PATIENTS are to be given a greater voice in shaping NHS care, health secretary Alex Neil will announce today.

Mr Neil will use a speech at an NHS conference in Glasgow to insist that Scotland's health service is performing well, despite "significant challenges".

Speaking ahead of the event, he said that there was "no room for complacency" and that proposals for a new system of using the views of patients would be developed before the end of the year.

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"We must do more to listen to, and promote, the voices of those we care for," Mr Neil said. "We need the voices of our patients, those receiving care and their families, to be heard in a much clearer and stronger way.

"I will be bringing forward proposals for a new system of listening to, and promoting, the patients' voice. I have tasked Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Scottish Health Council to develop these new proposals.

"Their task is straightforward — develop a system that means we do more to truly hear the voice of patients."