Anyone with information which could assist an inquiry into two of Scotland’s newest hospitals has been urged to come forward.
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 in Edinburgh.
The inquiry was ordered after patients at the Glasgow site died from infections linked to pigeon droppings and the water supply, and the opening of the Edinburgh site was delayed due to concerns over the ventilation system.
The Scottish Government stepped in to prevent the children’s hospital opening just a day before it was due to accept patients.
The inquiry will aim to determine how issues relating to ventilation, water contamination and other matters impacted on patient safety and care and whether this could have been prevented.
It will also examine the impact on patients and their families and whether the buildings provide a suitable environment for safe, effective care, before making recommendations to ensure any mistakes are not repeated.
Inquiry chairman Lord Brodie invited applications last month from organisations and people wanting core participant status.
Now, having met representatives of affected patients and families, he is urging anyone with information for the inquiry to get in contact.
In a video appeal, he said his priority is for “further engagement with families and those who have been affected to listen to what they have to say”.
Kimberly Darroch, the mother of 10-year-old Milly Main who died in the QEUH in 2017 after contracting an infection, has launched legal action against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde as she blames contaminated water in the £842 million hospital for her death.
An independent review 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.
Lord Brodie said: “We have reached out to a wide range of those who are interested in the work of the inquiry and met with a number of those, including representatives of patients and their families at both hospitals, and gained very helpful insights from these conversations.
“We have begun to gather and familiarise ourselves with relevant documentation, including material provided as a result of my earlier appeal for anyone with information to get in touch.
“Together, these insights and documentation have informed the process of identifying the specific lines of investigation which the inquiry will pursue.”
He said he is “pleased” with progress, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
He added: “I issued a call to those applying for core participant status earlier this year to do so before December 31, 2020 and the deadline for consideration isn’t far off.
“Irrespective of core participant status, we encourage anyone who has any information pertaining to the terms of reference of the inquiry to please come forward and share this with us.”
Core participants can make statements at certain hearings, apply to have questions asked of a witness, and will receive a pre-publication copy of the inquiry’s report.
Terms of reference and contact details are on the inquiry’s website, www.hospitalsinquiry.scot.