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Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Information and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions now in place.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Statement

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Sunday Mail has today run a story about a Freedom of Information request regarding the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

In the interests of openness and transparency we want to share the full findings from the investigation so far which we have shared with the Sunday Mail.

STATEMENT

 Our thoughts and sympathies remain with the families of two patients who were treated for a Cryptococcus infection and sadly later died.

The safety of our patients is at the centre of everything we do and we encourage any family with any question or concern to speak to a member of staff so that this can be responded to personally.

In the 12 months since we announced an investigation into the two cases, we have continued to work with international and national experts to examine a number of potential hypotheses about a possible source of the Cryptococcus fungus (neoformans).   

To date this expert panel has identified: 

  • As Cryptococcal fungi are widespread naturally occurring in the environment, a specific source has not been found
  • Despite extensive testing of the hospital environment, we have found no evidence of Cryptococcus neoformans in or around the hospital
  • The plant room – initially thought to be the source – has been ruled out
  • There have been no further cases since last year. 

This panel continues to meet and their full report will be published in due course.

On harm to human health

Our public health team with special responsibility for environmental concerns has confirmed that the risk to healthy humans from pigeons is low.  

For those who are vulnerable to infection from environmental bacteria or fungi because of their illness or treatment, NHSGGC have clinical protocols to protect them from infection – including the option to place patients in facilities with specialist ventilation and treatment with a range of prophylaxis antibiotics and antifungals.

On the issue of pest control

We have a significant programme in place to manage the presence of pests on our sites; we have also engaged a specialist contractor who will respond rapidly to deal with any reports of pests. 

ENDS

 

 

 

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