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Wednesday, 01 February 2017

Tories demand action over adverse incidents on Scotland's dementia and geriatric wards

Written by The Press Association

Scotland's dementia and geriatric wards have recorded tens of thousands of adverse incidents since 2011.

Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives under freedom of information laws show there have been 167,041 such incidents in the past six years.

In NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, adverse events were found to have resulted in the deaths of 49 patients over the period.

Other cases ranged from falls, self-harm and aggressive or disruptive behaviour to assaults on staff, patients absconding from secure facilities and staff shortages.

In NHS Borders, a staff member was injured while receiving training in dealing with aggressive patients, while NHS Fife recorded incidents of bomb threats, suspicious packages and rooftop protests.

Tory health spokesman Donald Cameron MSP said the true number of incidents is likely to be higher as some health boards could not provide full details.

He said: "In such environments, many of these adverse incidents will have been unavoidable and it's a credit to hardworking NHS staff that they deal with these day in, day out.

"But patients in these wards, and their families, will be extremely worried at the sheer scale of these flashpoints.

"There are a significant number of incidents which were put down to staffing shortages, or a lack of adequate resources and training, and that very much falls at the Scottish Government's door.

"As our population ages and conditions like dementia become more prevalent, it's clear something needs to be done to ensure these incidents don't increase."

Last year it was revealed that 25,000 adverse incidents had been recorded in maternity hospitals over the same period.

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