Borders man chosen by NHS Shetland to succeed Sandra Laurenson as chief executive

The new chief executive of NHS Shetland is to be Ralph Roberts, the health board announced today.

Mr Roberts, currently employed as executive director of NHS Borders, will take over in the New Year following the retirement of Sandra Laurenson, the present chief executive who will finish work in December.

Mr Roberts, 46, is a professional NHS manager who has worked within the Scottish health service for 20 years.  He has undertaken a wide range of roles in the 15 years he has lived and worked in the region. These roles have included chief operating officer, director of planning, director of corporate affairs, operations director and general manager.

Prior to this he worked as business manager and a project manager at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh having joined the NHS in 1989 as a management trainee in Lothian.

Mr Roberts, who is married with three school-age daughters, said he was looking forward to the “exciting challenge” of the role in NHS Shetland. The family had already been up to visit and they were looking forward to the opportunities a move to Shetland offered for all of them.

Mr Roberts said: “I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to move to Shetland as the new chief executive for the health board.  I am looking forward to working with all the staff to continue to deliver the excellent services that are provided locally.”

NHS Shetland board chairman Ian Kinniburgh said: “I am extremely pleased that Ralph Roberts has been appointed as the board’s new chief executive.  He brings with him a wealth of experience of healthcare issues, and his leadership skills will be critical as we face the challenges ahead.”

The role of chief executive, which has a salary of more than £100,000, was reported to have attracted a strong field of internal and external candidates.


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