NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

NHS Grampian chief executive Richard Carey retiring early

Richard Carey
Image caption Richard Carey expressed disappointment

The chief executive of NHS Grampian, which has been embroiled in a staffing controversy, has announced his early retirement.

Richard Carey said he was disappointed the relationship between some senior medical staff and senior management appeared to have broken down.

His departure date is being finalised.

It follows NHS Grampian chairman Bill Howatson announcing his resignation just over two weeks ago.

Malcolm Wright, chief executive of NHS Education for Scotland, has been appointed as the interim chief executive.

Accident and emergency consultants have been warning staffing shortages at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary could put patients at risk.

In a letter to staff, Mr Carey said: "Recent months in NHS Grampian have not been easy.

"It is clear that a cohort of senior medical staff no longer have confidence in the leadership of the organisation, both at board and executive level.

"This has been a source of great disappointment to me. When confidence and trust break down it is difficult to move forward collaboratively.

"I have reflected very carefully on what would be best for the organisation going forward and have reluctantly decided that the time is right for someone else to take over as chief executive.

"This has been a difficult decision to take but I hope it is the right one."

Image caption There have been accident and emergency staffing concerns

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "I would also like to thank Richard Carey for the years of dedicated service he has provided to NHS Scotland and wish him well for the future."

In September, casualty consultants raised concern about staffing shortages at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, with one medic describing the situation as a "perfect storm".

It was the second time doctors had voiced concern, after saying in June they would not be able to provide the safe care of patients because of staffing levels.

At the time NHS Grampian bosses said they were working hard to resolve the situation.

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