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National Patient Safety Agency

Professor Alastair Scotland retires

Wednesday 31 August 2011

NPSA Announcements


Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chair of the National Patient Safety Agency and Sarndrah Horsfall, Chief Executive of the National Patient Safety Agency, have paid tribute to Professor Alastair Scotland, who this week retires from the NHS after a career spanning four decades.
Professor Scotland graduated in medicine from the University of Aberdeen after which he trained in surgery. He entered public health medicine in 1983, becoming consultant in public health medicine to North East Thames Regional Health Authority in 1988 and Regional Medical Officer from 1991 to 1994, when he became Medical Director to the Trust Unit in the merged North Thames Regional Health Authority.
In 1996, Professor Scotland moved to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where he was Director of Medical Education and Research. Five years later, he established the National Clinical Assessment Authority, responsible for resolving concerns about practitioner performance. This was renamed the National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS) in 2005, becoming part of the National Patient Safety Agency.


Sir Liam, Chair of the National Patient Safety Agency, said:


“Professor Alastair Scotland has devoted the last 40 years to the NHS. In that time he has made a significant impact across many areas of public health and the NHS. In particular he has been fundamental in creating a service to help doctors whose practice has fallen below an acceptable standard, and thereby protect patients from harm. This will stand as an important achievement in the history of the quality and safety movement in the NHS.”


In addition Sarndrah Horsfall, Chief Executive of the National Patient Safety Agency, commented:


“NCAS has made a significant contribution to the NHS under the leadership of Professor Scotland. He retires with this important legacy that he will be remembered by.”


Notes to editors


1.  Media enquiries to the NPSA Press Office:

0207 927 9362 / press.office@npsa.nhs.uk

2. NCAS provides general and specialist advice to help organisations address concerns about the practice of individual dentists, doctors or pharmacists or, in some cases, of practice teams. NCAS also undertakes formal assessment of practitioners.


3.  NCAS is currently a division of the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA). In July 2010, the Department of Health published its review of Arm’s Length Bodies – Liberating the NHS: Report of the arms-length bodies review. Although the report announced abolition of NPSA, it did stipulate that NCAS functions are to continue.  NCAS services will continue to remain free to NHS organisations.