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Calls for official probe after more Sick Kids delays announced

The scandal of Edinburgh’s new Sick Kids hospital must be probed by the Scottish Parliament, an MSP has said.

Shadow health secretary Miles Briggs made the call after it emerged the opening could be delayed even further after a raft of new checks were announced.

Jeane Freeman, the health secretary, said today NHS National Services Scotland had been commissioned to investigate “all buildings systems in the new hospital” and to make sure the ongoing work there complies with national standards.

She also confirmed that KPMG had been hired to “conduct an independent audit of the governance arrangements” for the hospital, while a formal “recovery plan” had been issued to the health board.

All of this is likely to mean more delays to the opening of a facility which was meant to be up-and-running in 2012.

Now the Scottish Conservatives are demanding the whole saga is investigated by Holyrood’s Health Committee.

The project has been plagued by problems from the start, including a row about how much money the Scottish Government would stump up for the hospital, and a multi-million pound fundraising scheme which ended in debt, sparking a criminal investigation.

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:

“All of these measures announced by the SNP government will only delay things further.

“This is a much-needed facility which was supposed to open in 2012 – the SNP has been in charge the whole time and must take final responsibility for the failure of this project.

“Families and staff will look at this announcement and wonder why these things weren’t demanded of the construction firms from the outset.

“After all, the nationalists have had seven years of delays in which they could have ensured these boxes were ticked.

“The only way to establish the extent of what has gone wrong, why it has happened, and how we can ensure it’s not repeated, it to have a full Scottish Parliament inquiry.

“It’s the very least patients, their loved ones and the hardworking staff deserve.”

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