All hospitals in Scotland face unannounced inspections to check they are clean and preventing the spread of infection.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon announced the measure as part of a consultation on infection control.

Proposals include establishing a care environment inspectorate, which will make unannounced visits to hospitals.

It will provide a national overview for ministers and parliament and each hospital board will be given reports and be expected to publish an improvement plan based on the inspectorate's visits. Inspections will focus on infection control practice, hygiene and cleanliness standards, waste management, equipment standards and access arrangements for visitors.

Ms Sturgeon has written to health board chief executives advising them that current guidance will be revised so as to presume that in new hospitals all patients will be treated in single rooms and that in refurbished wards and hospitals at least 50 per cent of rooms must be single.

The consultation begins today and will last four weeks.