Short Inquiry on Health Hazards in the Healthcare Environment


About the Inquiry

The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) Glasgow opened in 2015. Several issues have arisen at the hospital since it opened regarding water hygiene, external cladding, the ventilation system and glazing failures which have raised concerns regarding patient safety.

Most recently the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport informed the Parliament on 22 January of the Cryptococcus Infection at the hospital and the mucoraceous mould infection.

A letter received by the Cabinet Secretary on 5 February indicated that she had requested Healthcare Environment Inspectorate undertaken an inspection of the hospital site to provide independent assurance of the safety of the patient care environment.

The Cabinet Secretary also confirmed that she would set up an independent external review to look at the building’s design, commissioning and construction, handover and ongoing maintenance, how these matters contribute to effective infection control and any other areas considered necessary by those carrying out the review.

An independent chair will be appointed. The review’s recommendations will be made public and the Scottish Government will inform the Parliament of its response to the review recommendations.

Committee approach

The Committee agreed at its meeting on 29 January to undertake a short inquiry to identify the scale of any health problems acquired from the healthcare environment in Scotland whilst also considering the wider implications for health facilities across Scotland.


The Committee held an oral evidence session on 19 March with the following organisations: 

  • Health and Safety Executive
  • Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Health Facilities Scotland
  • Health Protection Scotland


To support this work the Committee has issued a targeted call for written views running from Tuesday 12 February – Thursday 28 February 2019.

Read the call for written views

Read the written submissions


The Convener received a letter from Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport on 22 February 2019 regarding the publication of the Health Protection Scotland report.

On 5 March 2019 the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener advising of the appointments of Chairs to the independent review of Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital - Inspection Report - Safety and Cleanliness of Hospitals

On 8 March 2019 Healthcare Improvement Scotland published their report and action plan following the inspection that took place at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde from 29-31 January 2019. 

Following the evidence session on 19 March 2019 the Convener issued a joint letter to the Health and Safety Executive, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Health Facilities Scotland and Health Protection Scotland on 22 March 2019.

The Convener received a response on 29 March 2019.

Following consideration of the above response, the Convener issued a letter to Jeane Freeman MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport on 2 May 2019 regarding a range of themes and issues arising from the inquiry. 

The Cabinet Secretary replied on 14 May 2019:

Following consideration of the response from the Cabinet Secretary, the Convener issued a letter on 29 May seeking further information in relation to the Independent Review of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow: 

The Cabinet Secretary replied on 11 June 2019:

Following the Cabinet Secretary's decision on 4 July to delay the move to the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People (RHCYP), Edinburgh due to a number of building systems standards not being met, we received a letter updating the Committee on the factors leading to that decision and steps being taken: 

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport provided an update on the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People (RHCYP) to the Scottish Parliament during Chamber business on 11 September 2019.  Following this update, the Cabinet Secretary issued a letter to the Health and Sport Committee: 

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