Transcript for Lord Brodie's 2023 video update

Date 13th February 2023

"I am pleased to begin the year with an update on Scottish Hospitals Inquiry recent progress and plans for 2023 in relation to the two hospitals with which the Inquiry is concerned.

First, the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and the Department of Clinical Neurosciences in Edinburgh - the new Sick Kids – the opening of which had been planned for July 2019 but which was delayed for reasons, as it was understood, to do with the ventilation system.

At the hearing in May of last year the Inquiry heard evidence about the importance of proper ventilation in hospitals and about the very early stages of the project to build the new Sick Kids.

Since then the Inquiry team has been taking forward the investigation as to how the state of affairs which led to the delay in opening the hospital came about. That has involved the team examining thousands of documents and interviewing many of the people responsible for the project.

Among the results of this work is that we have been able to publish three Provisional Position Papers, which are available to be read on our website.

These papers set out in detail what the investigations have found out in relation to activity up to the conclusion of the contract to build the hospital in early 2015, and whether that contributed to such issues there were with the ventilation system.

With the Provisional Position Papers and any comments on them which are made by Core Participants as a basis, I will be examining this topic further at a hearing in April of this year.

In parallel with the final preparations for the April hearing, the team have been carrying out and will continue to carry out investigations into the decision not to open the hospital in July 2019, the decision to carry out remedial work, and the decision finally to open the hospital by March 2021. All this is in preparation for a further hearing later in the year.

Turning then to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.

I have said from the beginning that my priority was to hear about the experience of the patients and families. The hearing in the autumn of 2021 gave me the opportunity to do that.

I would hope that the Inquiry succeeded in providing an environment in which patients and families felt able to share that experience and for the Inquiry to capture what were the concerns which need to be investigated further.

Since then, the Inquiry has been working with clinicians and other staff at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to understand how their experiences corresponded with those of the patients and families.

I will hear from some of the staff involved, at a hearing in June of this year. I would expect their evidence to address the themes which emerged from what the patients and families have had to say.

There is of course a great deal still to find out and much work to be done. Front and centre of that work is the question as to whether there is something about the buildings which has presented a risk to patients and, in particular, a risk of infection.

In investigating this question and the questions which surround it, the Inquiry is assisted by several specialists that it has already appointed. Others in appropriate fields will be recruited as and when necessary.

The knowledge and experience of these specialists allow them to engage directly with medical, engineering, construction and contractual teams involved in the hospitals.

This is important. As I have said before, if the Inquiry is to fulfil its Terms of Reference it must have the cooperation and assistance of the Core Participants. They must be willing to share their knowledge and insights; and we in the Inquiry must put ourselves in a position to get the full benefit of what the Core Participants have to offer.

I am accordingly grateful to all those who have provided their assistance. However, I am particularly grateful to those of them who are already working under the enormous pressures currently faced by the NHS.

For those of you who wish to follow the Inquiry’s progress through the year, you can do so via our website and social media channels, where we will announce timetables for upcoming hearings.

Should you have questions or information to assist us, please contact

Thank you."

View video here