Patient safety programme launched

A NEW patient safety programme has been introduced for Scottish GPs.

Practices will be expected to undertake safety surveys and case note reviews to reduce avoidable harm by increasing staff awareness.

The Patient Safety Primary Care Programme has been designed and managed by Healthcare Improvement Scotland in partnership with NHS Education Scotland.

Jill Gillies, programme manager for Healthcare Improvement Scotland said: “It concentrates on every staff member understanding their role in keeping patients safe by improving written communications and managing results, for example having a more accurate record of the medication patients are taking.”

It’s hoped it will help prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and avoidable complications by monitoring current safety measures and identifying areas for improvement.

Scottish health secretary Alex Neil said it will allow patients to be “confident” of safe treatment at all times.

BMA Scotland GP Committee chairman Dr Alan McDevitt welcomed the programme, saying it “will further develop a safety culture in general practice.” He added that it is vital practices have sufficient resources to “maintain high quality in general practice.”

The GP follows on from the Scottish government’s patient safety initiative in hospitals. Official figures show there has been a 12 per cent reduction in death rates since 2007.

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