NHS watchdog to review safety at A&E of Scotland's largest hospital

Emergency doctors raised concerns about overcrowding and staff shortages compromising safety of patients.

NHS watchdog to review safety at A&E of Scotland’s largest hospital QEUH in Glasgow STV News

The safety and quality of care at one of Scotland’s flagship hospitals will be reviewed by an NHS watchdog following concerns initially flagged by consultants last year.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) will investigate the emergency department at the Queen Elizabeth University (QEUH) in Glasgow.

Concerns of overcrowding and staff shortages, which 29 consultants at the hospital said “seriously compromised” the safety of patients, were first raised in May 2023.

However, the watchdog apologised for its “shortcomings” in investigating the 18 months of evidence and failing to meet with any of the doctors.

It instead launched an investigation and spoke with senior executives at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) before closing it in August last year.

However, complaints in January this year were upheld that the doctors were not given the opportunity to discuss or present their evidence.

HIS has now confirmed the review with consider the full breadth of leadership, clinical, governance and operational issues, focusing on “how they may impact on the safety and quality of care”.

Robbie Pearson, chief executive of HIS, said: “The emergency department consultants at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital have expressed a range of concerns which they believe compromise their ability to provide safe, effective and person-centred care.

“This review will assess these issues to ensure a comprehensive and balanced assessment from all perspectives.

“The review will ensure the involvement of as wide a range of staff as possible – including the emergency department consultants – in order to build a complete picture of the issues facing the service.”

Mr Pearson offered his “sincere, unreserved apology” to consultants in March.

Meanwhile, First Minister Humza Yousaf said he was “frustrated” at how the complaints of patient safety were initially handed.

“Let me say unequivocally to staff that whoever they are within the health service, they should feel empowered to be able to raise complaints,” he added.

Jane Grant, Chief Executive, NHSGGC, said: “We will fully support the review by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and will continue to work with them and our staff to improve the patient experience at the QEUH.”

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