NHS Orkney boss Cathie looking for new challenges

NHS Orkney Chief executive Cathie Cowan

The chief executive who “transformed” Orkney’s health board is leaving to take on a new challenge.

Cathie Cowan, who has been at the helm of NHS Orkney for almost eight years, is taking up a new post with NHS Forth Valley.

She is expected to move south before the end of the year.

Ian Kinniburgh, chairman of NHS Orkney said: “Cathie has been our chief executive for almost eight years in which time she has transformed NHS Orkney into a reputable and high performing organisation.

“Her contribution to NHS Orkney has been significant and her role in securing the new hospital and healthcare facility cannot be underestimated.

“NHS Orkney staff and the people of the islands can feel confident that she is leaving the organisation in excellent shape to meet the challenges ahead.

“Cathie will be a very hard act for anyone to follow.”

Ms Cowan originally trained as a nurse at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow and worked in a variety of nursing roles before moving to Perth in 1990, initially to take up post as a clinical nurse manager at Perth Royal Infirmary.

She later became clinical services and business manager for the former Perth and Kinross NHS Trust. In 1995, she was appointed director of nursing, patient services and planning for Kirkcaldy NHS Trust and then director of service development and capacity planning for Fife’s NHS Board.

Ms Cowan moved to Orkney in 2010 as the chief executive of the health board. She also worked during this time as executive director at Orkney Islands Council and led the integration of health and social care services before the appointment of Orkney’s chief officer.