The type of behaviour identified in damning reports into the north-east’s main hospital will not be tolerated – anywhere in the NHS, the health secretary announced yesterday.
Shona Robison said the three papers “highlighted significant failings” by NHS Grampian management and made “sobering reading”.
Two reports from a review of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary by Healthcare Improvement (HIS), chaired by Dr Angus Cameron, were published on Wednesday.
Recommendations from a third report produced by the Royal College of Surgeons in England were also released. The full report cannot be published due to a legal challenge by people named in it.
Ms Robison made a ministerial statement into the findings as interviews took place for the new NHS Grampian board chairman. The replacement for Aberdeenshire councillor Bill Howatson, who resigned in October, is expected early in the new year.
The health secretary told MSPs the picture painted by Dr Cameron’s team was one of a climate of mistrust between clinicians and senior managers and unprofessional behaviour by a number of consultants that impacted on moral and went unchallenged.
There was also a failure to respond effectively to concerns about staffing pressures and vacancies, evidence that managers were distant, trainees inadequately supported, complaints poorly handled, and systems of performance management that was weak, muddled or absent.
“Let me send out a clear message that no matter who you are or at what level you work, the behaviours highlighted in the HIS review will not be tolerated in our NHS,” Ms Robison said.
North-east Conservative MSP Nanette Milne said it was reassuring that to date, patient safety had not been compromised and that was due to the hard work of loyal staff.
Former First Minister Alex Salmond, SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire East, said problems had been identified before any impact on patient safety.
“Isn’t it incumbent on every member of the chamber to rally behind (NHS Grampian) staff and the new leadership of NHS Grampian and take matters forward,” he said.