Professor Alison Strath has been appointed as Chief Pharmaceutical Officer and Professors Graham Ellis and Professor Nicola Steedman have been confirmed as Deputy Chief Medical Officers. These are all full-time appointments.
Professor Strath has been working within the Scottish Government since 2002, initially as Principal Pharmaceutical Officer and, since October 2020, as interim Chief Pharmaceutical Officer. She was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 2010 and as an Emeritus Professor at the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen in 2018.
Professor Ellis has been working within the Scottish Government since November 2019, initially as a clinical adviser to the CMO and latterly as Senior Medical Officer for Ageing and Health. In Autumn 2020 he was instrumental in setting up an Older Peoples’ Directorate within the Safety and Quality Improvement Division of Scottish Government. He is a member of the SAGE Social Care Working Group – a subgroup of the wider SAGE secretariat with academic and policy colleagues from across the UK.
Professor Steedman has been working as DCMO on an interim basis since April 2020. She is an Honorary Consultant Physician in Sexual Health and HIV at the Regional Infectious Diseases Unit of the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.
It is the task of the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer to lead on NHS pharmaceutical care and medicines policy in Scotland advising the First Minister and the government, providing leadership for the pharmacy profession.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officers (DCMOs), as we have seen during the last seventeen months, support the Chief Medical Officer, deputising for him as required. The DCMOs also work with the Chief Scientist (Health) and other doctors seconded to the Civil Service from the NHS.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The past year has highlighted just how important health and social care is to the work of the Scottish Government, and I’m delighted to welcome Professor Alison Strath as Chief Pharmaceutical Officer and Professors Graham Ellis and Nicola Steedman as our new Deputy Chief Medical Officers.
“They will all play a key role in ensuring that health and social care advice informs our work across the board and adds value to our pandemic response.”
Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith said: “Scotland’s response to the pandemic has been informed by a strong clinical team, working around the clock and adapting to change in unprecedented circumstances.
“We’re only as strong as the colleagues who support us and I am proud to work with an incredibly dedicated team of clinicians. These permanent appointments ensure we continue the high quality work which started even before the pandemic, but which will prove vital as we recover from coronavirus.”
Professor Strath and Professor Steedman were already in place as interim CPO and DCMO on a temporary basis. They take up their posts with immediate effect following an external recruitment process. Professor Ellis takes up his new post on 6 September 2021, and joins the Scottish Government on secondment from NHS Lanarkshire.