Health Board puts annual review to bed and pulls the cover up

Health Board chief executive Jane Grant, nurses under pressure and Jackie Baillie, the Dumbarton and Lomond MSP.

By Bill Heaney

The secrecy virus that is spreading rapidly through public services in Scotland has hit the local health board.

Constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie has blasted NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for failing to hold an annual review this year.

In response to a letter from the MSP, the health board’s Chief Executive Jane Grant confirmed that “NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have not participated in an Annual Review this year. The last Annual Review to take place was held on 2nd October 2017.”

The health board noted guidance from the Scottish Government, which states that Ministers would not hold a public session/Q&A in 2018 as part of the review process.

Instead they stated that their expectation was that all Health Boards would continue to carry out this session separately.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have had challenging performance statistics this year – and perhaps they believe it would be better if the public didn’t know about them and didn’t ask questions that might be awkward.

They have failed to meet waiting times targets for key diagnostic tests for conditions such as cancer, and more than 6,000 patients waited longer than they should have in September. On top of the lengthy waits for the tests, patients are being asked to wait for weeks on end for the results of those tests.

In addition, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have broken the Treatment Time Guarantee Law more than 12,000 times this year, leaving patients waiting in pain and distress for the treatment that they need.

It is clear that the health board need to be accountable for their performance and need a review now more than ever. Aside from avoiding the public Q&A, the annual review meeting itself, that is attended by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, has simply been ignored.

Jackie Baillie said: “I am angry to learn that the Annual Review of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has not been carried out this year. There has been no meeting attended by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and no public Q&A session meaning the health board has had a year and a half without a key element of the scrutiny process.

“This lack of accountability is shocking, especially when you consider the poor performance of the health board in key areas.

“Patients have experienced long waiting times for routine operations and key diagnostic tests. They should have had the opportunity to question the board on these issues to ensure that their concerns are understood.

“It seems like the health board have their heads in the sand and don’t want to hear about the problems. It is essential that they have meaningful public engagement, something they aren’t very good at, if our experience of the breast cancer services review was anything to go by.”



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