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New health boss has to get to grips with bullying cases and financial problems, says MSP


By Gordon Calder


THE new Highland health boss has to get to grips with the bullying and harassment cases and deal with a difficult financial situation, according to a north MSP.

David Stewart, a Labour MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said former chief executive Iain Stewart's move to a similar post in Orkney came "out of the blue" but he hopes new interim boss Paul Hawkins – seconded from NHS Fife – will quickly address the issues facing the Highland health board.

David Stewart MSP wants new health boss to get to grips with bullying issues.
David Stewart MSP wants new health boss to get to grips with bullying issues.

The MSP wished Mr Stewart well in his new post and said: "This has come out of the blue as far as I am concerned because Iain Stewart has only been in post for a year and took over a very difficult situation.

"However, the most important thing now is that there is secure leadership at the top of the organisation and that the new chief executive gets to grips with a system for hearing bullying and harassment cases, particularly from those staff who were previously employed.

"NHS Highland is also still struggling with its financial situation and frontline staff are already under great pressure so the new chief executive at the helm will have a tough job with the challenges that need to be faced."

Mr Hawkins was appointed as interim chief executive this week by Scotland's health secretary, Jeane Freeman and took up his new role on Monday.

Bill Fernie, the chairman of the Caithness Health Action Team (Chat), described the job as "a hot potato" and said Mr Hawkins has " a mountain to climb."



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