Politicians yesterday said it was a “disgrace” that seriously ill children are forced to travel more than 150 miles from Glasgow for treatment in Aberdeen.
NHS Grampian has stepped in to give cancer treatment to youngsters who can no longer be seen in Glasgow because of infection problems.
The children had been moved from the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow to an adult ward in the city’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
But yesterday it was reported that further infection concerns have shut the Queen Elizabeth ward to new patients.
A number of the children have had to receive chemotherapy from NHS Grampian or NHS Lothian.
Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon said yesterday: “How long is this going to be allowed to continue?
“Scotland’s sickest children are being let down time and time again.
“Parents say they have lost confidence in our hospitals and the health boards. It is a disgrace.
“Forcing the families of children with cancer to travel long distances to access care adds unnecessary strain to an already difficult situation.
“Sick children should be able to find treatment close to their family and friends.
“Nicola Sturgeon must put patient safety before the SNP and finally agree to an independent public inquiry into the crisis-hit QEUH and Edinburgh Sick Kids.”
As some of the children had already travelled from areas like Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire to be treated in Glasgow, the extra journey has caused complications for patients and parents.
A NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokesman said ward 6A remained open for current patients but a “temporary divert” of new admissions was in place with a “small number” treated in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
The spokesman added: “Extensive testing of the ward’s environment has not demonstrated a link between the infections and the ward environment. We are therefore working towards reopening Ward 6A.”
A 10-year-old boy died after contracting a fungal infection linked to pigeon droppings at the four-year-old Glasgow hospital last December.
A NHS Grampian spokesman said: “We work in partnership with other health boards around the country when appropriate to ensure patients receive a high level of care.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said Health Secretary Jeane Freeman’s primary concern was for patient safety and well-being.
Ms Freeman will meet families affected by issues at the Queen Elizabeth hospital and had commissioned a review into the building’s design.
The spokeswoman added that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde were working to improve ventilation in cancer wards to they met with guidance.