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by Tom Freeman
08 January 2019
NHS Highland appoints new chief executive

Iain Stewart - credit NHS Highland

NHS Highland appoints new chief executive

NHS Highland has appointed Iain Stewart as its new chief executive.

The Black Isle resident, who has held senior positions in the NHS in England and Wales, replaces Elaine Mead, who stepped down at the end of 2018.

Stewart takes up the post at a difficult time for the health board, which is under independent review over allegations of a culture of bullying and harassment.

The board has also seen local campaigns against service redesign, in particular the centralisation of consultants in Inverness. Audit Scotland reported it had financial difficulties and it has struggled to attract GPs to remote practices.

Stewart, who is currently deputy chief of commissioning of the NHS Mid-Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, will take up the £137,379-a-year post at the end of the month.

He said: “Having lived in the Highlands for over 40 years, with close ties to Argyll and the Scottish islands, the health and wellbeing of NHS Highland’s population is exceptionally important to me.

“Living locally has given me the opportunity to experience first-hand the great care provided by some of my 10,000 plus new colleagues.

“I’m sure that working together we can all make a difference to our patients, carers and the wellbeing of our workforce.”

Health secretary Jeane Freeman said: “I am pleased that Iain Stewart has accepted the role of chief executive of NHS Highland. He has important experience in the public sector, including the health service, and I wish him well in this critical leadership role.

“The priority, as always across NHS Scotland, is patient care, and I am confident that under Iain Stewart’s leadership, people across the Highlands will receive the excellent level of service they deserve.”

NHS Highland is also advertising for two new members to join its board.

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