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Health / Health board appoints new medical director

A GP and associate medical director for NHS Western Isles has been appointed as the new medical director of NHS Shetland.

Kirsty Brightwell.

Dr Kirsty Brightwell will take up the post in the summer.

Interim medical director Brian Chittick will continue in the role until Dr Brightwell has relocated before continuing in his core role as the health board’s dental director.

NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson said: “Kirsty brings with her a deep understanding of the challenges of working in an island community.

“We are currently experiencing an unprecedented health emergency and I know her expertise and insights will be a huge benefit for our staff and the Shetland community.”

Dr Brightwell has worked with the North of Scotland Planning Group and the Scottish Government to tailor healthcare towards a more regional approach.

Since June last year she has taken on several medical director tasks including acting as the responsible officer for NHS Western Isles.

She has also previously worked with other forensic medical examination leads to develop a strategy for forensic care across the region.

Dr Brightwell has also been part of the team developing the Rediscover the Joy project to encourage doctors to work in Scotland’s most remote communities, such as Shetland.

While she has been based in Stornoway for the last year, she has also worked for NHS Highland in Inverness and for the Royal College of General Practitioners in Edinburgh, among others.

She is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen.

Dr Brightwell said she is looking forward to relocating to Shetland with her family, which includes two sons.

Sure to fit in well with Shetland’s cultural life, Dr Brightwell is said to be accomplished on the violin and piano and is currently learning to play the guitar.

Dickson said he would like to thank Chittick for his commitment and leadership while holding the medical director role.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021