Scottish hospitals safer than ever

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NHS Scotland is safer than ever as latest figures show hospital mortality has drastically reduced.

Across Scotland there has been a 12.4 per cent reduction in deaths – equating to over 8,500 lives saved – since the introduction of the world-leading Scottish Patient Safety Programme in 2008.

Cabinet Secretary for Health Alex Neil visited the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary today to hear how staff are ensuring people receiving care do not experience harm – such as infections, falls, blood clots and pressure sores.

Measures put in place as part of the national programme include: a safety checklist to be completed before operations take place, more ward rounds, double-checking medicines and an early warning system for critically ill patients.

Mr Neil said:

“It is excellent news that hospital mortality is continuing to reduce.

“Thanks to our world-leading patient safety programme, Scotland has some of the safest hospitals in the world.

“It’s good to hear about the measures that staff have put in place. They are small changes, but they make a big difference – and they save lives.

“Our NHS should be rightly proud of what has been achieved.

“It’s because of success like this that we have decided to expand the safety programme to maternity units and mental health services. I know that there is some hard work ahead for NHS staff, but I am confident that they will rise this challenge.”

The world-leading Scottish Patient Safety Programme was launched in January 2008 as a five year programme. Its primary aim was to reduce mortality in Scotland’s acute hospitals by the end of 2012.

In June 2012, the Scottish Government announced a three year extension of the Programme, which set a new aim to reduce Scotland’s Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio by 20 per cent and that 95 per cent of patients will suffer no avoidable harm by the end of 2015.