A reduction in unexpected hospital deaths has saved 1,556 Ayrshire lives, an MSP has revealed.

Local MSP Kenneth Gibson added: “This is very heartening news and I congratulate the hard-working staff at NHS Ayrshire and Arran for their dedication and commitment to saving lives.

“I also commend Healthcare Improvement Scotland, who manage the Scottish Patient Safety Programme on behalf of the SNP Government, on this ongoing success.

“Particularly against the backdrop of an ageing population it is vitally important that we reduce risks and increase patient safety to the highest possible level.”

Mr Gibson described it as 'world leading' programme which continues to have a significant impact on the quality and safety of patient care.

He added: We have reduced unexpected hospital deaths by 11.2% in Scotland. The even greater 13.8% fall in NHS Ayrshire and Arran has saved 1,556 lives between 01 January 2014 and 30 June 2018.

“This progress is testament to the hard work of thousands of staff at a time when our NHS is treating more people, with more complex needs.

“This programme continues to improve the safety of healthcare wherever it is delivered, ensuring better outcomes for some of our most vulnerable people.”

By next month, the Scottish Government will have achieved its aim to reduce hospital standardised mortality by 10% since January to March 2014, which is 15 months earlier than planned.

Hospital Standard Mortality Ratios assess hospital safety by dividing the number of recorded deaths occurring in hospital or within 30 days after a hospital stay, compared to the predicted number of deaths based on the risk of dying applied to different hospitals.