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New NHS board members

Daisy Leask, who earlier this year made a public complaint about mental health services, has been appointed to NHS Shetland's board.

BROADCASTER Tom Morton and student Daisy Leask have been appointed as new members of NHS Shetland’s board.

Morton, who has worked in journalism and communications in Shetland and nationally for over 30 years, will take up the role next week with his term running until June 2020. He replaces Keith Massey.

Leask, who is starting a distance learning university degree in psychology this autumn, will become a board member in September with her term ending in August 2020. She will replace SIC councillor Drew Ratter, who is ending his second stint with the health board.

Leask spoke to Shetland News back in February about how she felt let down by the local NHS’s mental health service – saying she was only taken seriously following a suicide attempt.

The part-time appointments, which each attract pay of £7,479 for a time commitment of one day per week, have been welcomed by health minister Shona Robison and NHS Shetland chairman Ian Kinniburgh.

Broadcaster and journalist Tom Morton has also been appointed.

Kinniburgh said both brought “new skills and experiences” to the health board’s team.

“Tom is well known for his many years working in broadcasting and journalism and this experience will, I am sure, help the board improve the effectiveness of our communication with the community, patients and our staff,” he said.

“Tom will be one of the three NHS voting members on the recently formed integration joint board where his understanding of life in remote Shetland communities and his insight gained from working alongside his wife in the local GP practice in Northmavine will, I am sure, prove invaluable as we face the challenges of improving and sustaining services across the whole of Shetland.”

Kinniburgh said Leask’s “almost unique” appointment would provide a “significant opportunity” for the board to “better understand and engage with the health and care issues that are important to young people”.

“Daisy has significant experience of health services and she has a clear understanding of what good patient care feels like,” he said.

“She has also recently experienced care which, in her view, fell short of the quality she expected and has pursued this issue both publicly and through the NHS complaints mechanism.

“Having discussed this at some length with her, I know that Daisy now recognises that as a board member we all have an obligation to behave and comment appropriately, especially in the public domain, whilst retaining our rights as patients to raise concerns about our care through the board’s complaints mechanism.”

He continued: “Daisy is about to begin studying for a psychology degree through distance learning with the University of the Highlands and Islands, which will fit in well with her new responsibilities and I look forward to working with her on the board.”

Kinniburgh added his thanks to Massey and Ratter for “all their work and their contribution during eight years of service”.