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Morale at “rock bottom” as NHS Grampian meets

Dr Izhar Kahn
Dr Izhar Kahn

A senior member of the NHS Grampian health board has claimed staff morale is at “rock bottom” following three scathing reports into the quality of care at its Aberdeen facilities.

The NHS Grampian board yesterday met for the first time since the reports from Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and the Royal College of Surgeons in England (RCSE) were released earlier this week.

One of the HIS reports related to quality and safety at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, and another published the findings of an unannounced inspection of care for the elderly at ARI and at Woodend Hospital.

A separate review from the RCSE which looked at general surgery service was also released.

Staff were reported to have “little confidence” in senior management in the reports.

The health board yesterday endorsed the recommendations of all three reports and agreed to development an improvement plan on the findings.

Board member Dr Izhar Khan, chair of the area medical committee, said: “I think the board should be under no illusion that morale is at rock bottom. I think the board should also recognise this report as a good thing in the long term because only improvements can be made from where we are.”

He added that he would “offer his full support” to “putting this ship back on course”.

However, fellow member, Terry Mackie said: “I was in ARI yesterday as a patient I was treated exceptionally well, I thought the morale was extremely high. They all seemed in good humour.”

Malcolm Wright, interim chief executive of NHS Grampian, said there was a “very strong sense of will and determination to sort out the problems that have been identified” within the board.

He said they needed to “move forward and address” the issues.

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