Leading in Patient Safety

The NHS in Scotland is sharing learning about patient safety with one of the safest hospitals in the world.


Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Ohio, USA is widely regarded as a world leader in patient safety, and has influenced how the Scottish Patient Safety Programme is run.

Health Secretary Alex Neil yesterday (Tuesday) visited the hospital to build on Scotland's excellent record on patient safety, to further learn about the work of the Cincinnati hospital on patient safety, and to share best practice from NHS Scotland.

The Ohio hospital first pioneered morning safety and flow huddles, which have now been adopted at Yorkhill Children's Hospital in Glasgow.

Since introducing the meetings in January 2013, Yorkhill has reduced delayed discharges in their paediatric intensive care unit from over 70 per cent to around 20 per cent.

The daily safety meetings examine safety and flow through the hospital, and involve staff from throughout the hospital discussing individual patients to ensure they are treated safely, and that they can be discharged from hospital as soon as they are ready.

The Cincinnati hospital is also learning from the Scottish approach to ensuring children have the best start in life.

Clinicians from the hospital have visited Scotland to learn more about the Early Years Collaborative, which is a programme set up to help make Scotland be the best place to grow up.

Speaking during a visit to the hospital, Mr Neil said:

"Scotland was the first country in the world to implement a national patient safety programme across the whole healthcare system and has some of the safest and best hospitals in the world.

"The Children's Hospital in Cincinnati is leading the way in patient safety and we are working closely with them to learn about what they do, and to take some of the learning we gain from them back to Scotland.

"And we are also sharing some of our learning from Scotland with them - for example, they have already been to Scotland to learn more about our groundbreaking Early Years Collaborative, which is ensuring children in Scotland get the very best start in life.

"This collaborative working with international healthcare systems will help to ensure NHSScotland is among the best healthcare systems in the world.

"We've already seen success from the Scottish Patient Safety Programme, and we are keen to build on that. Since 2007, the Scottish Patient Safety Programme has seen a reduction in hospital standardised mortality rates of 12.4 per cent. This is around 10,500 less than expected deaths.

"This shows that we are leading the way. The Department of Health in England has recently announced their plans to follow our lead in setting up a national patient safety programme.

"With independence for Scotland we'll protect our NHS, and continue to provide high-quality, world-leading health and social care to the people of Scotland."

Nurse Jen Rodgers introduced the huddles at Yorkhill Hospital, and recently won the nurse of the year award at the Scottish Health Awards for her work around patient safety.

She said: "The introduction of our hospital huddle at Yorkhill has not only improved our patient safety and flow but also camaraderie between staff. In October this year we added an afternoon huddle which provides support and plans for the evening and night time. It was a privilege to work with world leaders from Cincinnati and look forward to continued links."




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