Carstairs chief out of post for five months

THE chief executive of the State Hospital at Carstairs is still absent from her post almost five months after an investigation was launched into allegations of bullying at the institution, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.
Andreana Adamson: stepped aside. Picture: Robert PerryAndreana Adamson: stepped aside. Picture: Robert Perry
Andreana Adamson: stepped aside. Picture: Robert Perry

Andreana Adamson is still taking her taxpayer-funded annual salary of up to £115,000 even though she stepped aside from running the hospital, which deals with some of Scotland’s most dangerous murderers and rapists, in the middle of June.

Scotland on Sunday understands that an independent report into allegations of bullying and financial impropriety at the hospital was completed in early August, but it has yet to be decided what action should be taken.

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Yesterday, the Scottish Government and the hospital indicated that the investigation by Professor Jim McGoldrick may never be made public, as politicians urged Health Secretary Alex Neil to resolve the situation.

Adamson stood aside on 12 June, when McGoldrick’s investigation was launched. She has remained working for the NHS but not at Carstairs, the maximum-security mental health facility for patients from Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The ten-strong Carstairs board, chaired by Terry Currie, commissioned the report, which examined bullying allegations and questions that were raised about taxpayers’ cash being shared among a coterie of senior Carstairs executives.

Earlier this year, Scotland on Sunday disclosed that payments believed to amount to around £50,000 were shared between seven executives at the South Lanarkshire psychiatric institution.

A row erupted when Gordon Craig, the Carstairs board chairman from 2001-11, claimed that the senior managers were ineligible for the money – known as a recruitment and retention premium – which was awarded in June last year.

Craig said that the payment, which had its origins in danger money for front-line staff, was only intended for around 500 State Hospital staff whose pay is governed by nationally agreed NHS guidelines under the Agenda for Change programme.

Yesterday, Labour health spokesman Neil Findlay MSP said it was “unacceptable” that the report had yet to be acted on.

“While it is important that full and proper disciplinary procedures are followed through, for such a senior executive to be paid to not fulfil her role and for the report into her conduct to have been sitting for so long is unacceptable,” Findlay said.

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“We simply can’t allow the situation to drag on. It’s time for Alex Neil to show leadership and to act.”

McGoldrick declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for the State Hospital said the report’s contents were “sensitive”, adding that advice was being sought to determine whether it was appropriate to publish it.

“We can confirm that the report has now been completed and we are currently considering its implications,” she said. “The report contains sensitive information and advice is being taken with regard to the appropriateness of publication.”

Asked about Adamson’s position, the spokeswoman added: “It is improper to comment on individual salaries. However, we can advise that the chief executive has continued to work off-site.

“Please be assured that everything is being done to bring the investigation to a close. It is a difficult time for all involved, and due to the complexity of the investigation it cannot be rushed.”

A Scottish Government spokesman confirmed that the situation had been the subject of discussions between government officials and the State Hospital board.

The spokesman said: “As commissioners and owners of the final report, publication of it is a matter for the board itself.

“However, the material considerations of the report related to sensitive HR [human resources] matters which are yet to be resolved and would suggest that – at this stage at least – publication may not be appropriate.”