A PUBLIC inquiry is to be launched into the construction of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow and Edinburgh's new children's hospital.

The Scottish Government said it was acting on recent concerns raised by parents about safety at the QEUH following a series of ward closures linked to infection risk.

Leaked reports revealed problems with the ventilation systems.

It also emerged last week that the critical care department in the delayed Royal Hospital for Children and Young People (RHCYP) had been built to incorrect building standards.

There were also problems with theatre ventilation, drainage and bacteria in taps. 

The total cost of remedial works is estimated at £16 million, and the hospital is not expected to open fully until autumn 2020 - more than three years late.  

READ MORE: Calls for public inquiry after scandals at Glasgow's Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

The Government said the inquiry will determine how vital issues relating to ventilation and other key building systems occurred, and what steps can be taken to prevent this being repeated in future projects.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “The safety and well-being of all patients and their families is my top priority and should be the primary consideration in all NHS construction projects.

“I want to make sure this is the case for all future projects, which is why, following calls from affected parents, I am announcing a public inquiry to examine the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital sites.

“The recent KPMG and NSS reports into the new Edinburgh Children’s Hospital will provide a significant amount of the underpinning evidence for the inquiry alongside the ongoing independent review into the delivery and maintenance of the QEUH.

“The current situation is not one anyone would choose – but it is one I am determined to resolve.”

Scottish Labour health spokeswoman, Monica Lennon MSP, welcomed the move, but said it should not have taken "weeks of pressure" from patients and families. 

She said: “A public inquiry is the only way to get to the bottom of this outrageous series of errors which has seriously disrupted patient care and cost taxpayers millions of pounds.

READ MORE: Two more children with cancer struck down by rare bugs at super hospital

“It should not have taken weeks of pressure from Scottish Labour, patients and families for this to have been agreed to by the Health Secretary.

"Children in Scotland are being let down because the hospitals they were promised are not fit for purpose.

"We have two hospitals built by the same contractor that are mired in controversy, and all the while patients are suffering.

"The public need to know the truth of what has went so badly wrong at these two vital hospitals.”