NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

NHS 'lockdown travel' executive will no longer take up job

Iain Stewart Image copyright NHS Highland
Image caption Mr Stewart had faced criticism for travelling to his family home on the mainland

NHS Orkney's chief executive designate who came under fire for leaving the islands for his mainland home during lockdown will no longer take up what should have been his new job.

Iain Stewart said he had only travelled to his Black Isle home when necessary.

It has been announced Mr Stewart will not take up what should have been his new job as NHS Orkney chief executive.

Michael Dickson - who currently leads the health board in Shetland - will now also head Orkney for the time being.

NHS Orkney chairwoman Meghan McEwan paid tribute to the contribution Mr Stewart made during his time as chief executive designate.

'Look to the future'

She said: "Iain Stewart will not be taking up the role of chief executive and accountable officer with NHS Orkney.

"NHS Orkney needs to look to the future and I believe Michael will help steer us through the recovery and renewal process as we restart our services and adapt to our changing environment."

She added: "Iain has provided us with a valuable contribution during our Covid-19 response phase and has demonstrated a commitment to listening and putting staff at the heart of how we do our business.

"I would like to thank him for his service and wish him well."

MSP for Orkney, Liam McArthur said: "As soon as news emerged last month that Iain Stewart had been less than upfront about his travel during lockdown, his position as head of NHS Orkney became untenable and his departure inevitable. 

"At a time when staff across the organisation have been going above and beyond in response to the current pandemic, this has been an unwelcome distraction that NHS Orkney did not need nor could it afford.

"Hopefully, Mr Stewart's departure will draw a line under this unfortunate episode."

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