A £33million project to remove fire-risk cladding from Glasgow's super-hospital is to get under way.

Work to take away panels from the atrium of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital will start on Monday and is expected to be completed in 2027.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the cost of the work is being supported by the Scottish Government, and makes up part of the multi-million pound legal claim which is currently being pursued by the health board.

The health board is suing the contractor, Multiplex, for £73 million over the construction of the £842m campus, which includes the Royal Hospital for Children, amid a raft of problems at the facility including defective windows.

Alasdair Perry, Deputy Assistant Chief Officer for Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said the fire risk was established at "an early stage" and it had advised the health board to remove the panels as soon as practicable.

Patients, visitors and staff are being warned to expect some disruption to their usual routes through the hospital, seating and waiting areas, and catering facilities.

NHS GCC said the project has undergone an extensive and robust process of planning to strike a balance between expediting removal and replacement and minimising disruption within the atrium.

It moved to reassure the public that the building had been assessed as safe.

Professor Tom Steele, Director of Estates and Facilities at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to patients, visitors and staff.

“As the atrium is the central access point for the hospital, there will inevitably be some disruption.

"However, we would like to reassure everybody who uses the QEUH that throughout the period of work we will continue to provide high-quality patient-centred care to our patients. There may be some changes to waiting areas, but all clinics and wards will remain open.

“We would like to thank patients, visitors and staff for their patience and understanding while this essential work is carried out.”

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Alasdair Perry, Head of Prevention and Protection for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We regularly work with partners, including NHSGGC, to advise on fire safety matters and were sighted early on the fire risk relating to the panels used as wall lining within the atrium of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

“Our advice was to remove this material as soon as reasonably practicable and replace with wall lining materials that reduce the fire risk.

“We welcome the steps taken to achieve that, and the actions taken demonstrate that NHSGGC has implemented the appropriate steps to mitigate the risk until the removal work can be completed.

“Ultimately we are satisfied that the hospital can still safely operate and any risk to patients and the local community is low.”

In December 2019, lawyers were instructed to take legal action against the contractor “as a matter of urgency”.

NHS GGC said at the time that several problems have compromised the hospital’s “operational effectiveness” since it opened in 2015, and this had “impacted on the seamless delivery of safe and effective healthcare”.

The move followed the news of the death of two children at the Royal Hospital for Children in 2017 who were treated on a ward that was affected by water contamination.

Court papers have been lodged for a separate claim related to the system that controls the temperature of the hospital.

Official documents show NHSGGC is seeking an additional £18.2m for problems with the chilled water system, which uses water instead of air to cool larger buildings.