MORE THAN 10,000 concerns about patient safety were flagged up by worried NHS Fife employees last year, it has been revealed.

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request has shown that the health board recorded 10,552 concerns about patient safety between April 2014 and March 2015 – a staggering average of 28 PER DAY.

Issues of patient safety – which include clinical and non-clinical incidents such as falls, loss of belongings and delays following calls for assistance – have increased steadily annually, from 6690 in 2010/11 to 10,552 last year.

In total, NHS Fife received 41,685 such reports in the last five years.

The FoI also revealed that anxious NHS Fife employees raised fears about being short-staffed almost daily, with 275 concerns flagged up last year – an average of one registered every 1.3 days.

This was more than double the 116 reports received in 2010/11. A total of 919 concerns have been made about the matter in the last five years.

NHS Fife medical director, Dr Frances Elliot said, “Patient safety is, and remains, NHS Fife’s single biggest priority.

“We note that reporting in Fife has increased year on year. As a board, such an improvement is welcomed as we believe it to be a sign of a strong organisational culture in patient safety.” However, Cowdenbeath MSP Alex Rowley – who has spearheaded a campaign calling for an immediate independent review of NHS Fife – said he was concerned by the level of year-on-year increases.

He told the Press, “Unlike NHS Fife, I do not see this as a positive thing and would suggest to Dr Elliot that she and her colleagues who are responsible for the management of NHS Fife rather than seeing this as a positive thing should be putting in place a clear plan of action to address the 10,500 concerns for safety of patients that were raised last year by staff and make sure the issues giving cause for concern are understood, addressed and not repeated. When any member of the public has to see their loved ones going into hospital I bet they assume they will be safe.

“I do not know if I am missing something here but I think this statement by NHS Fife is outrageous and would call on them to get a grip of this situation and tackle the underlying issues that are leaving so many people to be unsafe when in hospital.

“It is also very worrying when you see the numbers of times staff are raising concerns about staffing levels and I would expect NHS Fife to give a proper explanation of this.” NHS Fife patient safety concerns April 2010-March 2011 6690 April 2011-March 2012 7283 April 2012-March 2013 8120 April 2013-March 2014 9040 April 2014-March 2015 10552 TOTAL 41685 NHS Fife staffing level concerns April 2010-March 2011 116 April 2011-March 2012 107 April 2012-March 2013 197 April 2013-March 2014 224 April 2014-March 2015 275 TOTAL 919