NHS 24 Boss Quits Just Six Months Into The Role

The interim chief executive of NHS 24 is stepping down after six months in the role.

Ian Crichton took up the appointment at a difficult time for the service as it struggles to roll out a new IT and call-handling system.

MSPs were last month told of a £40 million overspend on the delayed project, known as the Future Programme.

The decision was taken in November to withdraw the system from service shortly after it launched due to concerns about patient safety.

Mr Crichton took the reins from John Turner, who was NHS 24 chief executive from September 2008 until July last year.

He was appointed at the end of August last year in a move from NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), having previously worked in senior management for Gillette. His new role is outwith NHS Scotland.

Mr Crichton gave evidence to Holyrood's Public Affairs Committee on January 20 along with his predecessor.

He apologised to MSPs, saying the organisation had underestimated the scale and complexity of rolling out the programme.

He said NHS 24 had learned from its mistakes but he remained concerned about the checks and balances in place for large-scale IT projects.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: ``We'd like to thank Ian Crichton for his many years of dedicated service to the NHS.

``The management team in direct charge of the Future Programme remains in place and is making progress towards rectifying the issues identified and readying the system for implementation.

``The Scottish Government continues to work closely with the NHS 24 Future Programme board to support the team's governance arrangements and ensure a successful switch over to the new system in the summer.

``A process is in place to recruit a successor.''

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