Monday April 24, 2017

Chairman's Blog

Having just emerged from our toughest financial year on record we`re now into a new budget year which is even more challenging.

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Tuesday January 31, 2017

Chairman's Blog

Winter pressures are predictable and planned for. That includes stress testing the system to see if it could cope in the worst of all scenarios.

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Friday September 30, 2016

Chairman's Blog

Values and organisational behaviour added a distinctive flavour to this year's Annual Review of the performance of NHS Borders.

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Monday December 14, 2015

Chairman's Blog

Life in NHS Borders continues to have its ups and downs. I guess it was ever thus. No sooner do we acknowledge some real improvements in services and successes by staff than something comes along to knock us off our perch.

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Wednesday October 28, 2015

Chairman's Blog

Annual Review time always causes a bit of a stir in the organisation. This is when NHS Boards throughout Scotland must account for their performance at a public meeting, sometimes chaired by a Government Minister.

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Thursday July 30, 2015

Chairman's Blog

Hospital inspections are critical to ensuring high standards of professional practice and board level governance. They can dispel complacency and act as a jolt to the system. That was certainly the case recently when the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate arrived at Borders General Hospital to inspect the five operating theatres.

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Friday June 26, 2015

Chairman's Blog

So, NHS Borders has a new Chief Executive. Not exactly new, though, because Jane Davidson has worked with us as an Executive Director since 2010 and after Calum Campbell's departure for a bigger board in January, Jane stepped into the breach in the interim role.

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Friday May 29, 2015

Chairman's Blog

It's good to celebrate. We don't get everything right and when we fail we need to learn. But there's been plenty for NHS Borders to celebrate in recent weeks.

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Thursday April 16, 2015

Chairman's Blog

With the election season upon us comes the ‘pre election period’ previously refered to as ‘purdah’. That`s the rule applied to public servants like myself to steer clear of saying or doing anything that might be interpreted as showing a party political bias.

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Tuesday March 3, 2015

Chairman's Blog

Trying to get a bit of winter sunshine in Madeira recently I was quickly laid low with `man flu`. There are two characteristics of this affliction – it is extremely `serious`... and it is not deserving of any sympathy. Wrongly anticipating my request for help, the hotel staff advised me not to turn up at the island`s main hospital because the emergency department was inundated. Try instead `Poncha` - the local `medicinal` remedy for colds (based on rum).

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Thursday January 8, 2015

Chairman's Blog

A new year; new management; new controversy. 2015 is off to a good start! Jane Davidson has taken over from Calum Campbell who departed for Lanarkshire as Chief Executive on 1st January. As interim Chief Executive here in Borders Jane has a lot of NHS experience; she was Calum`s deputy and has held senior posts in Scottish government health department.

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Tuesday November 18, 2014

Chairman's Blog

The big news around NHS Borders was supposed to be our Annual Review, which took place on November 5th. As it turned out the most talked about event was the near-simultaneous announcement of our Chief Executive, Calum Campbell`s departure. NHS Lanarkshire, a much bigger territorial health board, has claimed him and looking at some of the glum faces around the place he will be greatly missed here.

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Tuesday September 30, 2014

Chairman's Blog

Reaction to the outcome of the recent healthcare environment inspection – and the ensuing press headlines – could only be: “It`s a fair cop – we must do better.” There`s a certain irony to the situation. BGH is declared one of the top 40 hospitals in the UK. Against other health boards in Scotland we score exceptionally well against the kind of targets that really do matter to patients, such as cancer waiting times and the performance of BGH accident and emergency department. “Top of the Table” said a recent Southern Reporter headline when an annual report by NHS Scotland showed NHS stroke care to be the best in the country.

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Friday August 15, 2014

Chairman's Blog

Meetings of the Board inevitably focus on the performance of our NHS and last week`s meeting was no exception. Patient safety is high up on the agenda with reports covering infection rates, patient experience and clinical effectiveness. It was good to see that our stroke service was shortlisted as a finalist for the National Patient Safety and Care Awards held in London the previous month. Borders staff made it to the top four of the seventy stroke services entered from across the UK.

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Thursday July 24, 2014

Chairman's Blog

A question that`s being asked a lot these past few weeks: What is this CHKS award we have won? It was a question I put to Chief Executive Calum Campbell weeks before the event itself when the grapevine was indicating that NHS Borders might be so honoured. The simple answer is that the CHKS award signifies that Borders General Hospital is up there among the best hospitals in the UK - `best` as measured against many factors around quality and safety.

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Friday June 27, 2014

Chairman's Blog

Volunteers keep the wheels of public and social life turning. Think, the Olympics and now the Commonwealth Games. At Borders NHS we all recognise the vast difference made through volunteer effort to the experience of hospital patients, those cared for at home, and to the promotion of healthy living. What I didn`t appreciate until a recent happening at BGH was just how varied is the contribution made by individual volunteers to our health services.

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Friday May 16, 2014

Chairman's Blog

Just read that Simon Stevens, the new chief executive of NHS England, has told staff to “think like a patient and act like a taxpayer”. Sounds like good advice for all NHS boards, too. Paul Gray, new chief exec of NHS Scotland, told a national event in Edinburgh yesterday that Scotland`s health service will be defined by the experience of patients. I agree with that also.

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