Inquiries into two major Scottish hospitals, including in Glasgow, will begin today.
The Scottish Hospitals Inquiry is investigating the construction of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) campus in Glasgow and the Royal Hospital for Children and Youth and the Department of Clinical Neuroscience in Edinburgh.
An inquiry was ordered after patients at the Glasgow site died of pigeon droppings and water-supply-related infections, and concerns about the ventilation system delayed the opening of the Edinburgh site.
Earlier this year, an independent survey found that at least two children at QEUH died as a result of an infection linked to the hospital environment.
The study examined 118 episodes of serious bacterial infections in 84 children and adolescents who received treatment for leukemia, cancer or related conditions at the Royal Children’s Hospital on campus.
He found that one-third of the infections were “probably” linked to the hospital environment.
He said two of the 22 deaths, at least in part, were the result of his infection.
Kimberly Daruch, the mother of 10-year-old Milliman, who died in 2017 after suffering an infection at QEUH, called for further investigation into the problems at the hospital.
The opening of the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital – to be held in 2019 – was delayed after the Scottish Government was informed of safety issues there, as patient recovery was about to begin.
It finally opened in March this year.
The purpose of the inquiry is to determine how issues related to ventilation, water pollution and other issues in the two hospitals affected patient safety and care and whether it could have been prevented.
It will begin hearings Monday from affected patients and families.
Lord Brody, who will preside over the inquiry, said: “These issues have not affected any other group more than the patients and families we will hear from in the next few weeks.
“Their experiences will help inform future investigations as we turn our attention to the later stages of the inquiry.
“This hearing marks the end of a year of first food preparation, which provides us with a basis for ensuring that the inquiry is led by the evidence that comes to light throughout its life.
“Ultimately, our role is to understand what went wrong in the construction of these hospitals so that lessons can be learned to prevent the recurrence of such problems in the future.”
The hearing will be held in offices near St. Andrew’s Square in Edinburgh and will be streamed online.
They will run for three weeks before the two-week break. They will resume on October 25 for another two weeks.