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Call for answers over future of ‘absent’ NHS Grampian boss

NHS Grampian chief executive Malcolm Wright
NHS Grampian chief executive Malcolm Wright

Scottish Conservatives in the north-east have demanded to know when NHS Grampian’s “absent” chief executive Malcolm Wright will return to combat the board’s problems.

The region’s ten Tory MPs and MSPs have jointly written to Health Secretary Shona Robison to seek clarity amid fears over the impact of Mr Wright juggling three jobs.

He was parachuted in to help run beleaguered NHS Tayside in April after its chief executive Lesley McLay was signed off on sick leave amid claims the Dundee-based board misused charity funds.

However, he remains in his role as chief executive of NHS Grampian, while also heading up a partnership of all the NHS boards in northern Scotland.

The letter has been signed by Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid, Gordon MP Colin Clark, Aberdeen South MP Ross Thomson, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie, Moray MP Douglas Ross, Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett, and north-east regional MSPs Liam Kerr, Bill Bowman, Peter Chapman and Tom Mason.

It states: “We write to you today asking for clarification on what plans NHS Grampian have to return their chief executive, Malcolm Wright, from his temporary post as Acting CEO for NHS Tayside.

“While we equally recognise Malcolm’s ability, it cannot have escaped your attention that NHS Grampian faces its own issues particularly around waiting times.

“All of us in the north-east of Scotland have many constituents contacting us on a daily basis informing us of extended waiting times, postponed appointments and delayed surgeries.

“Given the volume of complaints and missed targets that the north-east is facing, we would be keen to find out the plans for the improved governance of both NHS Grampian and NHS Tayside.”

Mr Burnett added: “People in Grampian deserve to know when the absent chief executive will return fully to his post in Grampian.”

The intervention was made after it emerged this week that NHS Grampian has now been at the bottom of the performance table against the 18-week referral to treatment target for every month of the last year.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Malcolm Wright is a very experienced NHS chief executive and has already been involved in a number of successful Board transformations.

“Mr Wright has agreed to be the chief executive of both NHS Tayside and NHS Grampian and temporary senior leadership moves are already in place to ensure the governance arrangements of NHS Grampian continue to deliver excellent patient care.”

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