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Nicola Sturgeon: I refer the member to the answer to question S3W-40541 on 17 March 2011. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/Apps2/Business/PQA/Default.aspx.
Gil Paterson (West of Scotland) (SNP): To ask the Scottish Executive whether there are plans to extend the duration of the public inquiry into the Clostridium difficile outbreak at the Vale of Leven Hospital.
Nicola Sturgeon: On 10 December 2010, Lord MacLean, Chairman of the Vale of Leven Hospital Inquiry wrote to me seeking an extension to the duration of the Inquiry which was due to report by 31 May 2011.
Lord MacLean has indicated that the evidence obtained by the Inquiry to date has led to the need for more detailed investigations to be carried out. These investigations include the commissioning of experts to produce a large number of high quality and credible reports. I have agreed with Lord MacLean, therefore, that the date for submitting the Inquiry report be extended to September 2012 although he is hopeful that it may be submitted earlier, possibly by June 2012.
Having carefully considered Lord MacLean’s request, I have agreed to this extension.