Difficult week for NHS comes to a head

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A CHEMICAL spill at the Victoria Infirmary has resulted in two NHS staff requiring treatment at accident and emergency.

Fire crews and doctors attended the scene after it was thought a man was splashed in the eyes on Monday.

Jim McNeil, the senior fire service officer at the incident, said: “Two staff members were moving a small quantity of chemicals within the hospital stairway when a slight spillage occurred.

“The NHS staff did exactly what they should — they immediately broke the glass auto-alarm, which informed our operations control at Johnstone and mobilised three appliances.

“With it being so localised and the stairwell sealed off there was no need to evacuate wards.

The incident occurred as the Scottish health board was this week fined for deadly asbestos fibres which contractors may have been exposed to.

Glasgow sheriff court heard NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde failed to properly manage the risks of asbestos in a basement plant room of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

In 2011, a survey of the plant room found some of the asbestos was in a poor condition and now posed a high risk. It recommended removal and environmental cleaning of the area.

An HSE investigation found the health board had taken no action in more than two years to monitor the plant room, and the asbestos was not labelled.

NHSGGC was fined £6,000 after pleading guilty to safety breaches.

HSE inspector Eve Macready said: “The health board failed in its duty to properly manage the risks of asbestos in its premises, and as a result a number of employees and external contractors have potentially been exposed to harmful fibres.

“The dangers posed by the presence of asbestos are clear. There is no safe limit and it is often many years after exposure before diseases appear.”