made by Labour leader Richard Leonard and also defended Health Secretary Jeanne Freeman’s defence of infection control measures at the four-year-old £842 million hospital are safe.

A root and branch review has been ordered into Scotland’s biggest hospital after the death of a child patient in December where the infection linked to pigeon droppings was found to be factor in the death. The birds had got into a plant room on the top floor of the building

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Cleaning staff at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital have not been briefed on infection control, it has emerged.

Labour leader Richard Leonard referred at First Ministers Questions today to a visit by Ms Freeman to the hospital on Tuesday.

“Can the First Minister explain why - as of last night - the Facilities management workers, including the hospital’s cleaners, have still not received a briefing from infection control?” he asked.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs that she and Ms Freeman will both look into the issue.

“If that is the case then clearly they should have done,” the First Minister said.

“I would expected those working in this field in any hospital, in any part of the health service, to be properly briefed in terms of the challenges we’re facing.”

A sting of issues including sewage, infection, drainage and ventilation problems have emerged since it opened.

But Ms Sturgeon accused Mr Leonard of “mis-characterising” her and the health secretary’s position on the robustness of infection control measures.

She said: “The evidence suggests there’s no general problem with infection control. We’re not complacent about that and continue to monitor all the relevant statistics very carefully, not just for this hospital but for all hospitals.”

Ms Freeman was referring to additional measures having been put in place when she stated she was satisfied with infection control in a radio interview, the First Minister added.

“She was taken to see some of the measures that have been taken and was satisfied on the basis of advice given to her that those would were the appropriate steps that have been taken.

“But there will be no complacency at all.”