THE National Health Service is one of our greatest institutions, and there is no doubt it works for millions of people every day.

But when it fails, not only is it a disappointment, it puts people’s lives at risk, jobs under pressure and wastes millions in taxpayers’ money.

It is welcoming to see health secretary Jeane Freeman this week acknowledging she is accountable for mistakes or problems within the NHS in Scotland, in the context of the issues with Edinburgh’s newest hospital for children.

The £150m facility will be a huge benefit for young people in the east of the country, and quite rightly must be up to standard before patients are allowed to use it.

What is disappointing is the lack of accountability over another delayed facility – £7m brain surgery theatres in Glasgow, which also failed tests around ventilation and are still not open.

While there have not been any cancelled operations from the delay, the facilities currently being used for these operations are not fit for purpose – staff even said so as far back as 2015.

As public funds are being spent on these flagship projects – projects which are supposed to be putting Scotland on the global map for healthcare – it is only right we are kept up to date with any problems in construction, and the reasons behind them.

It is now time that Ms Freeman stands by her comments about accountability, and gives an explanation for these, and any other, issues across Scotland’s NHS. The public, quite rightly, deserve to know.