A third premature baby has died at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow after an infection was found at a neonatal unit.
An incident management team (IMT) was set up earlier this year to investigate three cases of the Staphylococcus aureus blood stream infection following the deaths of two premature babies.
An IMT comprises specialist clinicians, infection control doctors and nurses, occupational health clinicians and colleagues from estates and facilities.
The third baby has not been identified, although the health board confirmed that Staphylococcus aureus infection was a contributing factor in the death.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board said: “As previously reported, we have been rigorously managing a number of cases of a rare Staphylococcus aureus blood stream infection in extremely premature babies in the neonatal unit of the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital.
“Three babies, who were extremely poorly due to their very early birth, sadly died and infection was one of a number of contributing causes in their deaths.
“Since early March, no further patients have tested positive for the Staphylococcus aureus infection.
“A programme of staff and family screening was carried out, as has been previously reported. This was one of a number of steps taken to respond to this strain of Staphyloccocus aureus.
“As this was an extremely rare strain which is highly resistant to the two antibiotics normally prescribed for S. Aureus and the skin cleaning agent routinely used in hospitals across the UK, we put in place a number of further infection control measures, including the prescribing of different antibiotics and the introduction of a new skin cleaning agent.”
Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon said: “This is extremely sad news and my thoughts are with the family of the baby who has died. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde must be transparent about infections, especially when patients have died.
“The Health Secretary (Jeane Freeman) must reassure the public and NHS staff that she has all the facts and is doing everything possible to improve infection control and safety in all of Scotland’s hospitals.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “The news that a third baby has died after contracting this infection at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital is extremely distressing. We are all thinking of the family at this horrible time.
“Patients will be understandably worried by the flurry of infection reports in recent months. The Health Secretary needs to ensure everything possible is done to try to get to the bottom of exactly how these infections occurred and that learning is shared with other NHS bodies.”
Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “My thoughts are with the family at this sad time.
“Patients and the public deserve to have complete confidence in the quality of NHS services. Following the previous cases of Staphylococcus aureus infection last month at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital, frontline staff have been working hard to minimise the risk of further infections.
“A rigorous programme of staff and family screening was carried out and a number of further infection control measures were put in place.
“The health board continues to be supported by Health Protection Scotland, and its infection control team is working closely with clinical and domestic staff to manage the situation.
“My view is clear and straightforward – I require all health boards to make infection prevention and control an absolute priority each and every day.”