The Chairman of the Board of NHS Tayside’s is to retire at the end of May, after almost a 50 years working in the public sector.
Sandy Watson, a former teacher and director of education for Tayside Regional Council, had been Angus Council and Tayside Regional Chief executive during his 48 year career.
Mr Watson, who was appointed an OBE in 2003 and Deputy Lieutenant for Angus in 2007, said he had been convinced to apply for the Chairmanship of the Board by Nicola Sturgeon, who was the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing at the time.
Mr Watson commented: “I have been privileged to work with a group of talented Board members who are committed to that direction of travel and I believe that significant steps have been taken in respect of both community engagement and staff engagement in shaping policy.
“I salute the hard work that staff undertake day in, day out and the way in which they have risen to the challenges of transforming services to make them better for patients, their families and carers.”
Mr Watson regards the integration of health and social care as one of the most significant challenges facing the NHS and local authorities.
He said: “It is not just another initiative. It is a fundamental change in how we do business with our partners – a fundamental change of culture. I wish all of the new Integration Boards in Tayside well as they rise to the challenges involved.”
Paying tribute to Mr Watson’s tenure as chairman of the board, NHS Tayside’s chief executive, Lesley McLay, commented: “Over these past nine years, Sandy has made an immense contribution to health services here in Tayside.
“Always resolute in his belief that NHS Tayside is one of the best health systems in the country, he has helped this organisation achieve all of its goals with his exceptional leadership of the Board.
“Sandy always puts staff and patients first in everything he does. You will more likely find him out and about meeting staff and learning about the day-to-day running of departments and meeting patients across Tayside than sitting behind his desk reviewing Board papers.”
She added: “His wisdom and vast experience have undoubtedly stood NHS Tayside in good stead over the years and he has pursued everything with an unwavering professionalism, but also always with a sense of humour and a love for a great anecdote!
“On behalf of the Board of NHS Tayside, I wish him and his wife and family all best wishes in his retirement; he will be truly missed.”