Key appointments made to health group

Pictured (from left)  NHS Chief Operating Officer Julie White, June Watters, John Ross, Lynda McKie and Integration Joint Board chairwoman Penny Halliday.
Pictured (from left) NHS Chief Operating Officer Julie White, June Watters, John Ross, Lynda McKie and Integration Joint Board chairwoman Penny Halliday.

Two key figures have been appointed to a ground-breaking project which is set to transform health and social care in Wigtownshire.

John Ross CBE has been appointed to the role of independent chairman for Transforming Wigtownshire, while Lynda McKie is set to serve as project manager.

Transforming Wigtownshire is a major undertaking which will see the public work together with health and social care providers to design the best possible approach to services from the ground up.

Mr Ross, 73, who lives near Portpatrick, said: “I’m very conscious that there is sometimes a perception that there is a focus centrally on services in Dumfries and Galloway. That’s why it’s so important that this project engages the community fully, so as to ensure everyone works together to determine how health and social care services are developed not just for the short term in Wigtownshire, but the long-term – so that they can be sustainable.”

Transforming Wigtownshire will ask communities to jointly and collaboratively work with the NHS, council, voluntary sector and independent sectors to develop successful methods of health and social care delivery in Wigtownshire for years to come.

Mr Ross’s previous experience includes serving on the board of Loreburn Housing Association, chairing the Small Town Initiative which pushed for the formation of the marina in Stranraer, and leading a reform of approaches to meeting healthcare requirements in Scottish prisons.

Lynda McKie started off in nursing, and worked in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Australia before studying for an MBA and then undertaking project work, taking a role with the Scottish Government working in unscheduled care.

Lynda, 54, said: “I think this is an incredibly exciting opportunity for the people of Wigtownshire, to get involved in this fresh approach to addressing health and social care needs.

“It feels very exciting to be coming onto this project; everybody’s very keen to take this forward – and what’s vital is that we have stakeholder involvement, and that everyone plays a part in together developing a whole new approach to how we address health and social care needs in Wigtownshire for years to come. This is something that has to be done.”

John and Lynda will shortly be in contact with organisations and individuals who have already shown interest in playing a part in Transforming Wigtownshire while talks will also begin with figures working within NHS, council, voluntary sector and independent sector as work gets under way to reshape approaches to health and social care.

June Watters, Wigtownshire Locality Manager for Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “I couldn’t be happier with the two appointments made to this incredibly important project.

“What we’re doing here is ambitious, so I believe that the experience that John and Lynda bring with them will be important to its success – and ensuring this new approach of joint working and collaboration shapes approaches to health and social care delivery in Wigtownshire for years to come.”