Immediate Actions – The Regulator

Internationally, it is recognised that there are a large number of avoidable deaths, other major harm and wasted expenditure in healthcare. However, this has not yet been recognised by the Scottish government. This major problem continues without the necessary preventive measures that the law requires being in place in Scotland. The consequences of this failure will be around 2,000 reasonably preventable premature deaths a year in Scotland. This issue needs to be recognised by the Scottish government and immediate actions initiated. It requires:

  1. Recognition: Full recognition of the application of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) to patient safety and to associated social care. It requires an understanding of what that the law means.
  2. Plan: An effective plan to secure compliance with the law and ensure patient safety across all Scottish health and social care.
  3. Regulator: Creation of the legally required effective fully independent regulator of healthcare. Regulation of social care also needs to comply with the Act.

Without an effective regulator ensuring compliance with the Act, the legally required standards on patient safety will never be achieved in Scotland.