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Saturday 1 October 2016
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Quality care in Scotland doubted by Royal College

Yesterday the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh (RCPE) claimed care failures found in Mid Staffordshire hospital could be repeated across the UK, however the Scottish Health Secretary does not think this is likely.

A report published by RCPE argued that increased workload, inefficient working practices and greater pressure on doctors have contributed to compromised patient care.

Complicated system

"While patients should be reassured that there is much high quality care provided by the NHS, there is potential for the events in Mid Staffordshire to be repeated in any hospital in Scotland or the UK. We must not allow this to happen," said RCPE president Neil Dewhurst.

At the Nursing in Practice Event in Glasgow, Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil said England's complicated system made it more difficult to manage than NHS Scotland.

NHS Scotland has one procurement agency, but in England there are over 260, the Health Minister noted.

Neil said: "The number of English procurement agencies will increase after the new arrangements, and that's just one example of England having a very difficult system to manage."

Whistleblowing hotline

RCPE plan to create a "confidential standards" hotline so that members can raise concerns over poor quality care.

"It is also all too evident from the inquiry report and our experience of working within the NHS that many clinicians feel disengaged from management and are concerned that their clinical advice regarding best treatment for patients can be over-ruled by non-clinical managers," the RCPE report said.

"As such, we believe there is a pressing need to address the disconnect which has emerged and to improve clinical engagement with management."

The RCPE editorial highlighted a rising need to ensure patients have equal access to hospital services.

Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "We want to learn any lessons from the Francis report to ensure that that will not happen in Scotland."