An inquiry into two of Scotland’s newest hospitals has reached a “significant milestone” as it invites applications from people or organisations that want to be core participants in it, its chairman has said.
The Scottish Hospitals Inquiry is investigating the construction of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) campus in Glasgow and the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and Department of Clinical Neurosciences (RHCYP/DCN) in Edinburgh.
It will determine how issues relating to adequacy of ventilation, water contamination and other matters impacted on patient safety and care and whether these issues could have been prevented.
Kimberly Darroch, the mother of 10-year-old Milly Main, who died in the QEUH in 2017 after contracting an infection, has blamed contaminated water in the £842 million hospital for her death.
She has launched legal action against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
An independent review published in June found no sound evidence that avoidable deaths have resulted from failures in the design, build, commissioning or maintenance of the QEUH and Royal Hospital for Children (RHC) in Glasgow.
Core participants in the inquiry can include individuals, organisations or entities with a significant interest in the matters it will investigate.
Lord Brodie, inquiry chairman, said: “Since announcing the launch of the Scottish Hospitals Inquiry in August we have made substantial progress.
“This has included meeting with representatives of affected patients and their families, gathering relevant documentation and identifying specific lines of investigation.
“The invitation for applications for core participant status is another significant milestone.”
He added: “Between now and the end of December, those who have particularly relevant contributions to make and who wish to engage more closely with the inquiry can apply.
“I would encourage patients, families and anyone else who has information that they think may assist the inquiry in fulfilling its terms of reference to please get in touch.”
Core participants can make an opening and closing statement at certain hearings, their recognised legal representative may apply to the chairman to ask questions of a witness and they will receive a copy of the inquiry’s report before it is published.
The Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh had its opening delayed days before it was due to welcome patients last year.
It was expected to open in July 2019 but Health Secretary Jeane Freeman halted the move from the existing hospital site after final compliance checks revealed the ventilation system within the critical care department of the new building did not meet the necessary standards.
The inquiry will also examine whether the hospital buildings provide a suitable environment for the delivery of safe, effective care and will make recommendations to ensure any past mistakes are not repeated in future NHS infrastructure projects.
Those who believe they have grounds to apply for core participant status should contact firstname.lastname@example.org before the deadline of December 31.
The chairman will consider applications in January 2021, and a list of core participants will be published on the Inquiry website – hospitalsinquiry.scot.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe