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Thu November 30 2023

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Further safety checks ordered at delayed Edinburgh hospital

18 Jul 19 An extensive programme of tests has been ordered of the building systems at a major new Edinburgh children’s hospital that had been due to open this month.

The first patients had been due at the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People (RHCYP) on 9th July but the move was halted just a few days before the opening because of issues with the ventilation system. No new date has yet been set.

NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) is to undertake a detailed assessment of compliance of all building systems that could impact on the safety of patients and staff at the new site. This will be phased, with assessment of water, ventilation and drainage systems prioritised, including a proposed fix for the ventilation unit that halted the move. The Scottish government said that this will determine the timeframe for services moving to the new hospital and a full report is anticipated in September.

NSS will also review current and recently completed major NHS capital projects and provide assurances that the same standards have been complied with.

KPMG has begun work this week on an independent review of the governance arrangements for RHCYP.

In addition, the Health Secretary has escalated NHS Lothian to Level 3 of the NHS Board Performance Escalation Framework. A package of tailored support will be made available to the health board to drive forward improvements.

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Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “I understand that this is a disappointing and worrying time for parents and carers of patients who have appointments at the new children’s hospital. However, safe, effective and high quality clinical services continue to be delivered from the existing site in Sciennes.

“The work carried out by NSS will give quality assurance on the water, ventilation and drainage systems and establish a timeframe for services to move safely to the new hospital.

“Infection prevention must always be embedded within the design, planning, construction and commissioning activities of all new and refurbished healthcare facilities, which is why I have also instructed NSS to review current and recently completed major NHS capital projects and provide assurances that the same standards have been adhered to.

“KPMG are also now on site independently reviewing the governance arrangements for the new children’s hospital to establish the factors that led to the delay.

“I recognise and appreciate that NHS Lothian staff have made considerable efforts both in the lead up to the planned move and following the delay. I have written to staff today to thank them for their hard work and for all that they are doing to help manage the situation, and for their excellent track record of providing high-quality patient care.”

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