A new report on NHS Tayside’s finances has accused health bosses of poor management and not behaving in a manner expected of a public organisation.
The health board was also not “open and transparent” over its decision to use £3.6 million from an endowment fund of charitable donations to balance its books.
The findings by accountants Grant Thornton was due to be discussed at a parliamentary committee meeting at the Scottish Parliament, attended by Health Minister Shona Robison, NHS Scotland chief executive Paul Gray and Christine McLaughlin, director of Health Finance.
The Public Audit and Post-Legislative Scrutiny Committee was taking evidence following the independent review into NHS Tayside’s financial governance arrangements between the financial years 2012/13-2017/18.
The review said: “We have evidenced poor financial management and governance practices.
“The culture at NHS Tayside was not fully aligned with the behaviours, expectations and guidance appropriate to those of a public sector organisation.
In the case of the decision to retrospectively apply endowment money of £3.6m we’ve evidenced examples within NHS Tayside where the anticipated financial controls, particularly across management, scrutiny and assurance were either not in place or did not operate as effectively as intended.”
A Scottish Parliament spokeswoman said: “The committee will ask questions on the significant financial problems at NHS Tayside, how and why this happened and how it will be resolved without affecting health services and jobs.
“A report on NHS Tayside highlighted a lack of open and transparent governance at NHS Tayside, and this will also be discussed at the meeting.”
Earlier this week, the board of trustees of Tayside NHS Board Endowment Fund met and agreed to commission a review into the governance framework of the endowment fund.
Chairman John Brown said: “This was a productive meeting where trustees agreed a number of important actions.”