Edward Mountain

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Edward Mountain MSP attends NHS Highland Annual Review

I was pleased to attend the annual review today to listen to constituents air their concerns to the Chair and Chief Executive of the health board in public. It was clear that the centralisation of services to Raigmore Hospital and maternity provision in Caithness remain big concerns in the region. There were also many individual items that were raised which showed how a lack of public consultation in the redesign of services in the past were currently creating difficulties.

 In the documents provided by NHS Highland we saw a long list of areas where the health board needs to improve. The facts showed that NHS Highland are failing to meet key targets in many areas, from mental health provision to early detection of cancer, and from waiting time guarantees to serious staffing issues.

 Of course, the elephant in the room which the board and the Cabinet Secretary will need to address, was the publication of the Sturrock Review into alleged bullying in NHS Highland which is long overdue.

The new Board face significant challenges and I will do my upmost to help them address the issues facing our health service in the region.

However, there is no scope for further failures from a health board that is categorised as Level 4 on the Scottish Government’s Escalation Framework. That means the health board face significant risks when it comes to service delivery and financial performance, especially as estimates suggest the budget deficit may be as high as £40 million.

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Ashley Atkins