Health supremo talks of ‘significant challenges’

THE chief executive of NHS Borders, the region’s second largest employer with a workforce of more than 4,300, has reasserted his commitment to no compulsory redundancies for permanent staff, despite unprecedented budgetary constraints, writes Andrew Keddie.

Calum Campbell stressed there would be “significant challenges” in the coming year.

“NHS Borders has achieved its savings target of £7.9million for 2010/11 and 2011/12 will present a similar challenge to us financially,” he told us yesterday.

“The work we have done to achieve savings in the last year is built on making NHS Borders more efficient and effective.

“There will be significant challenges in the coming year and we are developing the 2011/12 efficiency and savings programme to maintain our drive to make services more sustainable and flexible. We face the challenge of making the best use of limited resources while improving the quality of our services.”

“NHS Borders depends on dedicated people who are committed to providing the highest quality services to patients and we currently have a commitment to permanent staff that there will be no compulsory redundancies.

“We are currently looking at natural turnover, greater controls of vacancies, agency/bank use and temporary posts to meet the challenges, as well as reviewing staffing models and succession planning as a key part of the redesign process.

“These steps are intended to protect patient services and our permanent employees in order to sustain services. We will continue working in partnership to ensure high quality, sustainable and safe patient care for the Borders community.”