The out-going chairman of the NHS Grampian has hailed the “natural pride” of north-east health workers at his last ever board meeting.
Aberdeenshire councillor, Bill Howatson, announced in October that he was resigning from the health board in a letter to staff.
His departure from his £32,000-a-year post on Hogmanay will bring to an end a seven-year relationship with NHS Grampian – three as chairman.
The Mearns councillor said he had been “extremely encouraged” following staff briefings held since since the reports from Health Improvement Scotland and the Royal College of Surgeons in England.
He added he felt “a sense of realism and relief that the reports are out” and that the health board had to “move on from here in a positive manner”.
Mr Howatson said the meetings with staff had also shown “there was a very positive view of taking NHS Grampian forward”.
He said: “(There was) a sense of a natural pride in this organisation which I admire and respect and understand totally.
“I have had seven years as a member of this board, (among) the most enjoyable as my career in the service.
“There have been some difficult times of late and challenges particularly in recent months but my confidence in NHS Grampian and staff has never faltered.”
He also paid tribute to fellow board members, Michael Scott and Charles Muir, who are also leaving the health board.