Bosses at a health board hit by allegations of bullying have said staff impacted by inappropriate behaviour could be handed compensation.

A report published by John Sturrock QC in May concluded there was a "bullying culture" at NHS Highland, with potentially hundreds of staff at the board having faced fear, intimidation and inappropriate behaviour while at work.

Appearing in front of MSPs on Holyrood's Health and Sport Committee on Tuesday, senior figures from the board said a draft action plan has been drawn up to address the problems highlighted in the report, which is to be developed and implemented in conjunction staff.

Scottish Labour MSP David Stewart told bosses he had been contacted by staff who said their careers had been ruined because of bullying during their time working at the board and they had lost out financially as a result.

Boyd Robertson, interim chairman of NHS Highland, confirmed payouts for staff affected by bullying is one recommendation under consideration as part of action being taken to address concerns raised in the Sturrock review.

"We are aware of these cases, I have met personally with a number of these people," he said.

"We are working through the recommendations of the Sturrock Report, we had a retreat last week - or a strategy workshop to be exact - as recommended by John Sturrock to look deeper at the issues in his report and at his recommendations.

"One of the areas we will be looking at is the area of compensation but we're not yet at a stage where we can give a definitive answer as to how we're going to deal with that."

Iain Stewart, the board's chief executive, acknowledged the harm caused to staff by the behaviour at the board.

"We are looking at various ways of supporting them (the staff)," he said.

"We are looking at counselling, we are looking at mediation, we are looking at support, we have our occupational health department.

"We have been hearing also about the bad stories. Both the chairman and myself have welcomed our colleagues to come in and speak to us and listen to the harm that has been causes and there has been some harm caused.

"But we absolutely will be supporting these people as much as we can without a doubt.

"That includes psychological help, it includes bringing different colleagues together to support them."

Mr Stewart also recognised a need to strengthen HR processes and to change the culture at the board.

"We do want NHS Highland to be an absolute place of choice for people to work in the Highlands and in Scotland," he said.

"We want to attract the best people that we can to work in NHS Highland and that's what we absolutely intend to do.

"And we intend to do that by, number one, changing the culture in the organisation and that is something that both the chair, myself and the senior leadership team are determined to do.

"We believe so far that there are green shots in the culture change and we get good reports from various places that the culture is changing."