Lessons need to be learned from the governance issues at NHS Tayside


The Scottish Government and other health boards need to learn lessons from the governance failings at NHS Tayside according to MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit and Post-Legislative Scrutiny Committee.

In a report published today the Committee recognises that the NHS in Scotland is under significant pressure but is concerned that the performance of NHS Tayside (and that of other health boards) needs to be significantly improved in order that the public and Parliament can be reassured that patients are receiving the care they need.

The events at NHS Tayside that emerged over the course of 2018 revealed problems in management and governance. It is critical that NHS Tayside strengthens governance arrangements in order that there is regular and robust scrutiny of the board’s finances. The challenges facing NHS Tayside and the associated level of risk remain significant and will require a high level of support from the Scottish Government.

Jenny Marra, Convener of the Public Audit and Post-Legislative Scrutiny Committee said:

“Whilst the past can’t be changed, the Scottish Government must learn lessons to ensure that these kinds of issues don’t emerge again.

"Challenges at NHS Tayside remain and NHS leaders should work to meet all of the 20 national targets. If local leaders work to improve services and get their finances under control, the public’s confidence will increase."


The Committee undertook a significant amount of scrutiny of the financial and governance issues at NHS Tayside over a period of one and half years. A series of inquiries and reviews were initiated and reported on at various points over this time period. The final key document was a report prepared by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator published in January 2019. Given the serious nature of the events at NHS Tayside, the Committee considered that it was important to prepare a report which consolidated the conclusions and findings of the two reports prepared by the Auditor General, as well as those of the different inquiries and reviews, with a view to providing a comprehensive record of events.

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