Lord Brodie, Chair of the Scottish Hospitals Inquiry, visited the now vacant Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh last week as part of the Inquiry’s information gathering work.
Visiting the site of the hospital more commonly known as the Sick Kids, at Sciennes, Lord Brodie met with NHS Lothian staff and was given a COVID-19 compliant tour of the wards.
This included the haematology and oncology department, paediatric intensive care unit, surgical and critical care wards and A&E. Lord Brodie also visited ‘PJ’s Loft’ to see the facilities that were available to families accompanying their children during hospital stays.
The independent Inquiry is investigating the delayed opening of the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and Department of Clinical Neurosciences (RHCYP/DCN) at Little France. As part of its work, the Inquiry wishes to establish what impact the delay had on patient care and treatment.
Public hearings are scheduled to take place from 20 September and will focus on the experiences of patients and families and how they were affected by issues at the Edinburgh hospital, as well as the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus in Glasgow.
A remote procedural hearing is planned for 22 June where Lord Brodie will set out details of how the autumn hearings will operate.
Lord Brodie said: “This visit was important to give context to how the hospital and its staff dealt with the delayed move to the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People. As we continue our work, being able to relate to the space, layout and operation of the Sick Kids helps the Inquiry better understand the experience of staff, families and patients.
“I have said from the start, one of the priorities of this Inquiry is to understand the experiences of affected patients and their families and so this visit proved vital.
“As we prepare for our September hearings, I continue to call on anyone who has relevant experience or information in relation to the delayed opening of the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People to get in touch.
“We want to understand what went wrong, whether these issues could have been prevented and what impact they had on patient care. The witness engagement and support team is on hand to guide individuals through the process and answer any questions.
“Our investigations will inform recommendations aimed at ensuring that past mistakes don’t happen again in future NHS infrastructure projects.”
Relevant information can be shared by calling the Inquiry’s dedicated phone line on 0808 196 5000 between 8:30am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday or emailing email@example.com. Further contact details are available on the website www.hospitalsinquiry.scot