INDEPENDENT REVIEW COMPLETES INFECTION CONTROL PHASE

4 February 2020

INDEPENDENT REVIEW COMPLETES INFECTION CONTROL PHASE

The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Independent Review has completed its first investigative phase and remains on schedule to publish findings in the Spring.
Co-chairs Dr Brian Montgomery and Dr Andrew Fraser have initially focused predominantly on infection prevention and control at the hospital.

Along with their investigation team they have conducted over 33 hours of interviews with healthcare staff within the NHS, as well as some of those patients and their families who have been affected.

Over 2,500 infection control documents and reports have been closely scrutinised by the Independent Review, which is also probing the design, build, commissioning and maintenance of the Royal Hospital for Children (RHC). The work undertaken will feed into the next investigative phase focusing on the building itself.

Dr Montgomery said: “We are pleased with the progress that has been made. This first phase has given us valuable insights into the hospital’s operations and experiences of patients who have attended there.

“It will help inform our next phase of work, which will focus on the building itself.”
Since opening in 2015 the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow has experienced problems with rare microorganisms.

A number of patients have contracted severe infections and several rare microbiological contaminants with the potential to cause serious infections have also been identified.
These have been linked to issues with water quality and ventilation systems and have been the subject of reviews undertaken by the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate and Health Protection Scotland.

In November the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman announced a Public Inquiry into problems at the QEUH and issues surrounding the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh.

Both Dr Montgomery and Dr Fraser have attended meetings with Lord Brodie, who will lead the Public Inquiry. Dr Fraser said: “Although the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry have yet to be announced, we have been working with Lord Brodie to help inform the Inquiry and ensure it complements the work of the Review. “Our findings will feed into the Inquiry. However, it will ultimately be for Lord Brodie to determine the scope of his work. Nonetheless, we anticipate our work will assist the Inquiry by identifying areas of interest which may otherwise have taken substantial time for it to establish.”

Over the next few months the Review’s investigators will focus on gathering evidence related to the QEUH and RHC buildings. Technical expert Billy Hare, Professor in Construction Management at Glasgow Caledonian University, will lead this phase.

Dr Fraser added: “Subject to the availability of those we wish to interview, and dependent on access to relevant documents, we expect this phase of work to be completed around Easter. “We would still encourage anyone who feels they have important information or experiences to share, particularly those involved in the construction, design or maintenance of the building to come forward.”

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