MSP calls for resignation of NHSO chief
A lockdown trip to Glasgow made by NHS Orkney’s chief executive designate, Iain Stewart, has prompted a stern call from Orkney MSP Liam McArthur for his resignation.
It was confirmed by NHS Orkney, yesterday, Tuesday, that Mr Stewart made a trip to Glasgow, in April, for “personal reasons.”
The chief executive designate has come under fire in recent weeks for his “occasional” visits to his home in the Black Isle, during the coronavirus lockdown.
Responding to the news, Liam McArthur has described Mr Stewart’s position as “untenable” and believes that the chief executive must now “go or be removed.”
NHS Orkney has continued to stand by Mr Stewart’s decision to travel to the Scottish Mainland. Outgoing chief executive, Gerry O’Brien has apologised this week for the manner in which the health authority has communicated with the public throughout the coronavirus crisis, after facing a wave of criticism from the public over a number of issues.
The Orkney MSP said: “Iain Stewart’s decision to travel back and forth between Orkney and his home in the Black Isle has caused widespread anger within the local community. At best, it appeared inadvisable given his role in leading NHS Orkney and its message for people to stay home and save lives.
“In response to the public outcry, Mr Stewart issued an apology in an ‘open letter to the people of Orkney’. For whatever reason, however, he chose not to make any reference to the earlier trip to Glasgow.
“While the detail of the visit may rightly be a private matter, the fact that the trip took place is of public interest. Unfortunately, Mr Stewart’s failure to be open in his open letter leaves his position compromised and untenable.
“The board and management of NHS Orkney have more than enough on their plate at present. It is time to draw a line under this sorry episode, but that can only now happen with the departure of Mr Stewart.”
The Scottish Government has said that it is aware of the concerns raised around NHS Orkney’s chief executive designate, and has indicated that these matters must be “thoroughly investigated” by the health board
in a “fair, transparent and timely manner.”
Full details and more on this story in this Thursday’s The Orcadian.