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Row erupts as hospital heating fails

A row has erupted over heating at a Glasgow hospital after it emerged patients in a surgical block were handed extra blankets to keep warm after its central heating system failed.

Scottish shadow health secretary Cathy Jamieson has attacked the ruling Scottish National Party over the situation at Southern General Hospital which is run by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

She said: “I am absolutely appalled that elderly patients at Glasgow's Southern General are being given extra blankets to keep warm because the heating doesn't work
 
'A reliable heating system should be one of the most basic requirements in any hospital. The fact that NHS Greater Glasgow have allowed this situation to go on for months is frankly appalling.
 
'We are now experiencing the coldest winter for many years and patients are being let down. Such a Victorian approach to health care is simply unacceptable.”
 
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde responded: “In December, the heating system in a ward within the surgical block malfunctioned.

“The engineers had the heating system working again within a day and whilst repairs were underway, supplementary heaters were brought onto the ward and extra blankets were supplied for patient comfort.

“Unfortunately, the only way to completely solve the problems is to replace the central heating system in its entirety.

“Pending development of the New South Glasgow Hospital on the Southern General Campus, an interim refurbishment programme for this older block is currently being developed which will include a replacement heating system.”

The full response from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde:
'The surgical block is one of the older parts of the Southern General campus, which dates back to the 19th Century.  Unfortunately there are ongoing intermittent problems with heating in the Surgical Block as a consequence of the central heating system itself being outdated and requiring upgrading which, in turn, means it is no longer operating to optimum output.
'The entire system does not fail - but from time to time the heating supply to a particular ward within the block will fail or reduce.  Our engineers are usually able to rectify the problem in the course of a few hours and no ward has ever been without heating for more than a day.
'In December, the heating system in a ward within the surgical block malfunctioned. The engineers had the heating system working again within a day and whilst repairs were underway, supplementary heaters were brought onto the ward and extra blankets were supplied for patient comfort.
'Unfortunately, the only way to completely solve the problems is to replace the central heating system in its entirety.
'Pending development of the New South Glasgow Hospital on the Southern General Campus, an interim refurbishment programme for this older block is currently being developed which will include a replacement heating system.
'Through our Estates Department, extensive maintenance work is continuing on the heating system to achieve and maintain adequate heating in patient areas throughout the Surgical Block on an ongoing basis until such time as capital works can be brought forward.'