Safety programme sees 20,000 fewer deaths in Scotland

OVER 20,000 fewer deaths have occurred in Scottish hospitals since the launch of a patient safety programme, new figures reveal.

Mortality has fallen by 16.5 per cent between October-December 2007 and the same period in 2015 – the equivalent of 20,000 fewer deaths than expected.

The fall is being attributed to the work of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme which launched in 2007 with the aim to “improve the safety and reliability of healthcare across Scotland.”

Since its launch, mortality has fallen at 24 of 29 participating hospitals, and mortality has reduced for all types of hospital admissions.

The project is led by Healthcare Improvement Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government and its focus has expanded over the years from acute hospitals to include safety improvement programmes for maternity and children’s care, mental health, medicines and primary care.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Shona Robison, said: “Scotland was the first country in the world to implement a national patient safety programme and is the only UK country publishing and driving improvement in our NHS through the use of mortality data in this way.

“These latest figures mark the end of the first phase of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme, showing the impressive results it has achieved in eight years. It is an even greater achievement when set against a backdrop of our NHS treating more people, with more complex needs, than ever before.”

Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director for NHS Scotland, praised the care provided by frontline NHS staff and said: “We’ve made much progress and we are now considering how we can go further. Healthcare Improvement Scotland have been consulting on the next phase of the SPSP and we will set out our next steps in the summer.”