Stability ahead for health board
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.