Ten NHS Ayrshire & Arran patients have died unexpectedly in the past year, new figures show.

Official reports released by health boards across the country showed at least 442 incidents were recorded between 2022 and 2023 which met the threshold for duty of candour, with 80 resulting in the death of a patient.

However, bosses at the health board insist that  staff provide “high-quality, safe and effective routine and emergency care” after it was revealed that 80 patients had died unexpectedly in Scottish hospitals.

Duty of candour is a legal responsibility which sets out when organisations or bodies should tell those affected after an unintended or unexpected incident causes harm or death.

The report revealed that there were 187 incidents – some 42 per cent of the overall total – in NHS Ayrshire & Arran, with 10 leading to the death of a patient.

Official statistics revealed Scottish health boards had paid out more than £60 million in legal claims since 2018 with nearly 2,500 being brought.

Reports submitted by health boards across Scotland repeatedly reference workforce issues including staffing problems, workload and busy environments with no quiet areas with access to both IT and a phone.

Crawford McGuffie, medical director of NHS Ayrshire & Arran, said: “Physician associates work under the supervision of a fully trained doctor, as part of a multi-disciplinary team approach in providing patient care. 

"Physician associates support patient care through this team based approach under supervision. 

“This group of healthcare professionals are not intended to replace doctors but to work in line with agreed guidance and protocols to provide high-quality, safe and effective routine and emergency care.

“When adverse events are identified in the provision of care, these are reported through an established reporting system and subsequently reviewed by our clinical teams. 

“This approach is intended to support learning, feedback and improvements to patient care and is carried out in line with national guidance. 

“There is an established mechanism to report all serious adverse events to Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS), and, in this regard, all level one adverse events are reported to HIS on a monthly basis.

“NHS Ayrshire & Arran has robust policies and procedures in place to ensure all staff are supported and feel able to raise concerns.

“We actively encourage staff to highlight issues relating to patient safety. If staff have concerns, we urge them to speak to their line manager as a first step.”