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NHS Highland chairman tells Scottish Parliament of 'failure to grapple properly' with bullying issue at health body in past

By Staff Reporter

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Raigmore Hospital.
Raigmore Hospital.

NHS Highland's chairman has acknowledged there was a “failure to grapple properly with the bullying issue within the Board”, after he was quizzed at the Scottish Parliament.

Prof Boyd Robertson, the interim chairman of NHS Highland, made the observation during a session of the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee.

Highlands and Islands MSP, Edward Mountain, had quizzed him on the issue of resignations of non-executive directors at NHS Highland.

Mr Mountain, a list MSP for the Scottish Conservatives, said: “Do you think the problem within the board should have been picked up earlier as the red flags were there in the fact that so many non-executive board members had stepped down?”

Prof Robertson replied: "I would not wish to comment directly on the situation before I came into post on March 1 except to observe that I did notice that there was an exceptional level of departures from the board in 2017.”

“I think that was part of the failure to grapple properly with the bullying issue within the board at that time.”

“Since joining the board in March, I have attempted deliberately a new tone and a new tenor in the organisation as has Iain [Stewart], the chief executive, and I think that is very important.”

The remarks came as Highlands and Islands Scottish Labour MSP urged NHS Highland to find a speedy solution for compensating bullying victims.

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