Glasgow & West Scotland

Coronavirus: Scottish hospitals 'could be like in Italy or Spain'

Dr Fiona Henderson
Image caption Dr Henderson said the latest restrictions on visitors were a "no-brainer"

A consultant at one of Scotland's largest hospitals has warned that they could be like "in Italy or Spain" within weeks.

Dr Fiona Henderson has previously raised concerns about hand sanitising at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, where she is a consultant anaesthetist.

The hospital has now suspended almost all visiting for patients.

The few visitors allowed will be met by volunteers with hand sanitiser.

The new restrictions will apply to all hospitals run by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) and follow similar changes elsewhere in Scotland.

Dr Henderson told the BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that hospitals in Scotland could be facing a coronavirus challenge equal to that in the worst-hit parts of Europe.

"Behind the scenes people are working night and day, hardly sleeping, preparing for what is to come," she said.

"We're hoping it doesn't end up the way it is in Italy and Spain but there's nothing to say it won't be."

Dr Henderson had raised concerns about hand hygiene in hospitals earlier this week, claiming that many supermarkets were doing better with the basic precautions.

She said sanitiser gel at the main entrance of her hospital was "tucked away" and hard for the thousands of visitors attending the hospital to find.

The latest measures to restrict visiting and enforce hygiene were a major improvement, she said.

"I am absolutely delighted that NHSGGC have finally recognised that enforcing hand gelling on entrance and exit to hospitals as well as clinical areas is needed," she said.

"It's an absolute no-brainer at any time.

"It's such a simple thing to implement which could make a really significant difference."

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