Former NHS Tayside chief returns to health service just weeks after retirement

Former NHS Tayside chief Grant Archibald is working in a part-time role for Glasgow’s health board just weeks after he formally retired, The Courier can reveal.

Mr Archibald officially left his role in December after five years in the top post which were mired by a series of high-profile controversies.

He told colleagues last August he was planning to step down at the end of 2023 after 40 years working in the health service.

Just weeks after his retirement, he is now working two days a week for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

The health board confirmed Mr Archibald was providing “external support” to help improve A&E performance in hospitals.

Controversies during NHS Tayside reign

The veteran former executive’s decision to quit his Tayside role last summer came just days after a major data breach.

That same month, we revealed the health board had failed to comply with work from home guidance during the Covid pandemic.

NHS Tayside was also enduring a torrid time over the scandal surrounding disgraced surgeon Sam Eljamel.

A damning report – also published in August – revealed the health board’s failings years before Mr Archibald took over.

We revealed how the former Tayside chief bizarrely said to colleagues he had told his mum to stop reading The Courier during a busy Zoom meeting.

The comments came in the aftermath of our story about the local authority cancelling elective surgery to save cash.

Insiders revealed sensitivity to scrutiny was indicative of a wider managerial style during his time in charge.

Grant Archibald served in the top job for five years. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson.

One employee anonymously told us there had been a “deterioration of staff and patient wellbeing across mental health services”.

They claimed the board were “tone deaf” to “toxic working relationships”.

But despite the health board’s failures, A&E waiting times have remained stronger than many other struggling regions in Scotland.

NHS Tayside insisted Mr Archibald’s decision to leave his role was unconnected to any major scandals, and was instead simply because he was approaching retirement age.

Professor Caroline Hiscox was chosen as his replacement, rejoining the health board after a five-year spell with NHS Grampian.

A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “Grant Archibald is providing short-term external support as we work to improve our unscheduled care performance, working two days per week.”

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