Update from the Inquiry – October 2022
Lord Brodie, Chair of the Scottish Hospitals Inquiry has announced plans for hearings for 2023.
The first hearing is planned for April for two weeks. It will focus on the period from the start of the procurement exercise up to financial close of the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People/ Department of Clinical Neurosciences (RHCYP/DCN) project.
The second hearing will commence in June also for around two weeks. This hearing will include clinicians and nurses perspectives on the Patient and Family evidence relating to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH).
Lord Brodie said: “Setting dates for hearings in 2023 has been made possible by the hard work and dedication of the Inquiry’s team throughout the past months. They continue to work with all those who can provide relevant information to ingather and analyse that information and progress our investigations into both hospitals. This work informs the identification of those from whom we wish to take witness statements and the questions we seek to have answered.”
“I am grateful to all those who have provided us with statements, especially those on the frontline of the NHS. “
April’s hearing will continue from the point reached in May 2022 where the Inquiry heard about the background to the project up to the commencement of the procurement exercise. Issues covered at that hearing included the need for a new hospital, the suitability of the site, decision making and governance.
The hearing in April will address the period from the commencement of the procurement exercise up to financial close. This will include the development of the reference design, procurement exercise and conclusion of the contract.
The Inquiry is planning a third hearing on RHCYP/DCN, which will focus on the reasoning behind the decision not to open the hospital in 2019 and the reasoning behind opening the hospital in 2021.
Current investigations are considering the problems and potential defects identified with the key building systems in 2019; the remedial scheme adopted to address these issues; and, the reasoning behind the decision taken by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport to fully open the hospital in 2021.
Investigations into the QEUH have so far focused on two questions. Firstly, what were the impacts upon patients and families as a result of the issues discussed in the Terms of Reference; and secondly, was there, or is there, a link between infection – or a risk of infection from – the built hospital environment?
Investigations of the first of these questions will conclude at the hearing in June. Evidence will be heard from NHS GGC staff largely drawn from nursing and clinical staff. They will provide the clinician and nurse perspective on the Patient and Family evidence heard by the Inquiry from September to November 2021.
Further information on the specific programme for each hearing will be announced in due course.