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Independent review into quality of care at Aberdeen hospital

An independent review of the quality of care at a leading hospital is to be carried out, a health board has announced.

NHS Grampian has invited Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) to carry out the short review at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI).

It will assess the leadership, culture, values and behaviours which support and ensure good quality healthcare.

The review aims to identify good practice, areas for improvement and opportunities for "strengthening engagement between clinicians and senior management".

It comes after an exercise undertaken earlier this year by HIS and the Scottish Government to review concerns expressed by a small number of clinical staff identified some areas for improvement.

NHS Grampian chief executive Richard Carey said: "I welcome this review. NHS Grampian is an open, transparent organisation, with good clinical outcomes. The vast majority of our patients report a positive experience, with over 95% of people surveyed describing their care as good, very good or excellent.

"However we are not complacent. We will continue to make positive strides in building safe and high quality healthcare for the people of the north east.

"We recognise the importance of external scrutiny in helping us to identify the scope for further improvements, and in acknowledging good practice."

A report on the findings of the review is expected to be published later in 2014.

The health board said the review will provide fair, independent and professional advice on NHS Grampian's approach to quality and patient safety at ARI.

It will take into account factors that influence care such as delayed discharges and alternatives to in-patient care.

The areas for improvement identified by the exercise earlier this year included the need for NHS Grampian to establish a more consistent culture and set of behaviours across the whole organisation to support more constructive engagement between some groups of clinical staff and management.

The review will look at the factors which may impact on the safety and quality of care, adequacy of the approach to engagement with staff and NHS Grampian's capacity for implementation.

Robbie Pearson, director of scrutiny and assurance at HIS, said: "We are aware that NHS Grampian recognise the importance of addressing any concerns rigorously.

"The review team will work conscientiously to identify the scope for further improvements, acknowledge good practice and enable NHS Grampian to improve services. We will also work closely with NHS Grampian staff to ensure that any key issues identified are actioned quickly."

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