NHS Grampian has set up an incident management team (IMT) after a small number of unusual infections were detected at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (RACH).
On Friday, NHS Grampian confirmed they had found infections in a few of the young patients being treated at the hospital.
The health board said due to the small number of patients involved, and the unusual nature of the infection, they were unable to confirm any details without risking patient identification.
However, the infections are not linked to Covid-19 or any of its variants.
Precautionary measure in place for some time
Today NHS Grampian confirmed an IMT has been set up to “consider whether or not there is any environmental link to the infections”.
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman added: “While investigations take place, some additional precautions have been put in place in the hospital. These are aimed at minimising risk as much as possible.
“It must be stressed that, with these measures in place, the risk to patients, their families, and staff is low.
“The main difference people coming to the hospital will notice is that they will now be asked to use alcohol-based hand rub following handwashing with water and soap.
“There will be some minor alterations to the current approach to managing and undertaking theatre lists.
“Some procedures will be undertaken temporarily in the ARI theatre suites.
“Some planned procedures will be postponed, and conversations are being had directly with patients and their families regarding this.
“Further environmental samples are being taken as part of the investigation. It can take some weeks for results to be determined following sampling, so it is expected that these, highly precautionary, measures will be in place for some time.
“We apologise for any delay or inconvenience patients and their families may experience as a result of these temporary measures.
“We would stress again that the overall risk from these infections to the general population is low.
“RACH remains open to treat and admit patients. In the event of an emergency, you should still bring your child to the Emergency Department.
“Patients and families should attend scheduled appointments unless advised otherwise. Anyone with particular questions about their child’s care should speak directly to their clinical team.”
Hope for quick resolution
Kevin Stewart MSP for Aberdeen Central wrote to NHS Grampian’s chief executive Professor Caroline Hiscox.
Mr Stewart asked to be kept informed as the reports emerging were causing “concerns for people here in Aberdeen and the wider Grampian area”.
He said: “This was obviously really worrying news for my constituents and especially those patients and their families who’ve been directly affected.
“NHS Grampian have gone above and beyond over the past 12 months so we know that staff there will be doing absolutely everything possible to identify what is going on at the site and I hope the matter can be resolved as soon as possible.
“Communication with the public on this matter is crucial and so I’ve asked that both myself and folk across Grampian are kept up to speed as far as possible.”