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Thu November 30 2023

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Further problems found in troubled Edinburgh hospital

31 Oct 19 The second and final part of a review into the delayed opening of a new Edinburgh hospital has identified the need for remedial work within the fire and electrical systems.

The review into compliance of all building systems at the Royal Hospital for Children & Young People (RHCYP) and Department of Clinical Neurosciences (DCN) has been published has also highlighted opportunities for other improvements.

A ventilation problem caused the delay to the opening of the £150m hospital and prompted a wider review of the building services. The ventilation issue appears to stem from an error in a tender document issued in 2012.

The latest NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) report focuses on fire systems, electrical systems and medical gases.

The first part of the NSS review, which was published last month, outlined issues with ventilation and water systems, which also need to be resolved.

NHS Lothian has published a response setting out a programme of activity to address the findings in the latest NSS report following an assessment of the work to be completed. A wider action plan bringing together both reports will follow in due course.

Last month, the health secretary Jeane Freeman announced a timeline for the phased move of services to the new RHCYP.

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Freeman said: “This second report from NSS has identified remedial and improvement work required within the fire and electrical systems and that will be factored into a wider plan of work being taken forward to ensure safety at the RHCYP and DCN.

“As I set out in Parliament last month, I expect the DCN to move in spring 2020, with the rest of the Children’s Hospital migrating to the new site in autumn next year."

The RHCYP Oversight Board is in place and has overall responsibility for ensuring the completion of the works and the hospital opening. The board is chaired by the Scottish government’s chief nursing officer and includes senior figures from Scottish government’s health and social care directorates, NHS National Services Scotland, Scottish Futures Trust and NHS Lothian.

Mary Morgan was appointed senior programme director, effective from 16th September, and will report directly to the Scottish government. She has responsibility for the actions to ensure the facility is fit for occupation and will oversee the action plan to deliver a safe and complaint site for the RHCYP and DCN.

Freeman has announced a public inquiry to examine issues at the new RHCYP and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) sites. The inquiry will determine how issues relating to ventilation and other key building systems occurred, and what steps can be taken to prevent this being repeated.

In addition, a new national body will also be created. This will have oversight for the design, planning, construction and maintenance of major NHS Scotland infrastructure developments.

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