Jackie Baillie MSP has called on Health Secretary Shona Robison to provide clarity on whether or not an independent audit of the new South Glasgow University Hospital has taken place, following her appearance at the Health and Sport Committee today.
The requirement for an independent audit was one of the recommendations made by Lord Maclean following his inquiry into the deaths of 34 patients at the Vale of Leven Hospital from Clostridium Difficile. This would ensure that infection control and prevention is not put at risk during any major service change in the NHS.
Health Secretary Shona Robison failed to assure the committee that an independent review has been carried out ahead of the opening of the new South Glasgow Hospital, despite several opportunities to respond to direct questions from Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie.
Jackie Baillie also asked Shona Robison whether isolation rooms where available at every hospital in Scotland and insisted that oversight of the implementation of Lord Maclean’s recommendations has to be more than a paper-based exercise. The Scottish Government sent a questionnaire to every NHS board following the publication of the Vale of Leven Inquiry Report asking them to self-assess their progress for each recommendation.
Labour MSP for Dumbarton, Jackie Baillie said:
“The new South Glasgow hospital is the first test for the Scottish Government to reassure the families affected by the tragedy at the Vale of Leven that lessons have been learned. Yet the Health Secretary could not say whether one of Lord Maclean’s recommendations has been put into practice.
“The new South Glasgow hospital is Scotland’s biggest ever hospital and the responsibility of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, the same health board where serious failures led to the tragic events at the Vale of Leven.
“Shona Robison did not know whether an independent audit has been carried out to ensure that the new hospital meets the processes and standards for infection control and prevention.
“When she updates Parliament in Spring, she needs to be absolutely certain that the Scottish Government has done everything it can to minimise the risk of another C.Diff outbreak. Anything less will not be good enough.”
Michelle McGinty, who lost her mother-in-law to C.Diff at the Vale of Leven, added:
“We welcome the progress that has been made to date and the opportunity for the families of those who died at the Vale to be involved in overseeing the process.
“However the lack of clarity over the new Southern General is deeply concerning. This will be one of the biggest hospitals in the UK and it will open during the implementation period so the Health Secretary needs to ensure that she is on top of this and she can reassure the public that all recommendations are being implemented. Ever since we started our campaign for justice we were motivated by the desire to ensure that no other family will need to go through the pain we endured. It is vital that every one of Lord Maclean’s recommendations is implemented in full and on time