A SENIOR Tory MSP has called for clinical health experts to “call the shots” in the NHS amid proposals to implement a “much greater culture of collaboration”.

Miles Briggs, the Scottish Conservatives’ health spokesperson, has set out his ideas for reforming the NHS in Scotland in light of problems the institution has faced during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Writing for Reform Scotland, Mr Briggs has called on the Scottish Government to “make clinical leadership the norm”.

He added: “Jason Leitch has become a household name because of his ability to communicate with clarity and authority as a doctor and leader. But as a rule, in the NHS, the top roles tend to be taken by non-clinical managers. That’s not to slight them – we need good managers, too.

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“There’s a balance, though, and at the moment, often the clinicians best-placed to lead the NHS can’t call the shots, particularly at the level of hospitals and boards. Making clinical leadership the norm across the NHS would change that.”

Mr Briggs has also appealed for a conversation about “how to make the NHS better at adopting new ideas and technologies” - making the most of Scotland’s “impressive biosciences and medial engineering sector”.

He added: “We have world-class universities. We have a budding tech scene. If we can create a much greater culture of collaboration between these institutions and the NHS, we can make the NHS smarter, more adaptive and faster. “

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Jeane Freeman’s opposite number at Holyrood has also called on the Scottish Government to ensure health and social care services work more effectively in tandem with “better coordination” as the country emerges from the pandemic and health services begin to restart.

He said: “Care homes were the central scandal of the pandemic. They often felt like second-class citizens, falling between the cracks of the NHS, central government, and local authorities.

“We’re supposed to have integrated health and care system in Scotland, but the crisis exposed that too often, the different bits of the system didn’t join up. Fixing that has to be a priority.”