The number of people dying within a month of being admitted to hospital in Scotland continues to fall, new figures show.
There was a 16.3 per cent drop in hospital mortality between October-December 2007 and July-September 2014, according to official statistics.
Health secretary Shona Robison welcomed the figures as she confirmed funding of £2.5 million to improve patient safety.
The money will help extend Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Scottish patient safety programme (SPSP), which aims to reduce hospital mortality by 20 per cent by December 2015. The latest figures show six hospitals, including Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital, have already met the target.
Ms Robison said: “The 16.3 per cent drop in mortality rates shows the high standards in Scotland’s NHS and is one of the reasons Scotland is emerging as a world leader in delivering effective and safe care for patients.
“Only Scotland across the UK is publishing and driving improvement in our NHS through the use of mortality data in this way.
“We have shown we will investigate and act when this points to potential issues, such as in NHS Lanarkshire two years ago.”
She added: “We are determined to build on the good work already being carried out, which is why we are committing £2.5m to Health Improvement Scotland to enhance quality improvement across the NHS.
“Scotland was the first country in the world to implement a national patient safety programme across the whole healthcare system and this funding will allow it to be extended further.”
Angiolina Foster, chief executive of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said “There is a great deal of quality improvement work already taking place – for example our SPSP is one of the most ambitious patient safety programmes in the world – and this welcome boost will allow the pace and scale of improvement work to be substantially increased.”