Appointments are to be made to three senior healthcare posts, the board of NHS Shetland agreed today.
These positions will be a part-time medical director and an assistant medical director, plus a dental chief who would be accountable to the medical director. All the posts will incorporate some changes to the current arrangements.
Traditionally the statutory post of medical director has been filled by a medical consultant and fitted in around their other duties. However chief executive Ralph Roberts said this was “not sustainable” as it put strain on medical colleagues and it was now intended to put the job onto a more formal basis by making it “more robust”.
In the dental world, the retirement of chief administrative dental officer (CADO) Mike Collins at the end of this month is a cue for changes to this role.
At present the post of medical director is held on a interim basis by consultant Jim Unsworth. The board has now approved the appointment of a permanent part-time medical director who would work three days a week for a salary of around £67,000. Mr Roberts said the post would be open to any medical or dental practitioner from either primary or secondary care, with the key requirement of leadership capabilities.
He said: “We are looking for someone who could lead service redesign.” This would apply to both primary and secondary care involve engaging with the community on any controversial service change.
Having a dedicated time to work, rather than having to squeeze it round other work, would make the job more attractive, he said, and indicated he would welcome an internal appointment, although the post will be advertised.
The assistant medical director would be chosen to complement the medical director’s background and experience.
Dental leadership will be taken forward on an interim basis at first, the meeting heard.
Director of clinical services Simon Bokor-Ingram said that to integrate services under one medical director was the right “direction of travel”. The initial outlay would be above budget, he said, but Mr Roberts said that it was his responsibility to make the post “cost neutral going forward”.