'Hospital Safety Huddle' Supported

Workers should hold a "hospital safety huddle'' every morning to identify risks and challenges to patient safety in the day ahead, Health Secretary Alex Neil has said.

All acute hospitals should adopt the huddle, which was pioneered by Cincinnati Children's Hospital in the US and has been taken up by Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and all three paediatric hospitals in Scotland.

It is part of the ongoing drive to improve patient safety which will be outlined by Mr Neil at a Scottish Patient Safety Programme conference in Edinburgh today.

He said: "Last year I had the privilege to visit Cincinnati Children's Hospital and see their hospital safety huddle - a morning meeting of all those involved in providing care to plan the day, identify risks and challenges and work collectively and collaboratively to deliver the best care possible.

"I am delighted to see that that concept is being spread across Scotland, first in all three paediatric hospitals and more recently in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and both of the hospitals in Ayrshire and Arran.

"This is a fine example of the type of best practice I want to see rolled out to all acute hospitals in Scotland.''

Introduced in 2008, the Scottish Patient Safety Programme, led by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, has reduced hospital mortality rates and earned praise from health professionals across the world.

Ruth Glassborow, director of safety and improvement at Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: "We are delighted with the progress being made across the length and breadth of the country.

"From an initial focus on adults in hospitals the programme now extends to primary care, mental health, maternity, neonates and children's services.

"All with a focus on ensuring services are as safe as they possibly can be for every person, every time.''