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Patient views promoted with new system in Scotland

Scotland has unveiled a new system of promoting the views of NHS patients, which will be in place by the end of the year. 

Health Improvement Scotland and the Scottish Health Council will be working together to develop the proposals. 

The organisations have been tasked with “developing a system that means we do more to hear the voices of patients,” Scottish Health Secretary Andrew Neil said. 

The new system follows the introduction of Patient Opinion last year, which was tasked with gathering patient views.

Neil said that the NHS in Scotland “consistently outperforms” other areas of the UK, and is safer than ever before. 

However, he added: “There is absolutely no complacency and we will go on striving for improvement while staying true to the founding principles of our NHS.

"That is why we must do more to listen to, and promote, the voices of those we care for. We need the voices of our patients, those receiving care and their families, to be heard in a much clearer and stronger way.”

Royal College of Nursing Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said: “We believe that all patients should be able to feedback their views on the care they receive, both positive and negative, so health boards and the government can use this constructively to improve and change how things are done.

“At the same time, staff must also have a voice and be listened to. Patients' views can affect already demoralised staff, who are trying to do their best under pressure. Health boards must therefore listen to what patients are saying and then listen and support staff to make the necessary changes to improve how care is delivered. 

“Both patients' and staff's feedback and concerns are important and must be heard locally and nationally, if our NHS is to become 'world class'.”