Scottish Patient Safety Programme

The Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) was launched in 2008 in acute care and is internationally recognised as the first national programme to systematically improve the safety and reliability of hospital care. There are five work-streams: Peri-operative, Critical Care, General Ward, Medicines Management and Leadership.

Launched in 2008, the Action Plan aimed to significantly increase treatment, diagnosis and prevention of hepatitis C in Scotland. As a result of the plan the number of people being treated for the disease has more than doubled to over 1,000 a year, and the numbers of people being tested and diagnosed has significantly increased.

The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act aims to cut Scotland’s high death rate from smoking-related diseases.

Chief Medical Officer Mac Armstrong describes the ban as bringing “far and away the most important improvement in our health in a generation”.

There is large cross-party agreement on such a measure. The impetus, initially from a Private Member’s Bill, is developed into legislation by the Scottish Executive and a complete ban is approved by Parliament.

The action plan for Better Health, Better Care is launched in December 2007.

Stronger public involvement is a key theme – improving patients’ experience, clearer patients’ rights and enhanced local democracy such as through direct elections to health boards. And independent scrutiny of proposals for major service changes.

Developed after public meetings around Scotland, it calls on people to take more responsibility for their own health, view the NHS as a service delivered mainly in local communities rather than hospitals, anticipate and prevent rather than react.

It leads to Delivering for Health, a programme of action to implement the recommendations. The framework was developed by a team headed by Glasgow-born Professor David Kerr, a cancer expert at Oxford University.

The 2004 Act completes the process of abolishing the internal market in Scotland. Health boards are now the single tier of governance and accountability.

New Community Health Partnerships are established with resources and decision making power to work with boards and involve patients and a broader range of staff in their work.

Paramedics give clot-busting drugsThis highlights the huge transformation in the role of ambulance crews over sixty years. Basic stretcher bearers with first aid training at that time, they are now highly trained clinicians diagnosing and treating patients at the scene rather than just ferrying them to hospital.

In 1948, various fleets were operated by hospitals, the Red Cross, St Andrew’s Ambulance Association and the National Coal Board.

The new Scottish Parliament addresses a hugely complex area of deep concern to more than 100,000 families across Scotland.

It is long overdue and sixty organisations give evidence to the parliament’s new scrutiny committees.

The net result is widely welcomed – protection for vulnerable adults and clarity for those looking after them and making important decisions on their behalf.

Not front page news but a real breakthrough for patients and the public in Scotland nonetheless.