Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Patient safety scheme being piloted in Scotland

  • Comment

A “ground-breaking” scheme which aims to improve patient safety by ensuring better communication between primary care prescribers and pharmacists is to be piloted by health boards in Scotland.

The Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) in Primary Care, run by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, has been awarded £450,000 over two years to test the scheme.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland said that the majority of patient consultations are safe but that some hospital admissions are due to the adverse effects of medication.

“This is a ground-breaking project that aims to strengthen the link between GPs and pharmacists”

Jill Gillies

Research has revealed that up to 5% of prescriptions contain an error, said Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

It is hoped the new scheme will reduce the risk of harm to patients through issues such as prescribing discrepancies which can happen when patients are discharged from hospital.

Jill Gillies, who leads the SPSP in Primary Care team, said: “Our main aim is to improve and bridge the gap in relations between pharmacists and GPs.

“We know, for example, that pharmacists are not contacted after a patient is discharged from hospital. Yet they have a vital role to play in ensuring the prescription is safely dispensed to assist in the patient’s ongoing treatment.

“Under this initiative, the pharmacists would take charge of undertaking accurate and consistent medication monitoring,” she said.

“This could happen after someone has been discharged from hospital or when someone is prescribed a high-risk medicine, such as warfarin.”

She added: “This is a ground-breaking project that aims to strengthen the link between GPs and pharmacists – it clearly demonstrates the commitment of the SPSP in Primary Care team to explore innovative ways to improve patient safety in Scotland.”

The funding has come from the Health Foundation, an independent charity working to improve the quality of healthcare in the UK.

“We are confident the new programme will be welcomed extremely positively by all within the healthcare sector”

Jo Bibby

The programme will be tested over two years by three NHS boards, which are still to be decided.

It is intended that the programme will be trialled across both rural and urban locations before being evaluated by NHS Education for Scotland and the University of Strathclyde to see if it is robust enough to be rolled out nationally.

Health Foundation

Jo Bibby

Dr Jo Bibby, director of strategy at the Health Foundation, said: “We are very pleased to support Healthcare Improvement Scotland in this first of its kind collaboration that has potential to play a major role in improving patient safety.

“We are confident the new programme will be welcomed extremely positively by all within the healthcare sector and will make a valuable contribution in reducing harm to patients in Scotland.”

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs