SNP ministers have been told to set out hospital construction safeguards after plans were drawn up to ensure building projects are completed with infection control standards in mind.

A new service, set up by the Scottish Government and NHS National Services Scotland will involve input from microbiologists, architects and engineers.

The move comes after long delays in opening the new Edinburgh Royal Hospital for Children and Young People after the building’s ventilation system failed to meet infection control standards – before improvements were made and the building opened in March.

READ MORE: Sturgeon accused of 'breaking candour law' after child's death at hospital

A report published last week warned there were “significant failings” around infection prevention control at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow.

The Scottish Government said the new service, NHS Scotland Assure, will improve the safety of patients and make sure there is joined-up thinking between healthcare and construction teams.

Health Secretary Humza Yousef said: “NHS Scotland Assure will support a culture of collaboration and transparency to provide the reassurance patients and their families deserve to feel safe in our hospitals.

"This service is unique to Scotland and is leading the way in risk and quality management across healthcare facilities.

“With services designed with patients in mind, we can make a real, positive difference to people’s lives.”

Gordon James, director of procurement, commissioning and facilities for National Services Scotland, added: “We co-designed NHS Scotland Assure with colleagues to improve quality and reduce risk in our healthcare buildings and facilities across Scotland.

READ MORE: Inside new Edinburgh sick kids hospital as NHS Lothian apologises for delayed opening

“NHS Scotland Assure will work collaboratively with health boards to make sure our buildings are compliant with the best available guidance and evidence.”

The service also aims to reduce costs and lead to an increase in public and professional confidence following the hospital scandals.

Scottish Labour's health spokeswoman, Jackie Baillie, has warned that the new service will be viewed as a “PR exercise” without real safeguards identified.

She said: "Any effort to improve the construction of hospitals and patient safety is to be welcomed, but it is extraordinary that it took scandals at two crucial hospitals for it to be considered.

"As the tragic cases at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital demonstrate, any commitment to patient safety by professionals can be undermined by politicians more interested in delivering headlines than high quality healthcare.

"So, the Scottish Government must urgently confirm what safeguards will be put in place to ensure that safety concerns can't be hidden from the public eye by scrutiny averse NHS bureaucrats or self-interested politicians.

"Without those reassurances it is hard to see this as much more than a PR exercise."