THERE were high hopes for Glasgow’s “super-hospital” – hopes that it might transform healthcare in a city that had been struggling for a long time with ageing hospitals built in the Victorian age. So why, less than four years after its opening, are we asking so many serious questions about how the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is working? Why is a building that was once praised for its design now at the centre of a government inquiry?

The immediate spur for the inquiry is the case of the child who died after contracting the fungal infection cryptococcus, which is found in pigeon droppings. A likely source has already been found and control measures have been put in place. Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has also announced the government review. “It will look at everything from the design, the construction, the commissioning and the continuing maintenance,” she said.

The design is particularly important. Glaswegians have been asking themselves for a long time whether there were inherent faults with the building and the investigation must establish whether their fears are well-founded.

There are other serious questions to be asked. For example, how transparent and efficient is the system for monitoring the working of the hospital? The former health secretary Alex Neil told this newspaper there had been a major failure of governance at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde after it emerged board members were only briefed after the situation became public.

Of course, it is important to maintain perspective (cryptococcus infection is incredibly rare) but equally the Health Secretary should be careful to avoid appearing insensitive – perhaps answering yes to the question “is the infection control at the hospital good enough?” was unwise. In the end, the inquiry must establish if that is true. But its main focus should be a question that many Glaswegians have asked themselves over the last four years: is the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital fit for purpose?