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NHS Highland chief executive announces retiral

By Gregor White

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Pamela Dudek was appointed as chief executive of NHS Highland in 2020. Picture: Callum Mackay
Pamela Dudek was appointed as chief executive of NHS Highland in 2020. Picture: Callum Mackay

Pamela Dudek, the chief executive of NHS Highland, has announced that she will retire at the end of March next year.

Ms Dudek joined the NHS in Scotland in 1982 and joined NHS Highland in 2020 as interim deputy chief executive.

She was appointed to the chief executive role in August that year, taking up the post in October 2020.

With a nursing background and having worked and having lived in board areas used to the challenges posed by remote and rural geography it was felt her knowledge and experience would be ideally suited to the board.

Announcing her plans to step down at the end of March next year she said: "It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to head up NHS Highland.

"Every day I encounter people working so hard and with such skill and dedication, keen to deliver the best possible care.

"There have been many challenges and that will likely continue, but knowing the resilience and resourcefulness of my colleagues I have every confidence that NHS Highland will continue to be a fantastic provider of care, and will continue to prioritise setting a positive culture ensuring this board is a great place to work.

"In the time left I will focus on leading the board through the winter with the aim of improving the balance of care and ensuring our workforce and their welfare is of the upmost importance."

She added: “While I am looking forward to having more time to spend with my family, including my mother, children and grandchildren, my family of NHS colleagues will always have a special place in my heart.

"I have worked with many fantastic people and have achieved my career aspirations because of the support of many, for which I will always be thankful.”

NHS Highland chairwoman Sarah Compton-Bishop said: "Pam has led the board through the aftermath of the pandemic and through a period of cultural and financial transformation with a steady hand and positive attitude, and we owe her a huge debt of gratitude.

"Her approachability and honesty have had a significant impact on services and colleagues at all levels and, while we are sorry to see her go, her retirement is very well deserved indeed."

Health board chief executives are appointed by Scottish Government and the recruitment process for Ms Dudek’s replacement is set to begin shortly the health board said.

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