Health chiefs line up le­gal ac­tion over city su­per-hos­pi­tal’s ‘flaws’

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY CARO­LINE WIL­SON

HEALTH chiefs are con­sid­er­ing le­gal ac­tion against the con­trac­tors be­hind the de­sign and con­struc­tion of Glas­gow’s prob­lem-hit su­per-hos­pi­tal, papers have re­vealed for the first time.

The death of a num­ber of pa­tients linked to bac­te­rial in­fec­tions and a se­ries of faults with the £840mil­lion Queen El­iz­a­beth Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal has prompted an in­ter­nal in­quiry by NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde and a sep­a­rate in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Scot­tish Govern­ment, which are both on­go­ing.

In the most se­ri­ous in­ci­dent, an el­derly woman and a 10-year-old boy, be­lieved to be suf­fer­ing from cancer, died af­ter de­vel­op­ing a bug linked to pi­geon drop­pings at the hos­pi­tal, which was built by Brook­field Mul­ti­plex and de­signed by Nightin­gale As­so­ci­ates.

NHSGGC has al­lo­cated £1.2mil­lion to up­grade the hos­pi­tal’s ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem and has al­ready spent thou­sands deal­ing with other flaws in­clud­ing faulty glass pan­els on the ex­te­rior of the build­ing and re­plac­ing all the blinds in the sin­gle rooms.

Of­fi­cial NHSGGC board papers state that, de­pend­ing on the out­come of the in­ter­nal re­view: “The Board may then ad­dress the con­tract­ing par­ties with re­gard to any breach in con­trac­tual li­a­bil­ity, and, where ap­pli­ca­ble, seek le­gal re­course to rem­edy the Board po­si­tion.”

A spokesman for the health board added: “No de­ci­sions will be made on pos­si­ble le­gal re­course un­til the ex­ter­nal and in­ter­nal re­views are con­cluded.”.

Mean­while, it has emerged that the source of the Cryp­to­coc­cus in­fec­tion did not orig­i­nate in a plant room at the top of the build­ing as pre­vi­ously thought.

Health Sec­re­tary Jeane Freeman said the likely source of the in­fec­tion had been traced to a 12th floor room con­tain­ing ma­chin­ery, where pi­geon ex­cre­ment had been found.

Pic­tures later emerged show­ing feath­ers and bird fae­ces in sev­eral ar­eas of the room which housed ma­chin­ery linked to the hos­pi­tal’s air con­di­tion­ing sys­tem.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to the health board papers, sub­se­quent tests have now ruled this area out as a pos­si­ble source.

“The ini­tial hy­poth­e­sis sug­gested a plant room could have been a source, how­ever air sam­pling re­sults did not sup­port this.”

The board said there had been no fur­ther cases since De­cem­ber 11, and said in­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing with sup­port from UK ex­perts.

It has also emerged that hy­giene amongst nurs­ing staff at a hos­pi­tal where an­other pa­tient died af­ter con­tract­ing an­other bac­te­rial in­fec­tion was be­low the stan­dard ex­pected.

In Fe­bru­ary, NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde said the bug stenotroph­omonas mal­tophilia had been a fac­tor in the death of a pa­tient at the Royal Alexan­dra Hos­pi­tal in Pais­ley.

Two other pa­tients had been af­fected.

A num­ber of re­me­dial ac­tions were taken by the health board in­clud­ing a deep clean and reg­u­lar hand hy­giene au­dits which found: “The re­sults of the au­dit high­lighted im­prove­ments (were) re­quired in tech­nique used.”

A spokesman for NHSGGC said: “Ap­pro­pri­ate hand hy­giene is im­por­tant in all hos­pi­tal set­tings.

“We rou­tinely mon­i­tor this to en­sure com­pli­ance across all of our hos­pi­tals and our hand hy­giene co-or­di­na­tor re­ported com­pli­ance stands at 97 per cent board wide against the na­tional stan­dard of 95 per cent.

The in­fec­tion in the ward has been ro­bustly man­aged and there have been no fur­ther cases since late Fe­bru­ary.”

The Evening Times con­tacted Brook­field and Nightin­gale As­so­ci­ates for com­ment re­gard­ing pos­si­ble le­gal ac­tion.

‘‘ No de­ci­sions will be made on pos­si­ble le­gal re­course un­til the re­views are con­cluded

NHS bosses have launched an in­ter­nal in­quiry into ‘faults’ at the £842mil­lion Queen El­iz­a­beth Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal, in Glas­gow

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