NHS Lanarkshire’s chief executive is to retire from her post later this year.
Heather Knox is stepping down in November after a 35-year career in the NHS, which saw her take up the role at the health board helm in September 2020.
She said the decision “has not been easy to make” and praised the health board staff for their “outstanding professionalism and commitment”.
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Ms Knox joined NHS Lanarkshire seven years ago and served as deputy chief executive and director of acute services, before becoming interim chief executive in June 2020 and formally taking on the top role three months later.
She had previously held roles as director of acute services at NHS Fife and director of regional planning for the west of Scotland.
A graduate of Edinburgh University and with a masters in health administration and research from Hull University, she originally joined the NHS as a management trainee and worked at hospitals in London and Glasgow.
She said on announcing her retirement plans: “I have very much valued working with colleagues across NHS Lanarkshire – especially over the last few years.
“Our staff have shown outstanding professionalism and commitment in the way they have supported our patients, me in my role as chief executive, and each other during the pandemic.
“Despite all the ongoing pressures, I know colleagues will continue to make NHS Lanarkshire the wonderful place it is to work and deliver healthcare. Thank you to all our staff for everything you do every day.”
NHS Lanarkshire is now beginning the recruitment process to appoint the next chief executive.
Board chair Martin Hill, who took up his post in January, said: “Heather has made a huge and effective contribution to the success of NHS Lanarkshire and the development of such a positive organizational culture; and although we have worked together for a relatively short time, I have come to respect her hard work and dedication from her and I am grateful to her for her support from her to me in my new role.
“We look forward to working with Heather for her remaining period in office as we continue to strengthen the organization as an effective provider of patient services and an excellent place to work – and on behalf of the board and everyone in NHS Lanarkshire, I want to thank her and wish her well when her retirement comes.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.