A new chief executive has been appointed at crisis-hit NHS Highland.
Iain Stewart, who is originally from Stornoway, will take up the £137,379-a-year post at the end of the month.
A major part of his new role when he arrives will be to steady the organisation following allegations by whistleblowing staff of a culture of bullying and harassment within NHS Highland.
A high-level review into the claims is currently being undertaken by John Sturrock QC.
Mr Stewart has 30 years’ experience in the public sector and has held a number of senior positions within the NHS in both England and Wales.
He is currently deputy chief of commissioning of the NHS Mid-Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.
In this role, he is responsible for the leadership, operational management, and transformational improvement for a population of 330,000, with an annual budget of about £500 million.
NHS Highland has an annual budget of £604 million.
Mr Stewart said: “I have provided senior operational and transformational leadership to various NHS organisations, managing multiple acute hospitals, mental health, community and strategic commissioning throughout England and North Wales.
“It is now time for me to consolidate these experiences.
“Together I believe we can continue to build a world class health and social care service for the north of Scotland.”
A resident on the Black Isle, he added: “Having lived in the Highlands for over 40 years, with close ties to Argyll and the Scottish islands, the health and wellbeing of NHS Highland’s population is exceptionally important to me.
“Living locally has given me the opportunity to experience first-hand the great care provided by some of my 10,000 plus new colleagues.
“I’m sure that working together we can all make a difference to our patients, carers and the wellbeing of our workforce.
Health secretary Jeane Freeman said Mr Stewart had the experience needed to guide the health board.
“He has important experience in the public sector, including the health service,” she said.
“The priority, as always across NHS Scotland, is patient care, and I am confident that under Iain Stewart’s leadership, people across the Highlands will receive the excellent level of service they deserve.”
NHS Highland chairman David Alston said: “He brings a passion for the NHS and for improvement and a personal commitment to the Highlands and its people.”
With NHS Highland’s outgoing chief executive officer, Elaine Mead, having departed the role on December 31, Dr Gregor Smith, the deputy chief medical officer for Scotland, is the board’s interim chief executive.
NHS Highland is currently looking to recruit two new members to join its board.
Their role will be to represent the public and hold the board to account for delivery of health services in the area.
Interested parties have until Friday to apply.
The non-executive members will be expected to play a central role in guiding the strategies which address the health and adult social care needs of the resident population and monitor the performance of the board in delivering these.
The role of a non-executive takes up on average eight hours a week – in exchange for £8,416 a year plus reasonable travel and subsistence costs, dependant-carer expenses and support required to help them carry out their duties effectively.
The successful applicants will be offered any training they will need to be successful in the role.
NHS Highland chairman David Alston said: “This position would suit those who are interested in a challenging and rewarding role which will have a lasting impact on the delivery of healthcare and adult social care to the people served by NHS Highland.”