Out and about with the chairman

Last month I visited Skye House on the Stobhill campus with the Minister for Mental Health, Maureen Watt MSP, where we met staff and patients and toured the facilities, including the school.

I was very impressed by the specialist care and support given to young people who were receiving treatment for mental health problems. It was good to see that they were not only helped with their health issues, but were able to continue with their studies at the same time.

NHS Lanarkshire
At the end of February, I was invited to visit NHS Lanarkshire’s “Hospital at Home” programme along with Neena Mahal, the chair of NHS Lanarkshire.

I met the clinicians involved and visited an elderly couple at their home in Coatbridge to see how the service worked in practice.

I was very impressed with the redesign of the service, which was a really good example of caring for people in their own home rather than in hospital. The patient feedback was very positive and it was good to see the improvements in patient care being delivered by this initiative.

Head of board administration
Recently, Jane Grant and I spent some time recruiting a new head of board administration and corporate governance following John Hamilton’s well-earned retirement. I am very pleased to announce that Elaine Vanhegan, who is currently the board administrator at NHS Forth Valley, will be joining us on 21 May. Elaine is a very experienced administrator and will bring a wide range of skills to the Board.

Working with other Boards
Susan Walsh from Health Improvement Scotland and I have continued to work on the corporate governance review in NHS Highland, which is due to be completed this month.

We not only provided support and advice to David Alston, chair of NHS Highland, but also learned more about the diversity of the challenge in NHS Scotland and saw a number of examples of best practice that we might be able to adopt in NHSGGC.

I am also continuing to work with West of Scotland NHS Board chairs and chief executives to develop a population-based, regional approach to service planning and you will receive updates on this important work over the next few months.

Global Citizen
The NHS Scotland Global Citizen Programme is continuing to develop. We have now held the second Programme Board along with a range of meetings that will help us confirm the scope of the programme. We expect to formally launch the programme in June.

NHS Tayside
Finally, as you will no doubt have seen in the media, I have been asked to take on the additional role of interim chair of NHS Tayside, so you won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve spent a fair amount of time recently in Dundee.

I want to take this opportunity, however, to reassure everyone in NHSGGC that I’ll still be devoting the same amount of energy and attention to the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Board, even though I will be spending less time in Glasgow.

I am pleased to say that our vice chairman, Ross Finnie, and the other non-executive members of the Board have been very supportive of this change and have volunteered to undertake some of my duties until such time as a new chair is appointed in Dundee.