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Scottish health boards 'must do better', says review

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Every Scottish health board reviewed so far on how they deal with serious incidents have been told they must improve.

The Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) review is part of a nationwide overhaul to improve responses across acute and primary care services.

The leading five areas of significant adverse events listed in the board’s policy includes: incidents of violence; aggression, abuse or harassment; falls; self-harm, suicide or substance misuse; collapse and staffing issues.

Adverse events are where there were or could be could be “serious consequences, emotionally, causing physical or psychological harm for patients, public, staff or organisation, including suicides”.

Twelve out of the 19 health boards and special health boards have already been told they must handle these incidents better.

The HIS review comes after a damaging investigation into NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

Ayrshire and Arran was previously denounced for withholding over 50 incident reports, including 20 on patient deaths.

Recommendations for improvement throughout Scotland include how staff approach patient, family and carer involvement in complaints, which should also be formally documented and recorded.

The latest study in a raft of reviews now being undertaken was for NHS Lothian.

The board submitted a list of 316 recorded significant adverse events that ended in serious harm or death of a patient, member of staff, visitor or member of the public, between November 2010 and April 2012.

Dr David Farquharson, medical director, NHS Lothian, said: “Work is ongoing to address these issues.”


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