‘New boss can’t hesitate to get tough’

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WHEN a newly-married man talks about needing relationship counselling, then you can usually be sure he will be heading straight to the divorce courts.

But don’t count on that outcome when it comes to NHS Lothian’s new chief executive Tim Davison.

When the level-headed health board boss – who recently married art dealer wife Fiona – refers to needing “marriage guidance” he is talking only about his new employer’s troubled relationship with private contractors Consort.

How Mr Davison must wish that he could divorce the company responsible for maintaining the ERI. That possibility should not be ruled out, but it would be undoubtedly a very long, messy and expensive ­affair.

Regular readers of this newspaper will need no reminding of the terrible problems which patients and staff at the hospital have had to put up with.

They will be reassured to see that tackling this dysfunctional relationship is at the top of the new chief executive’s agenda.

There is no point in having the best staff in the world if surgeons find that the lights go out on them in the middle of operations and surgery has to be cancelled because a dead pigeon has not been cleared from the roof.

These kind of failures have to be tackled head-on. The new boss has little choice but to talk about trying to make the “marriage” work in the first instance, but if Consort’s performance does not improve rapidly he must not hesitate to get tough.

There are penalty clauses built into Consort’s contract and they should be used every time the company lets patients down.

Nautical, not nice

THE Western Harbour Lighthouse is the first thing which passengers on cruise liners see as they come into Edinburgh.

But far from being a welcoming beacon, the now-derelict lighthouse is covered in offensive graffiti and gives completely the wrong image of Scotland’s capital city.

First impressions count and this nautical eyesore puts Edinburgh to shame. Locals say it is also a target for vandalism and drug use.

But such a landmark building has the potential to be a valuable asset to the community, as well as a good advert for the Capital.

It is owned by Forth Ports, but is said to be one of a number of properties the firm is looking to sell. Perhaps new owners will be able to do something more positive with it.

In the meantime, Forth Ports could at least clean it up and help give a better impression to visitors.