Concerns raised over inspection gaps in North East hospitals

Tess White

New figures have brought to light concerns over the inspection status of several hospitals in the North East, as some facilities either have never undergone inspection or have not been inspected for over five years. The data, analyzed by the Scottish Conservatives based on Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) records, reveals a lack of oversight in certain critical healthcare institutions.

In the NHS Grampian area, City Hospital in Aberdeen and Chalmers Hospital in Banff are identified as never having been inspected. Additionally, seven other hospitals, including Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, have not undergone inspection in over five years. Previous inspections highlighted issues like improper cleaning of equipment contaminated with blood and mishandling of contaminated linen at the maternity hospital.

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Further analysis indicates that nine hospitals, such as Kincardine Hospital in Stonehaven, Turriff Hospital, the Jubilee Hospital in Huntly, and Aboyne Hospital, have not been inspected since 2019, despite receiving six improvement requirements.

Scotland-wide, 36 hospitals have never undergone inspection, and another 29 have not been inspected in the last five years. This accounts for more than half of the current number of operational hospitals in the country.

Shadow Public Health Minister Tess White, expressing deep concern, highlights the alarming lack of inspections, especially considering the immense pressure faced by NHS Grampian leading up to the challenging winter period. White urges urgent action from SNP Health Secretary Michael Matheson to ensure regular inspections for the safety of both patients and staff.

White emphasises, “Inspections play a vital role in ensuring that patients and staff in NHS Grampian know their hospital is operating as safely as possible. It’s particularly shocking to see these figures emerge at a time when our NHS is under immense pressure and facing the prospect of a truly terrifying winter period.”

The Scottish Conservative MSP calls on Matheson to address the situation promptly, stating, “The onus is on the SNP health secretary, who is already presiding over an A&E crisis in the North East, to get a grip of this situation. He must guarantee that hospitals across our region that have never – or not recently – been inspected, will be as a matter of urgency.”

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