Safe Service in Hospitals…
People in Scotland are concerned about their personal safety in the NHS. We've set up the Scottish Patient Safety Alliance to make sure that our services are as safe as possible. The alliance will support staff in improving safety at the bedside, in operating theatres, in clinics - in fact, everywhere NHS staff help patients.
People have particular worries about the risks from Healthcare Associated Infections ( HAI). It used to be that terms like " MRSA", " C. difficile" and "novovirus" were only used by healthcare experts and scientists. Now they are familiar to most people and are embedded in our everyday language.
But understanding what they mean and doing something about the problems they bring are two different things.
We take people's concerns about HAI very seriously. The HAI Task Force, which has been in place since 2003, has been driving a range of measures - guidance for practice, education for staff and awareness-raising campaigns for the public - to try and allay those fears.
We're now in a position to give a massive boost to the fight against HAI by making £54m available to back new measures the HAI Task Force can take forward. This will enable us to:
- introduce a national MRSA screening programme from 2009/10 so that people coming into hospital with MRSA can be identified early
- raise the bar on hospital cleaning standards
- continue to monitor how well NHS staff wash their hands - hand hygiene is the most important thing we can all do to reduce HAI
- reduce the number of bloodstream infections and other serious illnesses caused by HAI.
This massive increase in investment shows how important tackling HAI is to the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland.