NHS Highland’s chief executive Iain Stewart said the author of the report into bullying at NHSH, John Sturrock QC had visited the board on Monday and urged them to “take their time to get it right”.
He had also told the board to reset the staff engagement workshops as ‘listening sessions’, Mr Stewart said.
He defended the length of time- six weeks- it has taken to produce the progress report.
He said: “What we must ensure is that we spend time listening, that we don’t rush in to things, that we should be considerate and do things properly.
“There is always and urge to get on and do things quickly, but John Sturrock tells us to do things a bit slower, reflect on what’s happened and how we can do things better and then let’s move forward.”
Mr Stewart said his door was always open to people in NHSH wanting to talk about bullying.
He said: “I’ve had several people come to speak to me, as has the chairman, Boyd Robertson, who has spoken to many people who have been bullied.
“We’ve set up a hotline and email address for people too.
“We have processes in place, and I think we can go further with our processes. We need to do things better.
“Do we want to rush around according to get it done and dusted, absolutely not.
“We want to take it steadily, speak to our staff, make them tell us how they want us to progress with this.”
Mr Stewart said Mr Sturrock would be continuing to work with NHSH as a mentor.
He said: “He has joined us on a couple of occasions since the report’s been produced, and he’s happy to keep supporting us, which is very importing for NHS Highland’s people.
“If the person who is providing the report is by us, I think we can move forward in confidence with him by our side. It also shows the cabinet secretary and the government the right message,that we’re doing the right thing.
“This is going to affect the rest of the NHS and public sector in Scotland so we’ve got a chance to be a real trail blazer and centre of excellence when it comes to the culture of NHS organisations.”