The patient safety team at NHS Tayside has won two accolades for progress in improving patient safety.

The team is the winner of the top team category in the Scottish Health Awards. In addition, it was highly commended at the recent Health Service Journalawards in the Patient Safety category.

As part of the Health Foundation's Safer Patients Initiative, NHS Tayside has been working over the past two years to reduce the number of medical mistakes occurring in its hospitals. By introducing more than 40 measures to improve safety standards for patients, the team has managed to reduce the number of adverse events by almost three quarters.

In addition, hand hygiene compliance has been increased to 96% on the general wards, which is helping to reduce hospital-acquired infections. The team is also examining ways of improving safety through medicines management and better communication between staff and patients.

Pat O'Connor, head of risk management and patient safety at NHS Tayside, says: 'There are 70 of us in the team and it has taken hard work and dedication from all of us for this to work. Winning this award is fantastic. It is a great honour for the team and will inspire us to continue to strive to improve safety.'

Scottish health minister Andy Kerr described the winners of the awards as 'inspirational'.

To read more about the Safer Patients Initiative, visit:

www.health.org.uk/ourawards/organisations/index.cfm?id=76

www.health.org.uk/mediaroom/pressreleases/index.cfm?id=110