New targets to improve the safety of patients while they are in hospital have been announced by Scotland’s health secretary.
Nicola Sturgeon said the NHS would aim to ensure that at least 95% of people receiving treatment do not experience harm such as infections, falls, blood clots and sores.
The target has been set as part of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme, which has been extended until 2015.
The programme has come to the end of its first phase this year and is making progress towards its aims of reducing unexpected deaths by 15% and “adverse events” - such as infections and falls - by 30% among patients in Scotland’s acute hospitals.
The target for reducing unexpected deaths will now be extended to 20%.
Ms Sturgeon said: “We are absolutely committed to continually improving patient safety in our hospitals.
“The Patient Safety Programme has achieved some really impressive results, not just in improving the standard of care in our hospitals but in galvanising staff into action. The programme is something that the staff I have spoken to are excited by and feel they are very much a part of.”
She added: “It’s because of this success that I have decided to extend the programme for another three years and to make its aims even more challenging.
“I know that there is some hard work ahead for NHS staff but I am confident that they will welcome this challenge. Scotland is the first country in the world to implement a national patient safety programme across the whole healthcare system.”