Scotland’s charity watchdog is to issue a report on claims that NHS Tayside misused endowment funds, it has announced.
The Office of the Scottish Charity Regular (OSCR) has confirmed it has finished its investigation into the alleged misappropriation of funds from the Tayside Health Fund.
An investigation was launched by the regulator in April after £3.6 million of charity cash was used on day-to-day health spending.
The board of trustees managing the fund temporarily breached their own constitution to allow the money to be reallocated.
NHS Tayside swiftly issued promises to pay it back, with the payment expected to be put through the books this month.
Its chairman, John Brown, has since said “several steps” have been taken to prevent such an event from happening again.
A spokesman for the OSCR said: “We can confirm that we have concluded our evidence-gathering and analysis and are now finalising our conclusions and preparing a report for publication.”
The report will round off a turbulent year for NHS Tayside, which has experienced several changes in its senior management amid financial scandals. The health board’s previous director of finance, Lindsay Bedford, retired after it emerged that £5.3m of government cash had been used for projects it wasn’t meant for.
A Scottish Government advisory group is also poised to publish a new report on NHS Tayside’s ongoing cost-cutting efforts.
The Assurance and Advisory Group, created last year to monitor Tayside’s progress, delivered its latest report to members of the Scottish Parliament’s public audit committee on Wednesday.
The committee met yesterday to review Audit Scotland’s report on the severance package given to former chief executive Lesley McLay, who was given six months’ wages, rather than her contracted period of three.
The move, which was made in July but only retrospectively approved last month, also resulted in the erroneous payment of £19,000 into NHS pension funds.
Tayside’s errors were criticised by committee member Alex Neil, who said: “(Taxpayers) are fed up to the back teeth with people on film star salaries getting film star severance payments and particularly where it would appear they are not even entitled to it.”
Mr Brown added: “I am confident that in the unlikely event of a similar situation arising again, the correct processes will be followed.”