More safety checks after hospital delay

Thursday 18th July 2019

A detailed assessment of Edinburgh’s new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People is being carried out - which is expected to conclude in September - the Health Secretary has confirmed.

The move of patients, staff and services to the new site has been delayed after final safety checks revealed a ventilation system had failed to meet national standards.

NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) will now undertake a detailed examination of all the building systems, with priority given to water, ventilation and drainage systems.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said this would “establish a timeframe for services to move safely to the new hospital”, with a full report expected in September.

A review of all current and recently completed major NHS projects is also being carried out by NSS to “provide assurances” that standards have been met.

Ms Freeman said: “I understand that this is a disappointing and worrying time for parents and carers of patients who have appointments at the new children’s hospital.

“However, safe effective, and high quality clinical services continue to be delivered from the existing site in Sciennes.”

She added: “Infection prevention must always be embedded with the design, planning, construction and commissioning activities of all new and refurbished healthcare facilities, which is why I have also instructed NSS to review current and recently completed major NHS capital projects and provide assurances that the same standards have been adhered to.”

Parents and carers affected by the delay are being contacted directly to advise them of arrangements for their child’s appointment.

Finance experts KPMG have begun an independent review to establish the factors which led to the halt in services being moved to the new hospital, which was announced on the 4th July.

NHS Lothian has also been escalated to level three of the NHS Board Performance Escalation Framework, which means specific intervention is needed.

The Scottish Government said a package of tailored support will be made available to the health board to “drive forward improvements”.