Cole-Hamilton: New leadership must tackle deep-rooted Tayside failures

December 6, 2018 4:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has today said that new leadership at NHS Tayside must tackle deep-rooted failures as a new report from the Auditor General warned that "urgent action is needed" to address NHS Tayside's financial position.

The Auditor General's report on NHS Tayside's audited accounts for 2017/18 found:

  • The health board paid its former Chief Executive, Lesley McLay, for six months' notice instead of the three in her contract. And it mistakenly agreed a payment of over £19k in pension contributions to cover her notice period - a sum it is now looking to recover.
  • Just seven national standards out of 20 were met or exceeded this year, compared to nine in 2016/17.
  • NHS Tayside has needed £50.2m of Scottish Government loans since 2012/13, £45.9 million of which has not been repaid. A further £12.7 million of brokerage was received in 2017/18, and the Auditor General says more will be required.

Ms Gardner said: "NHS Tayside financial position has been unsustainable since 2013 and urgent action is needed to turn around the organisation.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

"NHS Tayside has weaved and stumbled for some time. Payment mishaps to the departing Chief Executive are deeply embarrassing but this report also exposes more fundamental financial challenges facing the health board.

"Under new leadership there is now a chance to tackle the deep-rooted issues facing NHS Tayside.

"However, they will also need the support of the Scottish Government to do this. I hope the Health Secretary will make sure that the new Chief Executive has the support and resources they need to deliver for patients"