Nurses working in a children’s cancer ward plagued by repeat infections are being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Staff at ward 6A of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital – where no fewer than three separate inquiries are under way – have been offered “bespoke” counselling according to health bosses because of “interest” in the unit.

Both the adult and children’s hospitals have come under intense scrutiny due to a series of infections and the death of two patients including a 10-year-old boy suffering from cancer.

In August ward 6A was closed to new admissions after three of its patients contracted infections.

The following month Health Secretary Jeane Freeman announced a public inquiry would be launched into the construction of the hospital. The Scottish Government said it was acting on concerns raised by parents.

The Royal College of Nursing said staff were facing “considerable strain” due to the safety uncertainties at hospital.

Anne Thomson, RCN Scotland senior officer, said: “Every day nurses and healthcare support workers go on to their shift wanting to deliver safe, high quality care to patients and the personal and professional toll of dealing with these issues should not be underestimated. 

“The safety and wellbeing uncertainties relating to QEUH are putting nursing staff under considerable additional strain. 

“Staff want reassurance that the hospital is fit for purpose and we continue to support our members at the QEUH at this difficult time.”

Paediatric patients were moved to ward 6A as a temporary measure in September 2018, when two children’s cancer wards at the Royal Hospital for Children were closed for upgrades following an infection outbreak.

A total of 25 cases of infection were found at the RHC between 2016 and September 2018.

In January it emerged two patients, including a 10-year-old boy being
treated for cancer, had died after contracting an infection linked to
pigeon droppings.

The deaths led Ms Freeman to order an independent review into the design, build, commissioning and maintenance of the £842 million two-hospital campus, which opened in 2015.

The Crown Office is also investigating the deaths and NHSGGC is carrying out its own inquiry.

A spokeswoman for NHSGGC said: “We take the health and wellbeing of all our staff extremely seriously and at times some staff will need different levels of support.

“We have created a bespoke package of support for the staff in Ward 6A following the recent interest in the ward.”

Watchdog Health Protection Scotland is also carrying out a national review of water systems at all healthcare facilities in Scotland built since 2013.