The Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) Acute Adult, part of the ihub’s acute care portfolio, aims to reduce harm and mortality for people in NHS Scotland’s acute hospitals.

SPSP Acute Adult works with clinical and improvement teams in NHSScotland boards to develop, test and implement processes that will further improve reliable care delivery across a range of clinical areas.

The Acute Adult programme supports boards to work on reducing harm from Deterioration, including Sepsis and Acute Kidney InjuryFallsPressure Ulcers, and CAUTI.

Measurement and Reporting

Overarching aims have been developed to support each of the key themes, with supporting outcome measures in relation to each specific topic area. NHS boards will set locally-specific aims against the outcome measures based on existing baselines.

Testing, implementing and measurement of process changes are essential components of efforts to improve outcomes. National data reporting focuses on key theme aims and supporting outcome measures. Support for the use of process measures focuses on guidance of potential measures and, where required, advice on how to use them.


Read more about our work

Since its launch in 2008, the Acute Adult programme has contributed to a significant reduction in harm and mortality to acute adult inpatients through: 

  • introduction and development of quality improvement methodology through testing of focused safety interventions,
  • testing and implementation of leadership activities that provide organisational support for safety,
  • building of capacity and capability within clinical and non clinical roles,
  • tangible patient impact on patient outcomes through reduction of infection rates such as Ventilator Associated Pneumonia and Central Line Bloodstream Infections,
  • widespread implementation of safety briefs, daily goal setting in ICU and surgical brief and pause,
  • transition of now well-established interventions from improvement to day to day care through the Patient Safety Essentials,
  • reduction in common harms such as Falls and Pressure Ulcers, and
  • improvement in the treatment of Deteriorating Patients and Sepsis which has contributed to reductions in cardiac arrests in general ward settings and mortality from sepsis.

An Acute Adult 'infographic' has been developed by Healthcare Improvement Scotland to summarise  why continuous improvement is so important.


Additional information and data can be found below and in the member's area (add link). (N.B. Access to this portal requires registration and is currently available to NHSScotland staff only).

  • Useful links
  • Tools and materials
  • Contact the team