Questions around the safety of the hospitals on the QEUH campus have persisted for some time, causing distress to a number of families and a great degree of public concern. We are very sorry that this situation has arisen and for the anxiety this caused.
The independent review by Dr Fraser and Dr Montgomery provides a comprehensive assessment of issues that arose with the QEUH and the RHC in relation to their design, build, commissioning and maintenance and we welcome the publication of their report.
Today’s report highlights a number of shortcomings by the Board, its contractors and its advisors at various stages of the design, build, commissioning and maintenance of the QEUH and RHC. It also recognises that since the hospitals opened, we have taken remedial action to resolve a wide range of issues, some of which are now subject to legal action against the contractors and the advisors.
The report also concludes that there is no sound evidential basis for avoidable deaths having resulted from failures identified with the design, build and maintenance of the QEUH campus, including the water system and that the link between air changes and infection risk has not been established. Furthermore, it finds no sound evidence linking the instances of Cryptococcus infection to the presence of pigeons on the campus.
The report finds that our hospitals are delivering high quality healthcare, supported by modern safety systems and features. It recognises the significant efforts of our infection control teams, along with clinical colleagues, to ensure patient safety and to reduce infection rates in our hospitals.
We hope that today’s report provides some comfort to families who have had unanswered questions about factors contributing to the death of their loved one and helps restore public confidence in the safety of the hospitals. We would like to apologise again to those families that these issues have arisen and for the time taken to resolve them.
Welcoming the report, Jane Grant, Chief Executive said: “This has been a very difficult period for our patients, their families and our staff for which we apologise.
“The findings highlight several areas of learning for NHSGGC. We remain fully committed to applying the learning from this experience. We also remain focused on remedying any ongoing consequences of decisions and actions taken when designing, building and commissioning of the hospitals and in their maintenance.
“The report highlights issues concerning previous ways of working in one area of the Board with regard to Infection Prevention and Control. We recognise that there are still issues to be addressed concerning the organisation’s culture.
“We would like to thank Professor Marion Bain and Professor Angela Wallace for their work on behalf of the Scottish Government to support the team to develop a more supportive and inclusive culture in this area.
“Whistleblowing is an important factor in better understanding issues and promoting a culture of openness where staff feel confident to raise concerns. We are committed to supporting whistleblowers within our organisation and thank those who came forward with their concerns about the hospitals.”
Professor John Brown CBE, Chairman, added: “We hope that this report, and the lessons from it, can enable the Health Board to move forward, to restore public confidence in the QEUH and the RHC and to help re-build the reputation of these hospitals to one based on the high quality, person centred care being provided by our hard working and committed staff rather than on the problems we experienced with the design and construction of the buildings.”
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]