Promoting the safety of patients.
Legislation to champion the welfare of people receiving healthcare, with the creation of a Patient Safety Commissioner, has been published.
The Commissioner’s remit, set out in the Bill, will cover all healthcare providers operating in Scotland, including the NHS and NHS-contracted and independent healthcare providers.
This will include bringing together patient feedback and safety data shared by NHS boards and Healthcare Improvement Scotland, to identify concerns and recommend actions.
The Patient Safety Commissioner will be an independent champion for everyone receiving healthcare, working alongside healthcare providers and organisations involved in patient safety and complaints. They will hold healthcare providers to account in their responsibility to listen to patients and support them to make improvements.
The Commissioner will also, when necessary, lead formal investigations into potential systemic safety issues, with powers to require information be shared to make sure every investigation is fully informed.
Cabinet Secretary for Health, Humza Yousaf, said:
“We have made great progress in patient safety in Scotland’s health service in recent years, but when it comes to this issue it’s crucial that we are not complacent, and that we work together to continually drive up standards. That is why we have introduced this legislation, which aims to make sure the voices of people using health services are heard and their concerns acted on with the creation a champion, independent of the NHS or government, who will look out for the safety of people getting healthcare in Scotland.
“It is vitally important that patients have a voice and a place to turn to if they have concerns about the safety of their care, and this Bill will help to ensure that continues to be the case.”
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