The world’s first primary care patient safety programme has been launched in Scotland.
GP practices will undertake safety surveys and reviews to reduce avoidable harm by increasing staff awareness, the Scottish government announced today.
Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil said he hopes the Patient Safety Primary Care Programme will allow patients to be “confident” of safe treatment at all times.
He said: “I know there is some hard work ahead for our GPs and their practice staff, but I am confident they will rise to this challenge.”
The measures will involve staff and patients in monitoring safety measures so they can identify if changes need to be made, according to Dr Mike Winter, programme chair.
Dr Winter said: “This programme has been developed in GP practices by practice staff to provide the tools they can use to help prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and avoidable complications.”
British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland has welcomed the measures.
BMA Scotland GP Committee chairman Dr Alan McDevitt said: “GPs already provide a high quality service to patients, but this programme will further develop a safety culture in general practice.”
However, he added that it is “vital” that practices have sufficient resources to “maintain high quality in general practice”.
The GP programme follows on from the Scottish government’s patient safety initiative in hospitals, which has seen a 12% reduction in death rates since 2007, official figures show.
The initiative will now be running in GP surgeries, hospitals, mental health and maternity services.