An independent external QC-led inquiry into allegations of bullying within NHS Highland could begin its investigation before Christmas, according to a union.
The GMB, which represents staff at the health board, said it expected the QC to be appointed in the next fortnight.
The union has released the details following a meeting with Scottish government officials.
NHS Highland has denied claims made by doctors that there has been a "culture of bullying" at the health board.
Earlier this month, doctors from across the Highlands called for a fully independent investigation into the allegations.
NHS Highland staff have been invited to attend a meeting with the GMB, as well as MP Ian Blackford and MSPs Edward Mountain and David Stewart, in Inverness on Friday.
Unison, which also represents workers at the health board, said it also expected the inquiry to begin before Christmas, adding that it had been agreed with the government that the review proceeded "at pace but without haste".