South Scotland

NHS Borders' new medical director outlines 'huge challenges'

Borders General Hospital Image copyright MJ Richardson

The new medical director at NHS Borders has outlined the "huge challenges" facing health services in the region.

Dr Cliff Sharp has replaced Dr Andrew Murray who moved to NHS Forth Valley after about a year in the post.

He said that spending was one of the most difficult areas facing the health board as it looked to deliver about £11m in savings this year.

Recruiting and retaining staff was another issue Dr Sharp highlighted as one which needed to be tackled.

"I think there are several huge challenges facing all parts of the health service at the minute," he said.

"One is the financial picture - obviously it is tight - we need to do absolutely the best we possibly can with the money we have got.

"We can't spend money we don't have so we need to work within that - that's just a fact of life as any householder will know."

He said that recruiting and retaining staff was an "ongoing battle" for every health board around the country but the Borders should have advantages over some parts of Scotland.

"It is very much a sellers' market - we have to make the Borders a lovely, attractive place to live and work," he said.

"I think the size and scale that the Borders has - well, if we can't do it, no-one can."

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