Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Friday, 3 July 2009 18:04 UK

Maggot infestation hunt continues

Maggots (generic)
About 25 maggots were found by cleaners in theatres

A search for the source of a maggot infestation at the Royal Children's Hospital in Aberdeen will continue over the weekend.

The discovery has caused the closure of three operating theatres, and postponements of procedures.

NHS Grampian said about 25 maggots were found by cleaners on the floor of theatres.

A spokesman said the source was not believed to be the theatres and the search was focusing on the roof space.

Specialists brought in by NHS Grampian health chiefs resumed their investigations on Friday and said they would continue over the weekend.

Two decontamination cleans of all the theatres have now been carried out. All surgical procedures are scheduled to go ahead on Monday and Tuesday as planned and may take place in the reopened theatre.

'Very unpleasant'

Alan Pilkington, general manager of child health services, said: "I can reassure parents that at no time were any children at risk of coming into contact with the maggots.

"Around 25 maggots were found by cleaners on the floor of theatres, some singly and some in clusters, apparently at various stages of development.

"Clearly infestation of this kind is very unpleasant, and our advisors will continue to try throughout the day to identify the source. I am satisfied this is not a reflection on staff or standards of cleanliness in the hospital."

He added: "Contingency measures have been put in place to ensure we continue to provide a service. Eight ear, nose and throat procedures have been postponed today and will be rearranged within guaranteed waiting times.

"Emergency cover remains in place."

The maggots were found in theatres A and C. Theatre B, between A and C, was not affected and was closed initially as a precaution, but has been reopened for emergencies.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said she had been "very disturbed" by the incident.



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