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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-30225
Asked by: Bill Kidd, Glasgow Anniesland, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 24 June 2020

Question

To ask the Scottish Government when the Public Inquiry into the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus, Glasgow, and the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Edinburgh, will begin.

Current status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 25 June 2020


Answer

Since I announced the publication of the Terms of Reference to Parliament last week I have spoken with the Inquiry Chair, The Right Honourable Lord Brodie. I can confirm that the Public Inquiry will have a setting-up date of 3 August 2020.

The Inquiry’s Remit and Terms of Reference were published on 15 June 2020 and I was pleased to have consulted with Lord Brodie, party spokespeople and patients and families during the drafting process. The Remit and Terms of Reference make clear that the Inquiry will consider the planning, design, construction, commissioning and, where appropriate, maintenance of both the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus (QEUH), Glasgow and the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and Department of Clinical Neurosciences (RHCYP/DCN), Edinburgh. It will determine how issues relating to adequacy of ventilation, water contamination and other matters adversely impacting on patient safety and care occurred; if these issues could have been prevented; the impacts of these issues on patients and their families; and whether the buildings provide a suitable environment for the delivery of safe, effective person-centred care. The full Remit and Terms of Reference of the Inquiry can be viewed at https://www.gov.scot/publications/inquiry-into-the-construction-of-the-qeuh-glasgow-and-the-rhcyp-dcn-edinburgh-terms-of-reference/ .

This is a statutory Public Inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 meaning it will have the power to require witnesses to attend and information relating to the Inquiry’s work to be disclosed. The Inquiry is entirely independent and its conduct, procedures and lines of enquiry are a matter for the Chair. Lord Brodie has told me that he will issue a call for evidence shortly after the setting up date. The arrangements for the Inquiry have been affected by the Covid-19 restrictions, particularly with regard to securing accommodation and personnel, and we will continue to provide assistance and support as appropriate to ensure that the Inquiry is fully equipped to undertake its important work.

The Inquiry is a critical next step in seeking to understand the issues that affected both the QEUH and RHCYP/DCN. Its Terms of Reference are comprehensive and include considering the physical, emotional and other effects of the issues identified on patients and their families. The Inquiry is charged with making “recommendations identifying any lessons learnt to ensure that any past mistakes are not repeated in any future NHS infrastructure projects”.

I would like to record my thanks to Lord Brodie and I wish him and his team well in taking forward this important Inquiry.