NHS Forth Valley Appoints New Chief Executive

NHS Forth Valley today announced that Cathie Cowan has been appointed as its new Chief Executive.

Cathie, who is currently the Chief Executive of NHS Orkney, is expected to take up her new position before the end of the year.

The appointment followed a rigorous selection process, which saw a very strong field of candidates interviewed for the post.

Alex Linkston, Chairman of NHS Forth Valley, 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.”

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Shona Robison added: “I wish her well and am looking forward to continuing to work with her in her new role. Cathie brings with her a wealth of experience and l am delighted that she has accepted the position of Chief Executive of NHS Forth Valley.” 

Cathie originally trained as a nurse at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow in the 1980s and worked in a variety of nursing roles before moving to Perth in 1990, initially to take up post as a Clinical Nurse Manager at Perth Royal Infirmary and later as Clinical Services and Business Manager for the former Perth and Kinross NHS Trust. In 1995, she was appointed Director of Nursing, Patient Services and Planning for Kirkcaldy NHS Trust and then Director of Service Development and Capacity Planning for the Fife NHS Board.

Cathie returned to Glasgow in 2005 to take up post as the Director for the new South East Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership before moving to Orkney in 2010 as the Chief Executive of NHS Orkney, Cathie also worked at this time as Executive Director at Orkney Islands Council and lead the integration of health and social care services before the appointment of Orkney’s Chief Officer.

Cathie recently through a competitive recruitment process, was selected to participate in the Health Foundation GenerationQ leadership and quality improvement programme.  Cathie graduated with an MSc in Leadership (Quality Improvement). She is a GenerationQ Fellow and a member of the Q Community, whose mission is to foster continuous and sustainable improvement in health and care.

Ian Kinniburgh, Chair of NHS Orkney said ‘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.’

Cathie Cowan 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.”