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Scottish reshuffle could signal interesting times ahead

6 September, 2012

Not to be outdone by David Cameron, Alex Salmond announced his own Cabinet reshuffle – a surprise move, with Nicola Sturgeon stepping down as Health Secretary to concentrate on constitutional details ahead of the independence referendum. Shows where Wee Eck’s priorities lie at the moment.

Even the most cynical of NHS Scotland staff and staff side representatives have a grudging respect for Nicola and the way she operates. She is widely recognised as being “as sharp as a tack”. As Cabinet Secretary, she was open and accessible to staff side organisations and consistently stated what appeared to be a genuine personal commitment to the Health Service in Scotland and its partnership structures.

So what next?

Will the new Cabinet Secretary for Health, Alex Neil be as razor sharp and on top of the health brief as Nicola was? Will the current commitment to partnership working, no redundancy and organisational change protection remain for NHS Scotland staff? How will Alex Neil, ex Labour Party economist, manage the SNP Government’s highest spending dept? How will he be received by NHS Scotland?

Interesting times ahead …

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