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Scottish Healthcare Audits

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Scottish Morbidity & Mortality Programme

Morbidity and mortality review meetings provide a systematic approach to reviewing patient deaths and complications in care, as part of professional learning. They offer a unique opportunity for learning and action close to the patient care episode. The meetings give ownership to clinical care teams and offer a direct opportunity to improve care delivery in a timely manner.

The Scottish Morbidity and Mortality Programme has been established to provide structure, support and offer standardised approaches to morbidity and mortality review meetings and related processes. This programme will be able to help NHS Boards improve such process, identify opportunities for improving patient care and share learning.

There are examples of good practice across NHSScotland, yet there exists significant variation in the governance, structure, practice and presentation of outputs. This presents a loss of opportunity for shared learning and improvement.

News - Moving from learning to Improvement, Monday 8th May, Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh

Save the date Download PDF file

Programme Download PDF file

The Focus of the programme

Scottish Morbidity and Mortality Programme is focused on improving the morbidity and mortality review process through:

  • Education and training: To provide skills and support to run an effective morbidity and mortality meeting.
  • Sharing learning: Working across NHS Boards to share learning.
  • Technology: IT systems that support morbidity and mortality processes.

Scottish Mortality and Morbidity National Survey

Part1: Quantitative analysis - A Scotland wide snapshot of Mortality and Morbidity Meetings [2Mb] Download PDF file


A Scottish Morbidity and Mortality Programme Educational and Training Day was held on 30 June 2016 in Glasgow.

Programme and Presentations are available to download below:

Programme - Education and Training day Royal College of Physicians, Glasgow [57kb] Download PDF file #SMMP16

Presentations - Manoj Kumar (National Clinical Lead - SMMP) [3.8Mb] Download PDF file, SMMP Workshop [3.6Mb] Download PDF file

Ongoing developments

Our work will be informed by a national survey on morbidity and mortality practice across NHSScotland and a literature review.

  • The Practice Guide will be circulated for consultation mid October.
  • Pilot sites are being identified and work commencing to ascertain if the attached dataset Download Excel file can be collated at a Morbidity & Mortality/ Quality Assurance meeting. 
  • Best practice guidance is being developed jointly with NHS Education for Scotland and Health Improvement Scotland. It will address governance processes across all specialties.
  • We are developing links between existing national programmes with similar objectives.
  • Four NHS Boards are exploring current datasets, data collection systems and methods of analysis.
  • Scottish Government e-health working on exploring current datasets, data collection systems and methods of analysis for morbidity and mortality reviews.  Four NHS Boards have been identified to support this work at this stage.


Mr Manoj Kumar
National Clinical Lead

Chrissie Watters
National Clinical Co-ordinator


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