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NHS Orkney boss criticised for weekend travel to his home on the Black Isle in the Highlands


By Louise Glen

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Former NHS Highland chief executive Iain Stewart.
Former NHS Highland chief executive Iain Stewart.

The chief executive of NHS Orkney has been criticised for travelling between the northern isle to his family home near Inverness at weekends.

Iain Stewart, the former head of NHS Highland, took up his post in Kirkwall earlier this year, but it has emerged he has travelled to his home on the Black Isle on numerous occasions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Stewart described his trips as "essential".

Mr Stewart was head of NHS Highland for a year, until January 2020.

The Scottish Government said that as Mr Stewart's accommodation in Orkney was provided by NHS Orkney rules about travel to second homes did not apply in his case.

A spokesman also said Mr Stewart was in a key role at the board and was pivotal to the safe delivery of healthcare on the islands.

Orkney MSP Liam MacArthur described Mr Stewart's journeys as "at best inadvisable", adding "those leading the fight against Covid–19 should be setting an example."

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