16. You caught me cold there, Presiding Officer.
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of reported comments by the health secretary regarding co-operation between national health service boards that “there will be a regional structure in place”, whether it will provide further details of this policy, and what the implications are for regional NHS boards. (S5O-02072)
We have been clear that there are no plans to reduce the number of territorial health boards. Our focus is on ensuring better joint working between national health service boards and other partners through more effective regional planning of services. As part of that, three regional implementation leads have been selected from the existing cohort of NHS board chief executives. Working collaboratively with NHS boards and their partners, they are leading the overall design and planning of services at a regional level to provide better patient outcomes and more efficient and sustainable services.