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New chief executive takes over at NHS Highland


By Alan Hendry

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Pam Dudek.
Pam Dudek.

A new chief executive will take the reins at NHS Highland today.

Pam Dudek is taking over from Paul Hawkins, who retired at the beginning of the month.

Mrs Dudek, who joined NHS Highland as interim deputy chief executive in April, is delighted to take up the role and is looking forward to working with colleagues and communities across Highland, Argyll and Bute.

She said: “It is a huge privilege to be in this position and I can’t wait to connect with people in health and social care across the area. I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone, whether that is at a safe distance in person or digitally, and building strong relationships.

“I know in the wake of the Sturrock Report [into claims of bullying within the organisations] and our culture programme, as well as working through a pandemic, this has been a tough time for everyone. Coupled with that, we are looking at how we remobilise our services for patients with an eye on winter planning as we approach the end of this year.

“It’s a lot to balance and I’m mindful of what that can do to teams and individuals. We will be reviewing regularly the support we have in place for our staff alongside our staff partnership representatives. Our staff are our greatest asset, it is really important that we understand their needs and do all we can to assist them in their endeavour.

“I know this is a massive responsibility and I am not underestimating the task ahead. I am totally committed to working with our teams in NHS Highland, partners and our communities. It is a responsibility that I will relish and I look forward to working collaboratively to build a strong health and social care system across the Highlands, Argyll and Bute."

NHS Highland chairman Professor Boyd Robertson said: “I very much look forward to working with Pam in her new role as chief executive. I am confident that Pam’s considerable leadership experience of partnership working across health, care and the third sector will not only enable NHS Highland to deliver our strategic objectives but to keep building a culture of collaboration and inclusion.

“I would also like to pay tribute to Paul Hawkins for his adroit leadership of NHS Highland and for guiding us through what has been a very challenging year. I wish him all the very best in his retirement from the NHS.”



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