Treatment suffered ‘because of hospital site switch delay’

Peter Landale said his son received worse treatment because of the delayed move for the Department of Clinical Neurosciences in Edinburgh.

Treatment suffered ‘because of hospital site switch delay’ PA Media

A father has called for the greater accountability of health chiefs as he gave evidence to the Scottish Hospitals Inquiry.

Peter Landale said he believed the level of care that his adult son had received had suffered because of a delayed hospital move.

Mr Landale’s son was an in-patient at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences (DCN) in Edinburgh in July 2019 when it was still located in the Western General Hospital.

Between 2015 and 2019, Mr Landale said it had been expected the DCN would move to a site at the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

He added that as far back as 2008 it was accepted that the unit needed upgrading and a report suggested investment of about £14m was needed.

Mr Landale said: “There’s no doubt that in July 2019 my son was better than he is today.

“We have put him through this period and he came out substantially worse than he went in.”

“Whenever you go in (to hospital) to do operations and things, you accept that things can go downhill.

“My gut tells me that the attention my son should have got was not given and it was because the hospital did not move.”

During his stay in hospital Mr Landale’s son suffered a severe stomach infection after neurosurgery and needed “industrial quantities” of antibiotics to clear it up.

Mr Landale told the inquiry there was never a satisfactory explanation of where the infection originated.

In his witness statement for the inquiry, Mr Landale stated: “Another issue that was clear in summer of 2019 was that, after the new hospital

did not open, there must have been budget released to carry out repairs in the DCN.

“My view is that, because the hospital was due to move in July no work had been done on the old hospital.

“When the move did not happen, the old hospital had to have money thrown at it to keep it going.

“Throughout August (and) September 2019 there were constantly workmen going about and lots of work going on.

“There was a constant movement of people and it was not a restful place to be.

“The staff coped with it all brilliantly and they would make general comments that it was hard work dealing with the uncertainty of the move and the ongoing remedial works.”

“We would also chat in general about how appalling it was that they hadn’t moved to the new hospital but they did not seem to have too much idea about when the move might actually happen.”

Mr Landale wrote a letter to Brian Houston, the Chairman of NHS Lothian, on December 1 2019 and copied it to all NHS Lothian board members expressing his dismay at the delay to the new hospital opening.

At the inquiry, Mr Landale added: “You have executives who are not accountable for this really appalling state of affairs; who then retire and they have absolutely no comeback on them.

“Contractors, from what I can see, have had no comeback and the taxpayer has had to bail them out and politicians who have moved on.

“So the level of accountability is really not there in terms of the facilities that were provided during that summer.

“The impact was big and we were very unlucky that we were in the middle of it.”

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