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‘Cracks’ appear above main entrance of Edinburgh Sick Kids hospital


Fresh safety concerns have been raised at the scandal-hit Edinburgh Sick Kids hospital after ‘cracks’ appeared in the canopy above the main entrance.

Health chiefs have called in emergency engineers to access the walkway at the £150m Little France medical centre after the structural faults were discovered.

An alternative entrance has been put in place for patients and staff as the front door remains cordoned off until repair work can be completed.

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NHS Lothian said the closure was purely a “precautionary measure” and stressed there was ‘no danger’ to those attending the facility.

One source told Edinburgh Live how further investigations were taking place into ‘cracking’ structural work over the doorway earlier this month.

They added ‘structural faults’ had been known since last Friday, November 19, prompting an instant closure of the front entrance.

Allister Short, director of women’s and children’s services at NHS Lothian, said: “An entrance to the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People has been closed as a precautionary measure to allow for some repair work to be undertaken.”

Mr Short added: “There is no danger to patients, staff or visitors, who are being directed to another entrance until the work is complete.”

Former health secretary Jeane Freeman pulled the plug on the opening of the hospital in July 2019 at the 11th hour after a probe uncovered the air flow in critical care rooms did not meet required ventilation standards.

A later Audit Scotland report revealed NHS Lothian and the Scottish Government knew there were problems at the hospital in May 2018 when an extra £11.6million payment to contractors was approved to help fix problems with “drainage solution, heater batteries and void fire detectors”.

An NHS Lothian review found a “human error” in a 2012 spreadsheet was to blame for the issues, however the hospital’s opening date was pushed back further by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

It eventually hosted its first outpatient appointments in July 2020 before eventually fully opening in March of this year.

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