A NEW chief executive, who was successful in transforming another health board into “a reputable and high performing organisation” has been appointed at NHS Forth Valley.

Cathie Cowan, currently chief executive of NHS Orkney, is expected to take the helm at the local health board before the end of the year.

Alex Linkston, chairman, said: “I am delighted that Cathie has accepted the post of chief executive for NHS Forth Valley.

“She is an experienced leader who has an outstanding track record in improving patient care and I am therefore confident she is the right person to take the organisation forward.”

Cathie originally trained as a nurse at Southern General Hospital in Glasgow in the 80s and worked in a variety of roles before moving to Perth in 1990, initially to work as clinical nurse manager at Perth Royal Infirmary and later as clinical services and business manager for the former Perth and Kinross NHS Trust.

Five years later she was appointed director of nursing, patient Services and planning at Kirkcaldy NHS Trust and then director of service development and capacity planning for NHS Fife.

Cathie returned to Glasgow in 2005 to lead the new South East Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership before moving on to Orkney in 2010.

She said: “I have such fabulous memories to take with me from NHS Orkney, our achievements have been many and whilst there is still much to do, I leave with confidence that the work to transform health and care will continue.

“It is now time to move on and to take on new challenges and in this regard I am very much looking forward to joining NHS Forth Valley.

“One of my first priorities will be to meet with local staff working across NHS Forth Valley in primary, community and hospital care.

“I also want to build on relationships with key partner organisations and become acquainted with local communities as we work together to build on achievements to improve the lives and the care and services provided to the people of Forth Valley.”

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

“Cathie’s personal 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 Orkney can feel confident that she is leaving the organisation in excellent shape to meet the challenges ahead, and I can assure everyone that we shall continue to build upon the excellent work she has done for our community.

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