Patient Safety Commissioner Bill passed

Legislation to champion patient voice unanimously backed.

An independent Commissioner to advocate for the welfare and safety of patients will be appointed following the passing of a new Bill.

The Scottish Government’s Patient Safety Commissioner Bill, passed unanimously by Parliament, will help to amplify the voice of patients and drive safety improvements across healthcare. 

The Bill will allow the Commissioner complete freedom to consider or investigate any issue they believe to have a significant bearing on patient safety in healthcare, and they will be able to hear from patients and their families as well as gather information from healthcare providers, to inform their work.

The Commissioner will be independent of government and the NHS and will be accountable to the Scottish Parliament. Following the passing of the Bill, work to appoint an individual to the role will begin shortly.

Public Health Minister Jenni Minto said:

"Our responsibility is to do all we can to make sure healthcare is made as safe as possible, and that in the future, when patients and families have concerns about the safety of their care, they do not have to struggle to make their voices heard. This important Bill champions the value of listening to patients and will ensure people’s voices are heard clearly and strongly throughout the health care system in Scotland. I am very grateful for Parliament’s unanimous support.

“The Commissioner will be a powerful independent champion for everyone receiving healthcare, regardless of the setting in which it is delivered. They will work collaboratively with healthcare providers to make improvements but also hold them to account to ensure Commissioner recommendations are followed, and that patients are listened to.

“We have listened very carefully to views across Holyrood as to how to strengthen the role of the Patient Safety Commissioner. The amendments accepted by the Parliament today demonstrate the collaborative approach the Government has taken.”


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