Highland Council Appoints Chief Executive Officer Health and Social Care
30th October 2020
Fiona Duncan has been appointed by The Highland Council as Executive Chief Officer for Health and Social Care, taking over from Fiona Malcolm who has been undertaking the Interim ECO role since early September. Ms Duncan is due to take up the position in January 2021.
Health and Social Care Committee Chair, Linda Munro welcomed Ms Duncan's appointment, she said: "I look forward to working with Fiona who is joining the Council at a time of significant change in the Service including service redesign to improve delivery of localised approaches that fit with national policies and priorities. Joint working with our partners particularly health colleagues on COVID will be a priority going forward."
Fiona brings over 5 years experience as Chief Social Work Officer (CSWO) gained in two authorities. Fiona currently works for Clackmannanshire Council where she is employed as CSWO and Senior Manager Children & Justice Services. Immediately prior to this she held the role of CSWO and Group Service Manager (Adult Statutory Services) with East Lothian Council.
Ms Duncan commented "I am delighted to be appointed as ECO Health and Social Care with Highland Council."
She added: “The overarching principles of what I believe we are aiming to achieve is to designing better structures, processes and systems that will bring better outcomes to young people and families of the Highlands. Our aim is to grow capacity through better and more informed networks on both a local and national level. Key to this is the improvement journey that we are all on with staff being at the heart of this. Aligning with universities and colleges helps to build networks for future workforce, whilst internally we need to ensure that training and learning opportunities enable staff to grow and develop within the organisation.”
Fiona has not only worked in one of the smallest Councils, Clackmannanshire, she has also had experience in one of the largest, Edinburgh City Council. During her 10½ years with Edinburgh City she held a variety of management and practitioner roles in Criminal Justice, with the majority of time spent managing teams. Fiona also brings several years direct experience working with adults with learning disabilities.
Donna Manson, Chief Executive added: “Fiona will be an excellent addition to the senior leadership team. A fundamental part of the ECO role is to also provide senior officer support to Sutherland which takes in some of our most remote and rural locations. I have no doubt Fiona will engage with staff and communities of Sutherland to support key initiatives in this area.”
The Highland Council has welcomed clarification from the Scottish Government that hotels are eligible for the Business Restriction Grant. As hotel restaurants and bars follow the same rules as other restaurants and bars with last entry at 21:30 and closure by 22:30, they have now been included as eligible businesses to receive grant from this scheme.
Members of The Highland Council's City of Inverness Area Committee have today agreed a proposed £4,786,000 investment in council housing for 2021-22. The one-year Inverness Area Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital Programme is part of the Highland wide HRA Capital Plan for 2021-22 which will see over £15m invested in improving the housing stock across the region.
The Leader of The Highland Council Margaret Davidson and Chair of the Brexit Working Group Jimmy Gray welcomed the Scottish Government's position paper on the replacement for European Structural Investment Funds. This paper was as a result of a wide consultation process in which the Highlands & Islands made a significant contribution towards.
The category B listed suspension Infirmary footbridge in Inverness which traverses the River Ness between Ness Walk and Ness Bank may need to close for public safety until The Highland Council considers and secures funding for necessary repairs. This was the message that the Council's Roads Operations Manager, John Taylor informed Members of the City of Inverness Area Committee this week.
A new useful guide has been produced to provide people across the Highlands with information and advice on the financial and other support that is available to them. The Highland Council, along with NHS Highland Public Health, Independent Food Aid Network and the Trussell Trust, have brought a wide range of relevant financial advice and support with contact details together in a user-friendly format aimed at people who are struggling to make ends meet.
Dr Tim Allison, Director of Public Health for NHS Highland, opened today's meeting with a presentation on Covid-19, including a Highland perspective. Cllr John Finlayson, Chair of the Committee, said: "I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr Allison for his informative presentation on the virus that he delivered to Committee this morning." The presentation began by providing a brief background to Covid-19 before then providing an explanation of how the virus transmits between individuals and the presence of coronavirus in the Highland region.
At today's meeting (18 November) of the Council's Education Committee, Members were provided an update on the ongoing rollout of 1140 hours of funded ELC provision in settings across Highland. A report to the Committee outlined that of the 241 settings across the region, 202 Highland settings will be delivering 1140 hours by spring 2021.
The Highland Council is today (17 November 2020) launching a consultation giving the community until 12 March 2021 to comment on the proposed contents of the Common Good Fund Asset Register for Wick. The Highland Council does not currently hold a Common Good Fund for the former Royal Burgh of Wick.
This week, The Scottish Government has confirmed that The Highland Council area will again be placed into Protection Level One in The Scottish Government's 5 tier framework. This means our communities will for now continue to able to operate with fewer restrictions for our hospitality, retail and leisure sectors than other parts of the country.
More than 1,250 new teachers and support staff have been recruited as a result of £80 million of support announced in the summer. Education Secretary John Swinney pledged the ring-fenced package of funding to help local authorities' recruitment for the re-opening of schools.