We note the Scottish National Patient Safety Programme aims to improve the safety and reliability of health and social care, and reduce harm.
Like Scotland, our aim is to improve patient safety and for the National Health Service to be one of the safest healthcare systems in the world.
Following the tragic events at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, the Government has introduced a number of significant programmes to promote and encourage better regulation, greater transparency and candour, and a culture of learning in the NHS in England, drawing from other safety critical industries.
To further drive a culture of learning, the NHS trusts are required to review and investigate deaths of their patients and publish the learning and steps they are taking to improve patient safety. An independent Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) was set up in April 2016 and is now conducting major safety investigations into the most serious risks for patients, with a specific focus on system-wide learning and improvement. The HSIB’s remit was extended in April 2018 to include the investigations of early neonatal deaths, term stillbirths and cases of severe brain injury in babies as well as all cases of maternal death. Work is underway to further improve medicines safety including the accelerated rollout of electronic prescribing in hospitals, monitoring higher risk prescribing practice linked to hospital admissions, and addressing so called ‘human factors’ that contribute to errors.
In June 2018, the Government announced a further package of measures to improve patient safety including a new National Clinical Improvement Programme that will provide NHS consultants with confidential data on their clinical results and help improve patient outcomes, the introduction of a system of medical examiners and the intention to extend the Learning from Deaths programme to general practice and ambulance trusts to promote learning and enable health organisations and healthcare professionals to learn from one another.