My statement following the publication of John Sturrock QC’s inquiry into bullying at NHS Highland:
“I would like to thank John Sturrock for his detailed report.
It was only the Scottish Government and casual observers who didn’t recognise there were serious problems in NHS Highland.
John Brown’s Governance Review, published in May 2018 proved it.
When four senior clinicians made allegations of bullying in September 2018, and I called on the First Minister for an Independent Inquiry, the Government still dithered.
Finally when we get an inquiry we learn and I quote that there was “fear and intimidation” of the staff some who have “suffered significant and serious harm.”
According to the report it appears that the Scottish Government knew about the dysfunctional nature of NHS Highland in Autumn 2017 and yet did nothing about, waiting to see what others would do.
In my 40 years of professional experience, I have never read such a damning report. And in her statement I did not once hear the word ‘Sorry’.
So let me start by welcoming the belated actions the Cabinet Secretary is announcing.
But to move forward we need to resolve the past.
So let me give the Cabinet Secretary the opportunity, on behalf of the Scottish Government to start off the process rebuilding of our health service by apologising to the staff, patients and people of the Highlands for this situation which is attributable to poor executive management, which is backed up the Sturrock Report.”