Glennie takes over as health watchdog boss

John Glennie
John Glennie

Former NHS Borders chief executive John Glennie has been put in charge of Scotland’s healthcare watchdog.

The 65-year-old has taken over at Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) after the organisation’s chief executive Dr Frances Elliot was seconded to the Scottish Government last month.

Mr Glennie takes on the temporary role, which, it is believed, will earn him just under £10,000 per month, in the wake of allegations that HIS watered down a critical report of a Tayside hospital.

Originally from Keith in the north of Scotland, Mr Glennie joined his local health board as a trainee accountant in 1966, and worked in the NHS ever since.

He went on to become a director of finance and deputy chief executive with Central Manchester Healthcare Trust before moving to the Borders to take charge of Borders General Hospital NHS Trust in 1995.

When a single NHS organisation was created for the region in 2003, Mr Glennie was appointed to the chief executive post and remained there until he retired in September 2009, being replaced by Calum Campbell.

Mr Glennie, who has a home near Berwick, was awarded an OBE in June 2010 for his services to healthcare.

A spokesperson for Healthcare Improvement Scotland said: “We’re delighted that John Glennie has joined our organisation as interim chief executive in the wake of Dr Frances Elliot joining the Scottish Government as a deputy chief medical officer.

“John brings with him enormous experience and ability from a long and distinguished career in the NHS, including six years as NHS Borders chief executive.

“John will help our organisation continue to develop and deliver our contribution to scrutiny and healthcare improvement across Scotland until a permanent chief executive is appointed.”

Dr Elliot left her post just days after the Scottish Parliament debated why a draft HIS report on Ninewells Hospital’s care for older people had not been published.

HIS insist the change was solely due to Dr Elliot being seconded to support chief medical officer for Scotland, Sir Harry Burns, rather than any other reason.

Set up in April 2011, HIS aims to change the way healthcare across Scotland is supported.

It attempts to improve the quality of the care and experience in Scotland, but also scrutinise healthcare services to provide public assurance on quality and safety.

One of its organisations, Healthcare Environment Inspectorate, recently praised the BGH for infection control improvements following an inspection in December.