I am writing to inform you that I have taken the decision to formally escalate NHS Forth Valley to Stage 4 of the NHS Scotland Performance Escalation Framework for Governance, Leadership and Culture.
Concerns have been raised in relation to a range of performance-related issues, including concerns around GP out-of-hours services, unscheduled care, mental health and integration. Whilst poor performance in any discrete area is of concern, I expect effective governance, strong leadership and improved culture to deliver sustainable change. Unfortunately, I have not seen the necessary leadership required to drive improvement in these areas of concern
Stage 4 escalation comes into effect from today, Wednesday 23 November, and brings direct formal oversight and coordinated engagement from Scottish Government (SG) in the form of an Assurance Board, chaired by Christine McLaughlin, Director of Population Health.
The Assurance Board will review and scrutinise the Improvement Plan developed by the NHS Forth Valley Leadership Team, which will set out short, medium and longer term actions.
The purpose of the Assurance Board is to support you and your Leadership Team in determining what steps are necessary to ensure the delivery of high quality governance, leadership and culture in NHS Forth Valley, and in doing so support improvements in performance in out of hours, unscheduled care, mental health, and integration. The Board will advise me, through agreed governance routes, that such steps have been taken.
I expect the Improvement Plan to be developed and presented to the Assurance Board for scrutiny at its first meeting next week, with a focus on completing immediate actions by the end of the year.
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