Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, has praised the world-renowned Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) at a conference in Edinburgh (Tuesday) by stating in a speech to 800 delegates from across health and social care that, in its 8-year existence, it has “influenced attitudes and created positive cultural change” in Scotland.

SPSP, led by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, is a unique national programme that aims to improve the safety and reliability of healthcare and reduce harm, whenever care is delivered. From an initial focus on acute hospitals, work now includes safety improvement programmes for maternity and children, mental health, medicines, healthcare associated infections and primary care.

The Cabinet Secretary’s speech highlighted examples of cultural change such as in mental health settings, where Ms Robison stated that, “We have seen a real shift in the approach taken to the prescribing and administration of psychotropic medication, changes to how restraint is viewed, and improvements in how challenging behaviour is managed.”

She also commended the progress that has taken place since SPSP’s inception in 2008, saying: “These huge strides are testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone working in our National Health Service in Scotland.”

Adding that SPSP is, “A service that continually adapts to meet the changing needs of our ageing population; a service that embraces new technologies and approaches to the treatment of the people who require its care; a service that without the dedication of you and your colleagues, would not meet these expectations and needs.”

The purpose of the conference – entitled Improving Care for People in Scotland – was to share practical approaches to preventing deterioration and improve outcomes for patients.

Speaking of the conference, Dr Dame Denise Coia, Chairman of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “During the conference, delegates heard from people truly dedicated to sharing their approaches to preventing deterioration in patients, with the ultimate aim of reducing harm for people in both health and social care services across Scotland.”