‘Scotland’s health system is to be congratulated for a multi-year effort that has produced some of the largest population-wide reductions in surgical deaths ever documented.’

As the Tories foolishly aim to fight for votes on the hospital wards and astonishingly think they can attack the SNP there, It’s worth re-posting this from April 2019:

World Health Organization safety checklist to encourage teamwork and communication during operations has been associated with a 37% reduction in the death rate after operations, with a notably dramatic fall since 2007/8. Dr Atul Gawande, who introduced the checklist and co-authored the above study, published in the British Journal of Surgery, said:

‘Scotland’s health system is to be congratulated for a multi-year effort that has produced some of the largest population-wide reductions in surgical deaths ever documented.’

However, it is likely that other factors will have been influential in this achievement including new improved technologies and management of the SNHS at Scottish government level. The report’s conclusion acknowledges this:

‘The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist has been implemented widely since its launch in 2008. It was introduced in Scotland as part of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) between 2008 and 2010 and is now integral to surgical practice. Its influence on outcomes, when analysed at a population level, remains unclear.’

The probable role of the Scottish Government, as suggested by the Nuffield Trust, in helping to enable this achievement is discussed below the frankly amazing results:

opfalls1

This is an astonishing trend, unique I think, in improving health outcomes with a more than halving of the mortality rates after surgery, in the space of only 10 years, and after a period of flat or worsening results under Labour.

returntotheatregrapoh

In some ways even more impressive, the percentage of patients having to return for further surgery has fallen to almost zero! This comes after a period, under Labour, of worsening outcomes.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/bjs.11151