New chief executive appointed by the local health board

NHS Highland chief executive Iain Stewart.
NHS Highland chief executive Iain Stewart.

NHS Highland has announced this week that Iain Stewart has been appointed as its new chief executive.

Iain has over 30 years’ experience in the public sector and has held a number of senior positions within the NHS in both England and Wales.

Iain, who will take up his post at the end of January, said: “Having lived in the Highlands for over 40 years, with close ties to Argyll and the Scottish islands, the health and well-being of NHS Highland’s population is exceptionally important to me and I am delighted to be appointed to this role and I am looking forward to leading, innovating and improving health and social care services across the Highlands and Argyll & Bute.”

Iain, a resident of the Black Isle, added: “Living locally has given me the opportunity to experience first-hand the great care provided by some of my 10,000 plus new colleagues and I’m sure that working together we can all make a difference to our patients, carers and the wellbeing of our workforce; I am committed and focused on doing the right things for our patients and colleagues alike.”

Iain is currently deputy chief of commissioning of the NHS Mid-Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Groups. In this role, Iain is responsible for the leadership, operational management, and transformational improvement for a population of 330,000 with an annual budget of around £500m.

He said: “I have provided senior operational and transformational leadership to various NHS organisations, managing multiple acute hospitals, mental health, community and strategic commissioning throughout England and North Wales, it is now time for me to consolidate these experiences and together I believe we can continue to build a world class health and social care service for the north of Scotland.”

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 chairman, David Alston, said: “I am delighted that Iain has accepted this appointment. He brings a passion for the NHS and for improvement, and a personal commitment to the Highlands and its people.”

With NHS Highland’s outgoing chief executive Elaine Mead having left on December 31, Dr Gregor Smith, Scotland’s deputy chief medical officer, has been appointed as the interim chief executive until Iain takes on his role.