NHS Scotland chief executive Paul Gray to step down

Paul Gray
Image caption Paul Gray oversaw the integration of health and social care services while leading Scotland's NHS

NHS Scotland's chief executive Paul Gray is to step down in February 2019, the government has announced.

Mr Gray has been in the post since 2013, and oversaw the integration of health and social care services.

A "full external competition" will be held to appoint a successor. Malcolm Wright, who is currently chief executive at NHS Tayside, will take on the role in the interim.

He will be succeeded at NHS Tayside by Grant Archibald.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman offered Mr Gray her "sincere and personal thanks" for his work.

She said: "Paul Gray has been an excellent chief executive of the NHS in Scotland and director general of health and social care.

"Amongst his many achievements in this role, which was just the most recent in a long and distinguished career in public service, Paul oversaw the integration of health and social care services, which is the most significant change to our health system since the creation of the NHS.

"Paul will remain in post until February, continuing to lead health boards throughout the winter months."

Mr Wright had been standing in as chief executive at NHS Tayside since the board's leadership was ousted in April.

Ms Freeman said he would be succeeded by Mr Archibald, who has "a strong background with more than 30 years of experience in the health service".

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