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by Jenni Davidson
26 November 2019
Chair of NHS Tayside stands down after less than a month in the role

Ninewells Hospital, Dundee - Image credit: Ydam via Wikimedia Commons

Chair of NHS Tayside stands down after less than a month in the role

The chair of NHS Tayside is to leave after less than a month in the role.

Professor Nic Beech, who is currently vice principal of the University of Dundee, only took up the post of chair on 1 November 2019.

He is moving on to concentrate on his career after being offered a new academic job.

He said: “It is with regret that I have to withdraw as chair of Tayside but I have been offered a role which represents a career ambition.

“This does not in any way diminish my belief in the ambitious change programme in NHS Tayside and its leadership and I was excited to be working with the team on a significant change and improvement project.”

Vice-chair Lorna Birse-Stewart, who was interim chair from July to October 2019, prior to Beech taking up the post, has been named as the interim chair following his departure.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “I wish Professor Beech well in his academic career.

“I have appointed Lorna Birse-Stewart, in her capacity as vice chair, to take over the chair’s responsibilities in providing the necessary leadership for the board. 

“Mrs Birse-Stewart brings a wealth of experience from her extensive work in the charitable sector and has been on the board for NHS Tayside since 2018. 

“I am confident that Mrs Birse-Stewart will continue to ensure that the people of NHS Tayside have the best care experience possible.”

Scottish Labour health spokesperson Monica Lennon said: “This is a disastrous appointment by Jeane Freeman.

“NHS Tayside staff had already raised fears that Professor Beech’s full-time duties at Dundee University as vice-principal and provost, where he received a salary of up to £149,999 a year, would distract him from leading the troubled health board.

“They have been proven right. NHS Tayside needs stability and strong leadership. Patients and staff have every right to be angry.”

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