Call for daily hospital safety meetings at ERI

Staff at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary adopt the huddle practice. Picture: Greg Macvean
Staff at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary adopt the huddle practice. Picture: Greg Macvean
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WORKERS should have a “hospital safety huddle” every morning – like NHS Lothian staff – to identify risks and challenges to patient safety in the day ahead, Health ­Secretary Alex Neil has said.

He 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 that 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.”

Mr Neil also insisted Scotland’s NHS must continue to “relentlessly pursue its drive to be the safest in the world”.

The Health Secretary will be speaking at a conference bringing together clinicians and managers from across all sections of the NHS to ­discuss how to go on improving patient safety. He said: “My message is that we must ­continue to relentlessly pursue this drive to make Scotland’s NHS the safest in the world. Our NHS is a vast, complex organisation, caring for ­millions of people every year.

“Getting it right every single time, and providing the safest, highest quality care possible, is our goal and we must go on working ceaselessly to deliver it on behalf of the people of 

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: “Healthcare Improvement Scotland ­manage the Scottish Patient Safety ­Programme and 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.”