Health care veteran appointed as NHS Chairperson

THE NEWLY-appointed Chairperson of NHS Dumfries and Galloway is set to approach the role with 33 years of experience in health and social care.

Nick Morris succeeds Phil Jones who had led the NHS Board for four years and developed a strong cohesive Board of Executive and Non-Executive Directors.

Nick says he is delighted to take on the post and is keen to work with the NHS Board and its partners to address the health and social care challenges which exist within the region.

Speaking about his new appointment, Nick said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be taking on this position as Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Health Board.

“I have served as a member of the Board for the past eight months.

“So while I approach this role confident in the knowledge that this is a top performing Board which leads a fantastic workforce, it is also with a very great awareness of the significant health care challenges we continue to face as a region in both the short and long term.

“That is why I’m very keen to see the Board work closely and effectively with our partner agencies, continuing to build on already excellent relationships, as it is through this joined-up approach that we will be best placed to meet the changing needs of an increasingly ageing population and work to address health inequalities across the region.”

Nick began his career as a psychiatric nurse, specialising in acute care before moving into community mental health care within a social services environment.

His career then took him through a range of strategic planning roles in mental health care, at Health Board, Regional and Department of Health level.

Nick has specialised in developing stakeholder approaches to service redesign, with a focus on using public health data and community needs assessments to ensure people have access to an increased equality of care.

Notably, his work has included the development and implementation of major service redesign which has ensured people receive the care they need at an earlier point in their care journey.

Highlighting a particular area of interest, Nick said: “I’m a passionate advocate for the integration of health and social care services where opportunities exist to simplify the journey of care – especially for vulnerable people with complex care needs.” 

Taking on the post, Nick succeeds former Dumfries and Galloway Council Chief Executive Phil Jones who completed a four-year term last October.

Welcoming Nick into the role, NHS Dumfries and Galloway Chief Executive Jeff Ace said: “I’m delighted that Scottish Government have appointed Nick, who has a depth of professional experience that gives him excellent insight into the challenges we face and the style of leadership most likely to achieve success.

“Phil Jones was an outstanding Chair, and a tough act to follow, but I’m confident that Nick will continue his legacy of first class strategic leadership.”

Nick lives in Gatehouse of Fleet where he and his wife are engaged in a range of local groups and clubs which include cycling, walking and curling. 

Taking up his post just over a year into the life of the new £212 million Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, and as the Board relocates from Crichton Hall to Mountainhall Treatment Centre, Nick said: “I’m keen to get started in this post at this very exciting but challenging time. I look forward to working with everyone across the health care services in our region to help ensure we are well placed to meet both our immediate challenges and those which lie ahead.”