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Scotland: MSPs to vote on patient safety commissioner plan

MSPs are set to vote on a new law to establish a patient safety commissioner.

The bill to create an "independent public advocate" for patients will go through its final stage on Wednesday.

Public Health Minister Jenny Minto has said the commissioner would be able to challenge the healthcare system and ensure patient voices were heard.

The Scottish government has been told the new watchdog must have the power to prevent future scandals.

In 2020, former UK Health Minister Baroness Julia Cumberlege published a review into the safety of medicines and medical devices like Primodos, transvaginal mesh and the epilepsy drug sodium valproate.

She told the House of Lords: "Warnings ignored. Patients' concerns ignored. A system that seemed unwilling or unable to listen let alone respond, unwilling or unable to stop the harm."

Her findings led to the recommendation for a patient safety commissioner.

Speaking ahead of the vote on the Patient Safety Commissioner for Scotland Bill, Ms Minto said the watchdog would listen to patients' views.

"I think it's a really important role for us to have in Scotland," she said.

"There's been a number of inquiries or situations where the patient's voice really needs to be listened to and that's what a patient safety commissioner will do."

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Source: BBC News, 27 September 2023


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