Leaders: ‘Patient safety must be paramount’

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OUR NHS nurses are the bedrock of our health system. The overwhelming majority are dedicated, hard-working and highly skilled.

But when things go wrong, patients are entitled to understand why.

Today the News reports on how a staff nurse at Liberton Hospital and the Royal Victoria Hospital made repeated serious errors in the care of patients, including giving a drug to the wrong patient and incorrect doses to another.

Over a two-year period more than 50 separate allegations were found to be proven by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Given that patient safety was compromised, the public (or its customers as NHS Lothian is now calling them) is entitled to ask why this nurse was allowed to work on for two years while mistakes continued.

What are the procedures for disciplining those who fail repeatedly on the job?

When the News asked several times yesterday where this nurse’s qualifications are from and whether they were checked out properly we didn’t receive an answer.

The worry is that, with a major shortage in available staff, the NHS is being forced to give employees second, third or fourth chances to improve when they really don’t deserve it.

Patient safety is paramount. And when things go wrong, patients are entitled to know why.

Bouncing back

TODAY’S announcemenr that Japanese electrical giant Mitsubishi is to create 100 new jobs with a £20 million investment in its Livingston base is good news for West Lothian, an area which has suffered repeated blows over the years.

The decline of the pits, the closure of British Leyland in Bathgate, Levis, Motorola and Hall’s of Broxburn all took their toll.

But West Lothian has shown again and again that it can bounce back.

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