Statement from Jane Grant, Chief Executive, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
We know that some families have concerns about protecting their children from infection while at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Children. I am truly sorry that parents remain concerned and I am absolutely committed to ensuring families are provided with the information they need and deserve.
Bringing together information and background to the issues is part of this determination which is underpinned by our NHS Values, particularly ‘openness, honesty and responsibility’.
The Chairman and I have recently met some of the families affected. This was really helpful in terms of understanding what we need to do to address their concerns and what we need to think about for the future. The families told us they found it really helpful too so I would encourage any parent who remains concerned about the quality of care their child has received to contact me directly to arrange a meeting.
We have also published the responses to questions raised by the families of children treated at the Royal Hospital for Children and Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
To continue to improve how we engage with families we are working with Professor Craig White who has been appointed by the Cabinet Secretary as point of liaison with families.
The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeanne Freeman MSP, has appointed an Oversight Board, chaired by Professor Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer, to ensure appropriate governance is in place to increase public confidence in infection control and in our engagement with families.
We welcome the additional support offered and are committed to working closely with the Scottish Government to implement any recommended additional changes and enhancements across infection control and associated engagement.
Since the move to Ward 6A and 4B in September 2018, infection rates have been similar to other Scottish paediatric units. This unit is the only one in Scotland that carries out allergenic bone marrow transplants for children that are so sick they need a whole bone marrow transplant. Our dedicated colleagues on Ward 6A offer exceptional care that is always patient-centred and they have been entirely committed throughout this difficult period to ensuring the safety and quality of care of the children.
To support them to continue to offer this care we have fully tested the water supply and ward surfaces in Ward 6A and also reviewed individual infections and found no links between individual infections and no source of infections in the ward.
Families should be reassured that infection rates at present are within expected levels and the hospital is safe.
I am confident that the improvements we have already started, both to the building and to our processes, will help to reassure our communities that the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Children are safe, and that NHSGGC staff are determined to provide the best care possible, both for our children and for anyone who needs our services.
On behalf of myself, the Board and the Chairman I would like to acknowledge our thanks to all staff who have worked so hard throughout this difficult time and have continued to provide excellent care to children and families.
Closed Ward 6A Facebook Group
We have created a closed Facebook group for Ward 6A, intended to create a space for information to be shared by parents, families and staff.
This is a new approach to engaging with parents and families and we welcome your feedback and any suggestions for how we make this work for you.
Go to the following link and submit a request to join the group: www.nhsggc.org.uk/facebookPHO
We look forward to working together to enhance communications and information sharing.
NHSGGC fully complies with the national guidance for managing HAIs (Healthcare Associated Infections) which includes a structured and transparent approach for reporting incidents including:
- All Red and Amber incidents are reported to HPS asap using the mandatory HIIORT template, which is updated following each IMT meeting and submitted to Health Protection Scotland (HPS).
- All outbreaks and incidents scoring amber or red are as appropriate either reported or discussed with Directors, the Infection Prevention and Control Committees, the sector/directorate leads at the Acute Clinical Governance meeting.
- All incidents and outbreaks that are assessed as red or amber are reported verbally by the Board Medial Director at the NHS Board Meeting. Details of these incidents and outbreaks are also reported in the HAIRT. This report is published before the meeting of the Board on the NHSGGC website. In addition a report of the business of the Board meeting is published following each meeting.
Go to the HAI reports using the following link: HAI Reports
Letters and update briefings to Parents
The NHSGGC Chairman and Chief Executive have already met with a number of families and they were told that this direct engagement was extremely valuable.
We continue to offer this opportunity to all 400 families involved with Ward 6A.
We want to work with parents to improve how we communicate with them and we are being supported in this by Professor Craig White who has been appointed by the Cabinet Secretary as point of liaison with families.
The information published below sets out the letters and briefings that have been provided to the families as part of our ongoing communications with them.
26-11-2021 – Statement in response to remarks in Parliament and in the media
We are sure that you will be aware of recent claims in Parliament and negative stories in the media, and we know that this is bound to be distressing and worrying for you, as it is for our staff.
However, despite the inflammatory claims that have been made, we would like to reassure you that our priority is the safety, care and wellbeing of our young patients and their families.
All our wards offer a safe clinical environment, where your child continues to receive the very best care from highly skilled, experienced and dedicated staff.
As you would expect, our focus is on providing your child with the best possible care, and we are constantly reviewing our care, treatment, processes and procedures with a view to continually improving the environment in which our young patients are cared for.
You can have confidence that we will never waver from that commitment to your child.
We will keep you updated if this issue develops further but, as ever, if you have any questions, about your child’s care or any other issues which might concern you, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Patient confidentiality comes under Data Protection & Privacy laws and regulations which comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 along with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). You can find out more about how we use and protect our patients’ data on our Data Protection & Privacy page.
Ward 6A Investigations
The recent independent report from Health Protection Scotland is welcome and demonstrates the Haemato-Oncology Unit is safe.
The report provides reassurance for the many families and the public who will have had concerns about the safety of the unit.
The purpose of the Health Protection Scotland report was to independently assess rates of infection in the Haemato-Oncology Unit of the RHC over a number of years to help inform NHSGGC investigations into recent infections at the hospital and potential links between these infections and the ward.
The report considered six years of laboratory data during which period the unit has seen more than a thousand patients with 2,894 admissions.
The report’s findings are fully in keeping with our own Incident Management Team investigations that concluded the unit is safe.
We have fully tested the water supply and ward surfaces in Ward 6A and also reviewed individual infections and found no links between individual infections and no source of infections in the ward.
On the basis of the IMT investigation’s findings and the results from the Health Protection Scotland review, the ward has re-opened to new patient admissions.
These pages are a resource for parents and carers and will continue to be updated and enhanced through ongoing engagement with parents and carers.
If you have any questions or if you have suggestions regarding further content to be included on these pages, please contact us using the following email: email@example.com
(Content first published in January 2020)