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Malcolm Wright gets NHS Scotland top job on permanent basis

Malcolm Wright - Scottish Parliament

Malcolm Wright gets NHS Scotland top job on permanent basis

Former health board leader Malcolm Wright has been appointed chief executive of NHS Scotland on a permanent basis, it has been announced.

Wright, who after leading NHS Dumfries and Galloway then NHS Grampian was brought in to clean up troubled NHS Tayside last year, took over in the top job on an interim basis after Paul Gray quit in February.

He also inherits the joint role as director general of the Scottish Government’s health and social care department.

Wright announced his retirement as chief executive of both NHS Grampian and NHS Tayside in 2018, after working in the NHS since 1975, but was brought in by health secretary Jeane Freeman to lead NHS Scotland on a temporary basis.

The Scottish Government said his permanent appointment to the role followed “an open competition”.

Wright said: “It is a great honour to be appointed into this post. Scotland’s health and social care system in undergoing a significant transformation, including the integration of health and social care, an expansion of multi-disciplinary teams in primary care, and a substantial investment in mental health services.

“I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor Paul Gray, who achieved so much during his time in post, and gave me some valuable help and advice before he left his position earlier in the year.

“I have been immensely privileged to spend my career working in Scotland’s health service, and I am looking forward to this new challenge, and in particular the opportunity to work with Scotland’s talented and dedicated health and care workforce.”

Freeman said: “With more than 40 years’ experience in a variety of roles, he brings a wealth of knowledge about what makes NHS and social care tick.

“We have worked well together during the time that he has been in post on an interim basis, and I know he shares my determination to equip our health and care system to meet the challenges of the future, and to continue delivering an excellent service for the people of Scotland.”

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