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SARAH COMPTON-BISHOP: Join the board and help to shape the region’s healthcare

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As a board member you can help shape the future of Highland health services.
As a board member you can help shape the future of Highland health services.

When I applied to join the board of NHS Highland four years ago, I wasn’t sure quite what to expect – and I wasn’t sure if they would be looking for people like me. Four years on, I’ve found the work to be satisfying, absorbing, and challenging – and, after chairing the Integration Joint Board in Argyll and Bute, I have moved on to chair the NHS Highland board. What I’ve found is that we need experience and skills from a range of backgrounds to help the board perform well and fully represent its communities. That can include lived experience or learning from volunteering as well as professional knowledge or understanding.

So now, I’m excited to be seeking two new non-executive members for the NHS Highland board. We’re looking for people who will bring fresh perspectives, new ideas and a range of experience – people who may not have considered joining a formal board before, but who share our passion for working with communities to improve health and care.

It’s really important that our board reflects that breadth of geography, the population we service, and the services we provide. We are looking for people from a wide range of backgrounds who share our values and can bring a variety of views, particularly from those groups which are under-represented on our board. Have a look at the job advert on the Scottish Government Public Appointments web page: there’s a person specification in the Guidance Pack with more detail on the kind of person we are looking for.

We also have social media posts on the NHS Highland Facebook and Twitter accounts which you can share and a series of short videos on our website.

NHS Highland chairwoman Sarah Compton-Bishop.
NHS Highland chairwoman Sarah Compton-Bishop.

We are particularly interested in hearing from people with expertise in transformation, people management, or innovation, and those who can draw on experience of issues relating to ethnic minority communities or young people accessing health and social care. I’m also keen to attract applicants who live in Argyll and Bute and might be interested in joining the Integration Joint Board there. As a resident of Jura myself, I can promise that geography is no barrier! Most of our meetings are held virtually, travel can be arranged flexibly, and we value the experience of our remote and rural communities.

Board members will have the opportunity to get training in areas such as finance or clinical governance and will be given time to learn the new skills in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. They will be working as part of a team where they can call on expert advice to help them make up their minds on complex issues.

If you, or anyone you know who may be interested, have any unanswered queries or would like to find out more about what is involved, please contact me by calling Natalie Booth, personal assistant to the chair, on 01463 704811, or by emailing natalie.booth2@nhs.scot who will arrange a time for me to get in touch with you.

The work of a board member is fascinating and hugely rewarding and I hope many of you reading this will consider applying and contributing to the priceless work of the NHS in the Highlands and Argyll and Bute.

Sarah Compton-Bishop is chairwoman of NHS Highland.

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