“Totally inappropriate command and control” leadership structures are affecting NHS staff morale, a leading academic has said.

The comments come as staffing shortages across NHS Scotland threaten service delivery as the country moves into winter months.

Several NHS health boards were forced to halt all non-emergency surgery due to pressures related to staffing – no scheduled routine operations have taken place in NHS Borders since the 11th of August.

Speaking to a conference hosted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (RCPSG), Professor Michael West said: “One of the greatest paradoxes of our healthcare system is we have the largest, most skilled and most motivated workforce, probably in the whole of industry, yet we manage them largely through extended hierarchies and command and control cultures.

“The most effective organisations in the world, in whatever sector and regardless of size, usually have no more than three reporting levels.

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