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NHS staff need support to cut hospital mortality rates

May 27, 2014 5:16 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP has warnedJim Hume MSPJim Hume MSP Ministers that they must do more to support NHS staff after new figures showed progress towards cutting hospital mortality rates has stalled.

A report published today showed that hospital mortality rates declined between 2009 and 2011, but "the level thereafter has remained relatively constant".

Official figures show that by the period October to December 2013, mortality rates for Scotland as a whole had fallen by 14.2%. This is short of the 15% by December 2012 target set out in the Scottish Patient Safety Programme.

Commenting, Jim Hume MSP said:

"People go to hospital to recover from illnesses, not acquire new ones. Clearly we have seen progress towards cutting mortality rates in many hospitals, which must be welcomed. But overall the picture is mixed and targets are still being missed.

"Early progress that we saw in cutting mortality rates at Scotland's hospitals seems to have stalled as pressure on doctors, nurses and bed spaces has increased.

"With experts having warned SNP Ministers that NHS staff are working under intolerable pressure, action is needed to support doctors and nurses to help them ensure that as many patients as possible leave hospital in better health than when they came in."