An infestation of maggots has closed three operating theatres at a children's hospital, it emerged today.

NHS Grampian said the theatres at the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital were temporarily closed, while investigations were carried out to find the source of the infestation.

Seven patients had their operations postponed today and four had their procedures carried out at accident and emergency.

A spokesman said: "Families and patients are being kept informed and NHS Grampian apologises for any inconvenience this temporary measure may cause.

"The maggots were found by a member of staff when the theatres were not being used and action was taken immediately.

"A specialist company has been brought in to pinpoint the source so that full cleaning can be carried out before the theatres reopen."

Eight non-emergency procedures due to take place tomorrow were also postponed.

Aberdeen Central MSP Lewis Macdonald said: "Many people will be shocked and disgusted that there is an infestation of maggots in Scotland's newest children's hospital.

"This is not down to neglect by individual members of staff. Clearly, NHS Grampian is beginning to pay the price of underfunding by the SNP Government and the result of that is that clinical standards are being compromised and operations are being delayed."

Flies reproduce rapidly in the summer months and maggots, their offspring, can come in large numbers.