ACTION will be taken in Scotland after the scandal at Stafford Hospital, the Scottish Government said.

A report by Robert Francis QC this week highlighted the "appalling and unnecessary suffering of patients" at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust from 2005 to 2009.

In the wake of his report an investigation has begun in England into five other trusts with high mortality rates – the same warning sign that exposed the poor care in Mid Staffs.

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The Scottish Government has said it is also looking at the findings.

In Scotland, death rates for hospitals are published every three months and there are "escalation procedures" in place if the number of deaths at a hospital appear unusually high.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman confirmed these escalation procedures have been used in the past, but would not give details of the circumstances.

She also said: "The Francis Report, including its recommendations, are currently being considered and appropriate action will follow in due course.

"Scotland is the first country in the world to implement a national patient safety programme across the whole healthcare system and has some of the safest and best hospitals in the world."

Since 2007, the mortality rate for Scottish hospitals has reduced by 11.4%.

Mr Francis did not blame any particular organisation or individual for the situation at the Mid Staffordshire Trust, instead blaming an "insidious negative culture".