The person tasked with ‘remobilising’ NHS Ayrshire and Arran  in the wake of the pandemic will not be in place until the autumn.

The health service had initially hoped for a quick turnaround after previous chief John Burns left on July 1 to take up the Chief Operating Officer post at NHS Scotland.

Despite receiving a good response from an initial advert, which sought applications by June 21, interviews will now take place in early September following a extension to August 9 for applicants.

The appointment will come at a time of continued stress for all NHS services, with the pressure of the pandemic being followed by the need to address the build up of a waiting list for surgeries and treatment and the inevitable increase in people using the service in the winter


NHS Ayrshire and Arran employs 11,145 people, who have been overseen by Interim Chief Executive Hazel Borland since July 1.

While there have been some notable instances of outgoing Chief Executive’s receiving ‘golden handshake’ payments on stepping down, NHS Ayrshire and Arran insist no such payment has been made to Mr Burns.

Ms Leslie said: “The post for the NHS Ayrshire & Arran Chief Executive role was advertised on  May 31 with an initial closing date of June 21.

“The original timetable provided potential applicants only three weeks to fully consider the post before applying and we agreed an extended closing date of August 9. Whilst we received a good response to the advert for the Chief Executive

role this extended closing date ensured it could be advertised as widely as possible to potential candidates from throughout the UK, as well as allowing adequate time for applications to be submitted which was important over the summer holiday period.

“Formal interviews are scheduled for September 7. Arrangements are underway and the job pack describes the key role of the Chief

Executive in remobilising health and care, as well as in improving public health and wellbeing for the Ayrshire and Arran population.”

She also said that the start date for the new Chief Executive would be determined later once a candidate had been appointed.