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by Tom Freeman
12 February 2019
Health committee to investigate hospital safety in wake of Glasgow deaths

Lewis Macdonald - Parliament TV

Health committee to investigate hospital safety in wake of Glasgow deaths

The Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee will investigate patient safety in NHS hospitals after recent deaths in Glasgow linked to infections.

A 10-year-old boy died at Glasgow's Queen Elizabeth University Hospital after contracting a Crypotococcus fungal infection, which was also found in other patients including an elderly man who died of other causes.

It is thought the infections stemmed from a build-up of pigeon droppings in a non-public room of the hospital.

The Scottish Government previously announced a review of the design and build of the super hospital in the wake of the deaths, and the Crown Office is also investigating.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board also had to deal with the deaths of two premature babies at a maternity hospital in January after three infants were found to have a Staphylococcus aureus infection.

MSPs on the health committee will now look at risks to patient safety from hospital environments across the country.

Convener Lewis Macdonald said: “Like everyone across Scotland, I was deeply troubled by the nature of the deaths at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

“There are a number of ongoing investigations into what happened, but this raises wider issues about the safety and control of healthcare environments in Scotland.

“The committee is determined to understand how standards are upheld and consider existing protocols in place. We are also going to look at the adequacy of systems and processes for reporting and controlling outbreaks when they do occur.

“This is why we want to hear from healthcare professionals from across Scotland.”

Hospital environments are monitored and inspected by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, who will likely be among the first to be called to give evidence to the committee.

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