The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow commends Health Improvement Scotland on its wide ranging, thorough and independent review of the safety and quality of care for patients in NHS Lanarkshire.
While there are a number of examples of excellence in patient care, the review highlights key issues of concern.
The review reports evidence of a lack of leadership both managerial and clinical. There were examples of patients being unclear as to which consultant was looking after them. The report also highlights the need for good communication at all levels within the hospital as well as between the hospital and the community.
President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Dr Frank Dunn commented:"Good communication is a key aspect in the chain of care for a patient and is fundamentally important both for the patient and their relatives. It is critically important that patients know who their consultant is. It is also fundamentally important that speedy and accurate information is communicated to the patient's GP as soon as possible after they have been discharged from hospital."
The inequality of care was evidenced between the three hospitals mentioned in the review, and also within the individual hospitals. Of particular concern is the fact that this relates to patients whose condition is deteriorating. There are scoring systems in place to identify a need for action when measures are needed, however the review found that these systems were not always followed.
Insufficient staffing at nursing and medical team levels is also reported; the inevitable consequence of this is deterioration in patient care.
Dr Dunn added "patient safety is a key priority and we are committed to working with the Scottish Government, Fellows and Members and other agencies to ensure that all of the key lessons are learned from this review."
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The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow is the only multidisciplinary Royal College in the UK. Its membership, which exceeds 11,000, includes physicians, surgeons, dental practitioners, travel medicine and podiatric medicine professionals. The College provides career support to the membership through education, training, professional development, examinations and assessment whilst acting as a charity and leading voice on health issues in order to set the highest possible standards of health care.
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