NHS Tayside bid a fond farewell to Sandy Watson

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Sandy Watson, NHS Tayside chairman, has retired after seven-and-a-half years with NHS Tayside and 48 years of public service.

An Honours graduate of Glasgow University in both Classics and Education, Mr Watson taught in Crieff, Portree and Callander before going into the Education Directorate in Central Region in October 1975.

He spent two years in Strathclyde in the mid-1980s as an assistant director before going back to Central Region as senior depute and was appointed education director in Tayside in 1990.

He was president of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland from 1992 to 1993 and then became the Association’s General Secretary.

He succeeded Robert Black, the first Auditor General for Scotland, as Chief Executive of Tayside Regional Council in December 1994, and was appointed Chief Executive of the new Angus Council in May 1995 on the reorganisation of local government in Scotland.

He retired from this post in 2005. He served as the secretary of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives from 1997 to 2008.

Mr Watson paid tribute to the Board members with whom he has served, and to the Chief Executive, Directors, clinicians and all staff for their professionalism and willingness to always go the extra mile.

Mr Watson said: “The people of Tayside are well served by exceptional people doing exceptional things. These exceptional people deserve my thanks and best wishes as they rise to the undoubted challenges which lie ahead for the NHS and the public sector generally.”

Paying tribute to Mr Watson’s tenure as first a non-executive member, then as Chair, Lesley McLay, Chief Executive of NHS Tayside said, “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.

“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.”

He now plans to spend more time with his wife Jean and family.