Patient Safety Commissioner role for Scotland: consultation

This paper seeks views on what the Patient Safety Commissioner role should look like; who it should report to; and how the role should interact with existing legislation and policies, as well as with the various organisations involved in providing and improving health and care services in Scotland.

Ministerial foreword

I am grateful to Baroness Cumberlege for her report on the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review (see [1] below), and to the patients in Scotland ─ and the rest of the UK ─ who contributed to it.  Their strength and courage in coming forward to talk about such a challenging and personal subject is to be admired.

It is clear to me, not just from Baroness Cumberlege's findings, but also from my own discussions with mesh-injured women and from families and professionals, that  there is still much work to be done to make sure that patients' voices are not only heard, but are listened to and acted on, and that patients and members of the public feel that they can play a part in changing the service. 

We are asking you to complete this consultation because we want to learn from your first-hand experiences of the NHS in Scotland.  This is so that, when we act, we can do so based on what the people of Scotland tell us they need.

As many people will already be aware, in Scotland we already have many ways people can raise issues, concerns and complaints.  Despite this, not everyone gets the outcome they would like from this, and not everyone feels they have been properly listened to or that their feedback will lead to change.  As a result, relationships between patients and health and care providers can break down, with patients losing faith in the service.  We need to address this, which is why having a Patient Safety Commissioner for Scotland is now a Programme for Government commitment. 

Our commitment to patient safety has always been key to delivering healthcare, making sure that the NHS in Scotland provides high-quality, safe, effective and person-centred care to all patients every time they use health services.

I would like to thank the Patient Reference Group and the Specialist Reference Group for their valuable input to this process. 

Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond to this consultation.

Jeane Freeman
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport



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