THE room where a child died after contracting an infection linked to pigeon droppings at Glasgow’s £842million super hospital wasn’t fitted with a protective air filter, an insider has claimed.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed yesterday that a child, believed to have been suffering from cancer, died after contracting Cryptococcus, an air-born infection linked to pigeon droppings. An elderly woman, who also died, was also treated for the bug.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman announced that a major inquiry is being launched into the design and construction of the hospital, which has been plagued by multiple problems since it opened in 2015 including contaminated water and cladding issues, on top of the latest pigeon bug.

It is understood the child who died was from the Grampian area.

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The patient was among those receiving treatment in the main adult building as a result of contamination in the water supply in the children’s hospital – which led to six paediatric patients developing infections last year.

Children being treated in wards 2A, 2B and the adjoining Bone Marrow Transplant unit were transferred to wards in the adult hospital while work is ongoing to upgrade the ventilation and water system.

A hospital source has told the Evening Times the room the child was transferred to should have included a HEPA air filter.

The health board said portable HEPA filters are now being installed in “all the rooms identified as requiring them” as part of additional infection control measures following the deaths, but would not comment on the child’s case.

The source said: “The child that died had been moved from the children’s hospital to a room in the adult hospital. The HEPA filter should already have been fitted.

“I have been told that there are other rooms in the hospital, where HEPA filters should have been fitted but weren’t.”

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NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said a “small crack” was identified in the wall of the hospital’s plant room – identified as the source of the infection – and spores from the droppings “may have entered the air supply via the ventilation system.

However, our source said they had seen pictures taken by a bacteriologist employed by the health board which showed the plant room – which contains air conditioning and ventilation equipment – in a “filthy” state.

He said the room was “infested” with droppings and pigeon feathers, suggesting several birds had been in the room. He said: “The room had a serious infestation of pigeon droppings. It was filthy. They (the Health Board) knew about the problem on December 23 but they didn’t take appropriate action. The pigeons were in that room.”

Meanwhile, Unison has told the Evening Times that maintenance staff warned bosses about pigeon droppings on the roof of the hospital.

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A union source said concerns were raised with NHSGGC by porters who assist with transfers from the helicopter.

The hospital source also claimed that “emails are going back and forth” about staff within the hospital complaining of feeling unwell, with sore eyes and throats.

In a TV interview, Ms Freeman said she was satisfied with the levels of “additional” infection control measures at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

She said: “The overall infection rate in the Queen Elizabeth is four per cent, the average across Scotland is 4.9 per cent. It is at least on par with all the other hospitals across Scotland and in fact, doing a bit better. But infection happens in hospitals. That’s why we have the Scottish Patient Safety Programme that has significantly reduced infection rates across our hospitals and healthcare settings over the last 10 years or so.

“What you need to be able to do, though, is have those additional infection control measures to put in place as they have done at the Queen Elizabeth, with the HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters, with the anti-fungal protection for particularly vulnerable patients in the area where the Cryptococcus infection was discovered.”