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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-01175: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 1 July 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on reports that board members of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have expressed concern that the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow was not constructed to full anti-ligature specification.

Answered by: Shona Robison 21 July 2016

The use of fittings and fixtures that reduce ligature risks is not clinically appropriate in many general hospital rooms, e.g. x-ray, consulting exam and patient toilets and showers, as they would compromise the hospital’s ability to deliver appropriate care to patients who have the freedom to leave at any time. So it would not be appropriate for the whole of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow to be constructed to a full anti-ligature specification.

Scottish Government policy and NHS guidance requires local risk management of patients and their environment. The board should use their appropriate multi-disciplinary skills and expertise to assess the likelihood and impact of all safety risks, including clinical, infection and self-harm, whilst ensuring an accessible, therapeutic environment that promotes care and recovery for all.

Fittings and fixtures that reduce ligature risks, are used only as required following a risk assessment which shows a patient vulnerable to self-harm may be left unattended or unobserved for a period of time. For patients assessed as ‘high risk’ of self-harm, local management plans should be agreed, such as keeping a patient under observation.