The chief executive of NHS Scotland is stepping down for health reasons.
Malcolm Wright took the “difficult decision” for medical reasons, health secretary Jeane Freeman confirmed.
It comes after Mr Wright was appointed as the chief executive of NHS Scotland and director general (DG) health and social care in June last year – although he had been doing the job on an interim basis for a period before that.
With his resignation coming in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the Scottish Government has appointed two people to take on the work on an interim basis.
Elinor Mitchell, director of community health and social care, has been made interim DG health and social care while John Connaghan, chief performance officer in NHS Scotland and director of delivery and resilience, will be the interim chief executive of NHS Scotland.
This arrangement will continue until the end of August, at which point ministers will consider if they can find a permanent successor to Mr Wright.
Ms Freeman said: “I am very sorry that Malcolm Wright has had to resign from the chief executive of NHS Scotland and DG health and social care role.
“I know this was a difficult decision but one he has had to make for medical reasons. He leaves with my greatest respect and gratitude.
“I have valued the wealth of knowledge and experience that he brought to the role, especially at this challenging time. I wish him well for a happy and healthy future.”
Ms Freeman added: “I know that Elinor Mitchell and John Connaghan have worked closely with Malcolm as key members of his team and that they share my determination to equip our health and care system to meet the current challenges and to continue delivering an excellent service for the people of Scotland.
“I am confident they will continue to meet the challenges we face and continue to give our service the leadership it deserves.” 111026 MAY 20