THE Scottish Government has announced it is to hold a public inquiry into two new flagship hospitals.

The probe will examine failings at the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow. Both have been beset by problems.

The inquiry will “determine how vital issues relating to ventilation and other key building systems occurred, and what steps can be taken to prevent this being repeated in future projects”.

Announcing the inquiry, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “The safety and wellbeing of all patients and their families is my top priority and should be the primary consideration in all NHS construction projects.

“I want to make sure this is the case for all future projects, which is why, following calls from affected parents, I am announcing a public inquiry to examine the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital sites.

“The recent KPMG and NSS reports into the new Edinburgh Children’s Hospital will provide a significant amount of the underpinning evidence for the inquiry alongside the ongoing independent review into the delivery and maintenance of the QEUH.

“The current situation is not one anyone would choose – but it is one I am determined to resolve.”

The new £150 million Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh had been due to open in 2017. But the opening has been delayed repeatedly and is not due to open until next autumn.

Freeman decided at the last minute to delay the opening in July after final checks revealed that the critical care department’s ventilation system did not meet national standards.

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There has been no shortage of issues at Glasgow’s QEUH and its neighbouring Royal Hospital for Children.

It was revealed this week that children had been forced to travel from Glasgow to Aberdeen for cancer treatment. Patients at the children's hospital had been moved to an adult ward in the neighbouring building because of infection concerns.

However, that ward has also now closed to new patients because of the risk. Children who would have been sent there are now being diverted to other hospitals across the country.

Problems with the water supply in the cancer wards in the children’s hospital were discovered in January last year. Several children developed bacterial infections.

Seven months later, 22 children were moved from the children’s hospital to QEUH.

One of the children who had been transferred died in January after picking up a bug related to pigeon droppings while in the adult hospital.