Commitment to further reducing hospital deaths

Building on the work of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme.

Health Secretary Shona Robison has reinforced the Scottish Government’s commitment to patient safety during a speech to NHS employees.

Speaking at the annual NHS Scotland event in Glasgow, Ms Robison announced that Scotland’s health service will aim to reduce avoidable hospital deaths by a further 10 % by December 2018.

Scotland was the first country in the world to implement a national patient safety programme and latest figures show that between July to September 2015 there was a 16.5% decrease in Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) compared to the October to December period in 2007 when recording began.

Ms Robison said:

"Scotland’s Patient Safety Programme is leading the way with unprecedented improvements in sepsis, cardiac arrest and still births. This has contributed to around 20,000 fewer deaths than expected since the programme began in 2008.

“While excellent progress has been made, there is more to do. Which is why I’m today announcing that NHS Scotland will aim to achieve a further 10% reduction in Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratios by December 2018.

“This will build on the good work already being delivered by dedicated staff across the NHS and will see Scotland continue to be a world leader when it comes to patient safety.”

Joanne Matthews, Head of Safety for Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said:

“We are pleased that the work of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme has contributed to the positive reduction in mortality rates in Scotland. The achievement would not be possible without the enthusiasm and hard work of healthcare teams across Scotland over the last eight years. Although excellent progress has been made, there is more work to be done, and we look forward to the challenge of working towards the new aim of a 10% reduction in hospital mortality by December 2018.”

Notes to editors

More information on the Scottish Patient Safety Programme is available here:


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