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Scottish hospitals urgently need improvements, say Royal Colleges

Scotland is due a major overhaul in hospitals, to address “systemic failings” the Royal Colleges in Scotland announced today.

There were 20 recommendations made in the report released today by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, including the “urgent need” to engender more effective team working and place quality of care ahead of targets.

They also wanted appropriate staffing levels and to end the culture of “learned helplessness” experienced by staff when poor standards of patient care are condoned and perpetuated “due to a combination of pressures”.

Theresa Fyffe, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland director, said: “These are hard-hitting recommendations and will make uncomfortable reading for many managers and leaders in our health service.

“Too often, failures in care are down to unsafe staffing levels. We know that quality of care is inextricably linked to having the right number of suitably skilled staff in the right place at the right time, with the right balance between registered nurses and unregistered staff. Having appropriately trained and experienced staff must be a priority for all health boards if they are to deliver safe, high-quality care to patients,” she said.