Sta­bil­ity ahead for health board

The Oban Times - - News -

NHS HIGH­LAND is in a strong po­si­tion de­spite fi­nan­cial and staffing is­sues, ac­cord­ing to the health board’s chair­man.

Garry Coutts said that 2013/14 had been a tough year, but added that 2014/15 would be one of im­prove­ment, when he ad­dressed the board and cab­i­net sec­re­tary for health and well-be­ing, Shona Ro­bi­son at the NHS High­land an­nual re­view.

Mr Coutts told the re­view, held in Wick ear­lier this month, that there were a range of is­sues fac­ing the board, in­clud­ing cost pres­sures, med­i­cal staff re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion, chang­ing de­mo­graph­ics and em­bed­ding the in­te­gra­tion of health and adult so­cial care.

How­ever, Mr Coutts in­sisted: ‘These are not chal­lenges – it’s just the en­vi­ron­ment in which we op­er­ate.’

The real chal­lenge, he said, was op­er­at­ing more ef­fec­tively in that en­vi­ron­ment, and that next year could be char­ac­terised as one of ‘sta­bil­ity and con­fi­dence’.

The re­view it­self, held in Wick’s Assem­bly Rooms, fea­tured a pre­sen­ta­tion by Mr Coutts and a ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion in which he, Ms Ro­bi­son, and the board’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Elaine Mead, re­sponded to en­quiries from mem­bers of the public.

In his pre­sen­ta­tion, Mr Coutts ex­plained the High­land Qual­ity Ap­proach, the man­age­ment sys­tem em­ployed by NHS High­land to de­liver bet­ter health, bet­ter care and bet­ter value, and out­lined some of the ben­e­fits this was de­liv­er­ing to pa­tients and ser­vice-users.

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