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Doctor quits Tayside health board blaming "breakdown of relations" with chair over breast cancer controversy

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A doctor quit his place on the board of NHS Tayside last week blaming in part a breakdown in relations with its chair over a recent breast cancer treatment controversy.Dr Norman Pratt, a non-executive member of the board and up until last week the head of its area clinical forum, listed a number of complaints as his reasons for quitting his post at a hybrid meeting held last Friday.Dr Pratt claimed the forum had not received enough support to carry out its core functions and suggested chairs of other advisory committees had been expected to contribute to its work without any added assistance.“I think we need to have committees set up to succeed not fail and for that they need to be actively supported,” he said.Dr Pratt then said he felt he was excluded from a recent decision to review the forum’s advisory structure and that he was tasked to lead it at the wrong time under difficult circumstances due to COVID-19.“The plain fact is I was not consulted about the review, it was imposed on me and on the committee,” he said.“We were in level five special measures and no sooner had we come out of that we were hit by Covid.“I did not consider it the right time for the review.”Dr Pratt then said he had been unable to agree with colleagues, including the chair of the board, Lorna Birse-Stewart, over the findings of a recent external review of its breast cancer treatment service.The review was commissioned after it emerged patients had been given lower doses of chemotherapy drugs than patients were receiving in other health board areas in Scotland.NHS Tayside said at the time the controversy kicked off around three years ago that lower doses were given to women to reduce side effects but the review found the reduction “may have led

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