A NEW chief executive is to take over at NHS Borders in May.

Ralph Roberts has been appointed to the role following the retirement of Jane Davidson.

Mr Roberts, who has worked with the board previously, has been chief executive at NHS Shetland for the past eight years.

He said: "I am absolutely delighted to be offered this opportunity to provide chief executive leadership to NHS Borders.

"I recognise that this is a challenging time for health and care across the country and the Scottish Borders is no different.

"However, from my previous experience in Borders I know that there are excellent staff in place and I look forward to meeting them and the community again.

"I am determined to build on the excellent care that is already in place and make sure we create a health and care service that the whole community is proud of."

Mr Roberts was the unanimous choice of the appointments panel – following a rigorous assessment process.

And chairman of NHS Borders John Raine is delighted to see him return.

He said: "Ralph’s appointment will mark a return to the NHS in the Scottish Borders where he developed his career working in director level roles from 1995 until leaving at the end of 2010 to become chief executive of NHS Shetland.

"I believe Ralph has the knowledge, experience and personal qualities to lead our executive team and the organisation through the changes needed to further develop NHS services for the Borders.

"He has a strong commitment and affinity to the Borders and to securing best value services for local people building on partnership working with staff and the wider community."

Jeane Freeman, cabinet secretary for health and sport, added: “I am pleased to be able to welcome Ralph Roberts to his new role. He will be bringing a wealth of experience upon his return to NHS Borders.

"The priority for the NHS in Scotland is safe, effective and person centred care and I know that will be the focus for Mr Roberts as he works to ensure that people across Scottish Borders receive the excellence in healthcare they rightly expect."