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New Chief Executive Appointed To NHS Highland

20th August 2020

Photograph of New Chief Executive Appointed To NHS Highland

NHS Highland is delighted to announce the appointment of Pam Dudek as its new Chief Executive.

Professor Boyd Robertson, Chair of NHS Highland said: "Pam was chosen from a strong field of experienced executive leaders from across the UK and beyond. She joined the Board on secondment from NHS Grampian in April as Interim Deputy Chief Executive. During her secondment, she strengthened the executive leadership team, made a substantial contribution to the Board's response to the Covid-19 pandemic and co-produced its Remobilisation Plan with colleagues from across NHS Highland and Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership.

"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 look forward to working closely with Pam in her new role and, on behalf of the Board, congratulate her on her appointment."

Mrs Dudek began her career as a nurse cadet in 1982 and completed her training as a psychiatric nurse within NHS Tayside in 1987. After a variety of nursing and leadership roles in substance misuse and mental health services across a number of boards, she moved to NHS Grampian in 2009 to lead an improvement programme on the management of long term conditions across the Board area. In 2012, she took up the role of Deputy General Manager and subsequently Head of Healthcare for Aberdeenshire Community Health Partnership, before moving to her most recent role of Chief Officer for the Moray Integrated Joint Board in October 2014. In the latter role, she led on the setup of the new model of Health and Social Care integration and had oversight of Primary Care Services across Grampian and Dr Gray's Hospital.

She said: “I am thrilled to be joining NHS Highland at this particular time. We have many challenges ahead as we remobilise our services and put into practice what we learned from our response to the Covid pandemic. I am particularly delighted to be working with colleagues right across Highland and Argyll and Bute, as we renew our focus on how we work differently together to provide better, more accessible care and services to our communities and to help people look after their own health and wellbeing."

The appointment has been approved by Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman. She said: “Mrs Dudek has been appointed to continue to improve NHS Highland’s performance on service and delivery, while enabling a culture where every member of staff feels valued. She has a track record of working in partnership across the health and care system which is very relevant to collaborative and inclusive leadership across the Board."

Mrs Dudek takes up her post on 05 October 2020.

The current Chief Executive Paul Hawkins was appointed following the resignation of Elaine Mead. Paul Hawkins joined NHS Highland as chief executive in January 2020. Paul was previously chief executive at NHS Fife for the past five years.

Paul was previously chief operating officer at Hywel Dda University Health Board in Wales, a board that covered three counties with significant rural areas.

Prior to joining Hywel Dda University Health Board, Paul held various director roles in North London NHS Trusts, including acting chief executive. Currently Paul is chair of The Scottish Government Access Collaborative, Chair of The Elective Centre Programme Board and Vice-Chair of NHS Board Chief Executives Group.