Published: Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Our commitment to patient safety

 

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Earlier this month we held our first ever Patient Safety Day. Patient safety has always been a priority for us but we wanted to hold an event to give our front line staff the opportunity to really focus on what it means and hear about best practice examples from health and other industries courtesy of our guest speakers.

 

We are all human and that means that each one of us can make mistakes at some time.  We don’t mean to but mistakes happen.  It is now widely accepted that about 10% of all patients admitted to hospital in theUKwill be unintentionally harmed in some way.  Evidence shows that mistakes are not confined to healthcare workers and that levels of harm are comparable in all settings (i.e. acute residential care homes, hospitals, in the community).

 

The cost in patient suffering, family upset and the upset caused to healthcare workers themselves can’t be reduced to pounds and pence.  But the pounds and pence calculation tells us that in addition to these human costs, adverse events cost theUK£2 billion in extra hospital days alone and £400 million in paid negligence claims.

 

It’s simple,  one patient harmed is one too many.

 

Our Board vision is to lead quality, research and innovation for NHSScotland. Central to all of that is to lead the way in patient safety.     

 

That is what our event was about – all of us working together on innovative ways to improve the standard of care for our patients, how we deal with mistakes or errors and, more importantly, how we learn and change for the better.

 

We should always strive to be the best – not just withinScotlandor theUK– but inEuropeand further afield. Patient safety is our top priority and it was really encouraging to know that it is the top priority for our staff when so many actively got involved in the event and helped us to take another major step in delivering high quality services for patients across Scotland.

 

And that is what we must focus on every day, making sure we deliver quality healthcare with no avoidable death and no avoidable harm.

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