External probe into NHS Highland bullying claims

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Jeane Freeman has asked that claims of bullying be examined by an independent investigation

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has requested that an independent external investigation examine allegations of bullying within NHS Highland.

Doctors and other staff have claimed that for at least a decade there had been a culture of "fear and intimidation" at the health board.

Its chairman David Alston has said the board had "nothing to hide".

A meeting involving the health board, NHS Scotland and staff is taking place on Monday to discuss the probe.

NHS Scotland's chief executive Paul Gray will be among those involved in the talks.

Mr Alston said: "I am very pleased that the cabinet secretary has publicly accepted our request for external support into allegations of a systematic culture of bullying across NHS Highland.

"The terms of reference will need to be drawn up by the Scottish government, in conjunction with representatives of all concerned including NHS Highland."

Last week, senior doctors from across the Highlands called for a fully independent investigation into the allegations.