NHS Tayside chair steps down

Friday 28th June 2019

NHS Tayside’s interim chair John Brown is stepping down after he was brought in to stabilise the health board 15 months ago.

Mr Brown, who took up the role after the former chair and chief executive stood down in the wake of an accounting scandal, admits it was a “very challenging time for NHS Tayside”.

But he says his tenure has seen the health board’s finances return to an even keel and the implementation of a new model of leadership that places doctors in charge.

Vice-chair Lorna Birse-Stewart is taking on the role on an interim basis.

Mr Brown, who will remain chair of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Scotland’s largest health board, says:

“We had very specific goals which were to stabilise the financial position in NHS Tayside, promote transparency in financial matters, improve leadership and governance and foster better relationships with all our stakeholders.
“In response, we reviewed and strengthened governance arrangements, made financial matters easier to understand, opened up all Board business to promote transparency and built capability and capacity to drive up improvements in clinical performance.
“As a result of our collective efforts as a Board, it has been widely recognised that NHS Tayside is now better placed to deliver long-term financial stability and better health and social care outcomes for the people of Tayside.

“I also firmly believe that our adoption as one of the first Boards to promote a new leadership model which puts our clinical staff at the heart of designing new services and care pathways stands us in good stead for the future.
A long-term change programme called Transforming Tayside is underway at the board, with the aim of saving money and improving performances.

Mr Brown says Tayside still faces challenges on mental health services, its finances and waiting times.

But he adds: “NHS Tayside is a great organisation with the ambition and drive to really change health and care services and find new and better ways of delivering care and treatment. Under the leadership of new chief executive Grant Archibald, I am certain the organisation will continue to further develop and improve.”

Health secretary Jeane Freeman thanked Mr Brown for the “important role” he played at the board.

She said: “I would also like to welcome Lorna Birse-Stewart to the role of interim chair. Lorna has extensive experience across the charity sector as well as within the NHS and has latterly been serving as vice chair of NHS Tayside. I look forward to working with Lorna as she continues to drive forward improvements within the health board.”