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3 March 2016, 10:25
Operations have been cancelled after a plumbing leak led to sewage entering a brain surgery unit at a leading hospital.
One operating theatre has been closed at the Institute of Neurosciences at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus in Glasgow and only emergency surgery is being carried out due to the risk of infection.
Waste pipes in wards above the recovery area at the institute burst on Friday, causing the contents to leak into the recovery area, the second incident in a matter of weeks.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said some elective operations, including brain and spinal surgery, have been cancelled and are being moved.
The ageing unit was not upgraded when the £842 million new hospital was built and its operating theatres are due to be replaced next year.
A spokesman for the health board said: "On Friday of last week, the recovery area, not the theatres, in the Institute of Neurosciences was affected by a leak from the pipes in the wards above.
"Regrettably, this was the second incident during the month of February and, on the advice of infection control colleagues, we have postponed some elective surgical procedures in the theatres whilst our estates staff conduct essential survey work to identify remedial work required.
"Two theatres are being used for emergency procedures, which are being carried out as normal.
"The board has already awarded a £7 million contract to build a new state-of-the-art theatre suite, which will be ready in early 2017. The existing theatres will be refurbished for alternative uses.
"While our estates colleagues work to get the theatres reopened as quickly as possible, we will carry out our elective programme utilising theatres in other units, including the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital complex, which has some 30 adult theatres, allowing us to re-distribute theatre activity as required.
"We recognise that this is frustrating for our patients, families and our staff and would like to express our apologies to those patients affected.''