CANCER wards closed at Glasgow's Royal Hospital for Children after patients developed infections will not re-open until next year due to delays to remedial works caused by the pandemic, the Scottish Government has said.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman told local MSPs and MPs that there have been ‘significant challenges with supply chains and the continued effects of social distancing during construction works’.

She said the government is still awaiting the finalised programme, but the health board is now expecting work to be completed in May 2021, over a year later than expected.

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Wards 2A and 2B at the hospital were closed in September 2018 after a number of patients developed infections linked to contaminated water, with patients moved to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on the same site.

One ten-year-old child, Milly Main died while being treated in the cancer wards in 2017.

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The return to wards 2A and 2B in the Royal Hospital for Children was previously expected to take place in March 2020 following work to replace drains, taps and sinks and upgrade the ventilation system.

Anas Sarwar, Labour MSP for Glasgow, said: “This further delay is disappointing for patients and their families.

“The Scottish Government is right to demand assurances from the health board, which must urgently work towards re-opening the wards safely and swiftly.

“This is about rebuilding confidence and restoring trust."