Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Infection control at flagship hospital ‘generally good’, inspectors say

Inspectors visited the Glasgow hospital in March and June (Jane Barlow/PA)
Inspectors visited the Glasgow hospital in March and June (Jane Barlow/PA)

Unannounced inspections of Glasgow’s flagship hospital found “generally good” approaches to infection control, a watchdog has said.

However Healthcare Improvement Scotland said the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) was under “significant” staffing pressure, with dozens of wards carrying a risk rating of red.

The inspectors visited the hospital in March and June this year.

A separate public inquiry is investigating its infection prevention measures after it emerged that patients have died after contracting infections at the hospital complex.

Ten-year-old Milly Main died in 2017 after contracting an infection at the QEUH’s Royal Hospital for Children’s cancer ward, and senior Scottish Government official Andrew Slorance died in 2020 with an infection caused by a fungus called aspergillus.

The Healthcare Improvement Scotland inspection was said to be “wide ranging” and examined the prevention of aspergillus.

Its report noted: “On the first day of our inspection, senior managers told us that 27 wards across the hospital campus scored a risk rating of red at the start of the day.

“This can result from staff numbers or the staff skill mix not being optimal.”

It said patients were happy with the cleanliness of the hospital and staff were adhering to infection control measures.

Donna Maclean, head of service at Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “At the time of our inspection visits, the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus was experiencing a significant range of pressures, including increased hospital admissions, increased waiting times in emergency departments and reduced staff availability.

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital
Inspectors reported ‘significant’ staffing pressures at the hospital (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“These pressures are not isolated to this hospital, with similar pressures being experienced across NHS Scotland.

“Despite the significant staff shortages across the campus, staff within the clinical areas told us they felt supported by senior leadership, and we observed clear communication throughout the inspection.

“We observed that most infection prevention and control practices carried out by staff working across all roles to support care delivery was generally good, and in line with infection control guidance and standards.

“This report has highlighted several areas of good practice, with some areas for improvement detailed within the requirements and recommendations within the report.

“In order to prioritise the requirements from this inspection, an action plan has been developed by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.”

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “I welcome Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s (HIS) report into infection prevention and control at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and am pleased to see positive feedback from patients on the care they have received.

Humza Yousaf
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said he welcomed the positive feedback from patients (Peter Devlin/PA)

“Patient safety is paramount and the report highlights good infection prevention and control leadership at QEUH, a vigilant approach towards aspergillus infections, and strong communication across the multidisciplinary and infection prevention and control team.

“I note the HIS recommendation on the development of national guidance on the management of aspergillus infection and the Scottish Government will give full consideration to this as part of its work in developing an interim healthcare associated infection strategy.”

Professor Angela Wallace, executive nurse director at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “I would like to thank HIS for their work earlier this year. Given the thoroughness of their investigations, it is particularly pleasing that the report gave such positive feedback for our culture, staff, leadership and infection prevention and control procedures.

“I would particularly like to thank our infection prevention and control team for their continuing vigilance, and for their work to support all staff to keep our patients safe.”

The health board said an action plan has been agreed with HIS to ensure ongoing development of its staff and assurance of its policies and procedures.