Lynne McNiven has been appointed as the Director of Public Health for NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

She has been acting as Joint Interim Director of Public health since 2017, sharing the role with Dr Joy Tomlinson, who will become the new Director of Public Health for NHS Fife.

Lynne said: “I am absolutely delighted to be appointed as Director of Public Health and continuing to work with our fantastic Public health team and partners within Ayrshire.

“Improving health and reducing inequalities have been a long held passion and I am delighted to be given the opportunity to continue to lead the Public Health response to COVID-19 and to work towards our vision of improved life expectancy and population health through a strong health improvement focus.”

Lynne began her career as a staff nurse in NHS Ayrshire & Arran and completed her midwifery training in the late 1980s. She quickly established a passion for Public Health and, on completing her Faculty of Public Health Specialty Registrar training at the East Midlands Deanery, has worked in Public Health since 2001, having held posts in East Midlands, NHS Lincolnshire and Nottingham City Council.

Lynne returned to Scotland and NHS Ayrshire & Arran in 2013, and has held the role of Children’s Consultant in Public Health/Child Health Commissioner, as well as her more recent role as Interim Director of Public Health.

John Burns, Chief Executive of NHS Ayrshire & Arran said: “I am delighted Lynne has been successful in securing this post. She will take forward NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s strategic ambition to improve health outcomes by reducing health inequalities, as well as ensuring Public Health and Health Improvement are integral to the reform and development of our services.

“Lynne has led our response to COVID-19 through establishing our testing programmes. She will continue to lead the testing programmes, as well as take forward our vaccination transformation programme, which will provide further protection to our population through mass vaccination.

“Lynne will continue to develop our strategic partnerships with our Community Planning Partnerships, Local Authorities and Care Home sector as we seek to improve health for all through an integrated model of health and care within Ayrshire as part of our Caring for Ayrshire blueprint. Lynne’s experience as Child Health Commissioner will also help us to progress our commitments to improving health outcomes for future generations.”

“Public Health is the glue which binds our services and working locally, regionally and nationally the opportunity to improve health and wellbeing has never been greater.

“I look forward to working closely with my public health colleagues and in collaboration with our partners in the public and third sectors to address a range of contributing factors which impact on the health of individuals and the communities in which they live.”