Eighteen leukaemia patients have been temporarily moved from a newly-opened £842 million hospital in Glasgow due to concerns over poor indoor air quality within its Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.
The cancer patients have been moved from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in the city as a ‘precautionary measure’ after routine air quality monitoring within the unit identified a “higher particle count than is desirableâ€?, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde announced yesterday (July 7).
As a result of the findings, the new hospital’s bone marrow transplant service and 18 ‘intensively treated acute leukaemia patients’ are being temporarily transferred to the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre “while we explore remedial measuresâ€?.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “This is temporary measure to enable us to identify and implement what may be necessary to ensure air quality purification levels are optimal for this group of patients.â€?
The return of the bone marrow transplant service and associated patients to the new hospital – which was only officially unveiled by Her Majesty the Queen last week (July 3) after taking its first patients in April – will reportedly take place “as soon as possibleâ€?.
The NHS board – which is the largest in the UK, serving 1.2 million people in the region – said it had already been in direct contact with the patients affected and their families “to explain the situation and apologise for any inconvenience this may causeâ€?.
However, the issue reportedly relates only to the adult hospital. The Bone Marrow Transplant services at the Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow are “separate and unaffectedâ€?.
Dr Anne Parker, lead consultant for haemato-oncology, said: “In consultation with colleagues from various disciplines, it has been agreed that 18 patients will move to the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre for an interim period. This will enable remedial work to take place without disrupting patient care.
“This is purely a precautionary step and we have no evidence that any patient has been adversely affected as a result of the environment issues. We are fortunate that the Beatson is available to us and we are working with our critical care colleagues in the new High Acuity Unit which has been established there.â€?
The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is one of the largest acute hospitals in the UK with 1,109 beds on 14 floors. However, after its opening earlier this year, it was rated as the worst-performing in Scotland for accident and emergency waiting times, prompting government experts to be sent in to help.
Previously known as South Glasgow University Hospital, it was renamed last week after the Queen’s visit.