Overview

Evidence suggests that the rate of prescribing errors in primary care is at least 11%[1] and that adverse drug reactions account for around 7% of hospital admissions[2], effective communication between GPs, hospital staff, pharmacists and dentists in primary care is essential within a whole-systems approach to patient safety.

[1] Williams DJP. Medication Errors. J R Coll Physicians Edinb 2007; 37:343–346. Available from: www.rcpe.ac.uk/journal/issue/journal_37_4

[2] Pirmohamed M, James S, Meakin S, Green C, Scott AK, Walley TJ, et al. Adverse drug reactions as cause of admission to hospital: prospective analysis of 18,820 patients. BMJ. 2004; 329 15-19. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15231615

 

Service Description

The Primary Care programme aims to reduce the number of events which could cause harm from healthcare delivered in any primary care setting. To achieve this goal, the programme has developed a range of tools and resources to support those working within primary care. All of its work aims to develop and maintain a safety culture. Areas of focus include the monitoring of high risk medicines and implementing reliable and safe systems for communication between services relating to patients. In 2016 the programme will also be supporting care homes to reduce pressure ulcers.

Status

The programme is open to all NHS boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships. The programme aims to develop and maintain a safety culture. Areas of focus include the monitoring of high risk medicines and implementing reliable and safe systems for communication between services relating to patients.

Audience

Primary healthcare providers

Benefits of programme

This summary describes some of the activity and impact of the SPSP in Primary Care team since the launch in 2013. Progress towards the national improvement aims is evident. Highlights include:

  • 93% of all practices across NHSScotland completed the safety climate survey, an increase of 3% over the previous year
  • 721 (74%) GP practices submitted reflection sheets from the trigger tool review and NHS boards reported that patient safety changes had been made at practice and organisational level
  • 803 Scottish Practices engaged in improving reliability in at least one high risk area
  • successful launch of the Pharmacy in Primary Care collaborative in November 2014,
  • early engagement with dental community to scope out the harms in dentistry and identify areas for improvement; and
  • launch and support of a patient safety collaborative for military colleagues

Contact

Jill Gillies

jill.gillies1@nhs.net