Bosses at NHS Tayside have been praised after making “significant improvements” to the organisation following crises earlier this year.
A Scottish Government unit created to monitor the progress of improvements at the board has given management a tentative thumbs up in its latest report.
The NHS Tayside Assurance and Advisory Group (AAG) has praised the current chairman and chief executive, appointed in April, for their “dedication and professionalism”.
However, both are set to leave their roles in the near future, which has been described by the AAG as an “immediate challenge” for the board.
NHS Tayside chief executive Malcolm Wright said: “Today’s report highlights the improvements: our financial management, strengthened leadership capacity and more robust governance arrangements for all the business of NHS Tayside. NHS Tayside and its staff are looking to the future.
“I believe there is now a strong foundation on which to build a sustainable future.”
The health board was plunged into chaos earlier this year after it emerged Scottish Government and charity monies had been mismanaged.
The crises led to the resignation of chairman Professor John Connell, while chief executive Lesley McLay was relieved of her duties and later given a controversial £64,000 severance package.
Following this, Mr Wright and current chairman John Brown were appointed in April. Sir Lewis Ritchie and Caroline Lamb, who authored the report, said they had made “significant improvements”.
However, the AAG has also warned that challenges remain, such as bringing the board’s overspending under control – and the imminent departure of Mr Wright and Mr Brown.
They wrote: “With the impending departure of the current chief executive at the end of December, followed by the chairman at the end of March 2019, continuity of leadership continues to constitute a key risk for the organisation.
“Fundamentally, the current service delivery model in NHS Tayside does not constitute a sustainable basis on which to deliver services fit for the future while remaining within the allocated budget.”
A new chief executive, Grant Archibald, starts in January. However, a new chairman is still being sought to replace Mr Brown.