Call for probe into bosses at NHS Fife
Concerns raised over patient care as staff morale plummets
“Rock bottom” morale at NHS Fife has sparked fears that patient care is being put at risk.
The Scottish Government has been urged to investigate the leadership of the board following a string of high-profile departures.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie hit out following the shock departure of non-executive director Simon Little last week.
The chairman of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership resigned just weeks before a final decision was due on the future of out-of-hours GP services in the region.
Mr Rennie said: “With a weaker board and lack of a proper challenge the risk to the delivery of healthcare is real.”
NHS Fife said it was one of the better performing boards in Scotland and revealed chairwoman Tricia Marwick had ordered a complete review of governance procedures when she took office almost two years ago.
Chief executive Paul Hawkins pointed out that all Fife MPs and MSPs had regular meetings with both him and Mrs Marwick.
“Mr Rennie knows he is welcome at any time to discuss any concerns he may have regarding the work and governance of the NHS Fife board,” he said.
“NHS Fife is one of the better performing boards in Scotland.
“It has managed both performance and finances over the last few years and has not needed financial assistance from the government to balance the budget.”
Mr Hawkins added: “The current chair of the board instigated a complete review of governance when she took office in January 2017 and introduced a number of changes to strengthen governance and to ensure that board non-executives are supported to hold the NHS Fife directors to account.
“In Audit Scotland’s annual review of governance at NHS Fife, Audit Scotland recognised that governance arrangements at the board had been strengthened as a result of these changes.
“NHS Fife, along with all other boards in Scotland, is constantly monitoring and reviewing governance arrangements to ensure transparency and accountability.
“NHS Fife is committed to supporting non-executive board members at committee and board level to have every opportunity to hold senior management to account and the current chair actively encourages every board member to do so.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “NHS boards are responsible for the highest standards of governance to ensure public confidence.
“Any issues regarding governance arrangements or the actions of individual board members will be addressed with the board.”