Mid-Scotland and Fife MSPs, Murdo Fraser and Liz Smith, have welcomed the appointment of new NHS Tayside Chief Executive, Grant Archibald, but have warned that he will have his work cut out to solve problems at the health board.
Current NHS Tayside interim Chief Executive, Malcolm Wright, is moving on to become interim Chief Executive of NHS Scotland as well as Director General of Health and Social Care for the Scottish Government.
The appointment of a permanent Chief Executive follows a turbulent 12 months for the health board during which several of its former top team left in the wake of controversy over the use of charitable funds.
Murdo and Liz believe that the new Chief Executive will inherit an “in-tray” overflowing with issues but have said that they will work with him to try and secure the best outcomes for patients in the region.
Commenting, Murdo Fraser MSP said:
“NHS Tayside has experienced significant change over the past 12 months and hopefully the appointment of a permanent Chief Executive will bring to a close a turbulent period in the board’s history.
“Ultimately, what matters most are outcomes for patients and staff and whilst Mr Archibald brings significant experience, the issues at Tayside are not insignificant.
“Fortunately for Mr Archibald, debts at the health board have been written off thanks to the UK Conservative Government and I would hope that this clean slate gives him space to put rural patients at the centre of future-proofed care in Tayside.”
Commenting, Liz Smith MSP said:
“I would like to welcome Mr Archibald to NHS Tayside and thank Malcolm Wright for his work during his interim period as Chief Executive.
“However, Mr Archibald will inherit a health board undergoing significant change and I hope he is able to get up to speed quickly.
“Decisions over primary care, staffing levels and out-of-control waiting time lists need urgent attention and he will have to work hard to convince patients that the problems at NHS Tayside are a thing of the past.
“Issues at NHS Tayside are not unique but they will require careful handling and I will look to work with the board, in the first instance, to ensure patients’ needs are met.”