Pictured, left to right: Councillor Julie Bell, Chair of Angus Integration Joint Board; George Bowie, Retired Head of Service; Gail Smith, Chief Officer; Eunice McLennan, Head of Community Health and Care Services; Beth Hamilton, Acting Interim Vice Chair, NHS Tayside; Margo Williamson, Chief Executive, Angus Council.
Gail Smith, Chief Officer of Angus Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP), retired yesterday after a remarkable 42 years of public service.
Gail started her career in healthcare in 1981, qualifying as a registered nurse in 1985. She has worked within health and social care for 42 years, specialising in Coronary Care, Stroke services, General Medicine and Elderly and Community Care. This brings to a close Gail’s public sector career and a lifetime of service to Angus residents.
Following further academic education, including a post graduate diploma and Masters degree in Quality Improvement, Gail was appointed to the post of Service Manager in Elderly Care at Stracathro Hospital. This led to a position as Clinical Services Development Manager before she became Lead Nurse/Deputy General Manager for Angus Community Health Partnerships. In February 2020, Gail was appointed as interim Chief Officer and subsequently to the substantive role in July 2021.
Gail has been a passionate advocate for quality improvement and has championed inclusivity and driven positive change throughout her career, ensuring the highest quality care is delivered.
Councillor Julie Bell, Chair of Angus Integration Joint Board said, “I would like to thank Gail for her public service for the past 42 years with her unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional care, with people at her heart.
“Since 2020, Gail has been a hugely influential and effective Chief Officer in Angus Health and Social Care Partnership and has shown outstanding leadership throughout one of the most challenging periods of the health and social care arena. She has led us through the COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing recovery with compassion and care and it has been an honour to work with her.
“Gail’s insight, integrity, passion and sound judgement will be missed across Angus Health and Social Care Partnership and our partner agencies and we wish her the very best for the future.”
Gail said, “It has been an honour and a privilege to be Chief Officer of Angus Health and Social Care Partnership. Throughout my career I have always tried to stay true to my values and put people at the heart of everything that I do.
“I am so proud to have worked with so many highly skilled and compassionate people and it has been inspiring to witness the difference they have made, and continue to make, to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. Their commitment and inspiration have made my job so much easier. I want to offer a massive thank you to everyone for the most amazing 42 years in Angus.
“There are so many highlights from my time in AHSCP but a few that come to mind are the work we have achieved with further developing the Angus Care Model, which is focused on supporting people to live independently in their own homes for as long as it is safe to do so.
“I am also particularly proud of our commitment to further develop and deliver the highest possible mental health and wellbeing care and support the people of Angus, in partnership with all our key stakeholders, particularly in light of the rising need.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was an extraordinary experience for all those working in health and social care and our population. In addition, the aftermath from Storms Arwin and Babet, and the recovery from these will continue to challenge us.
“While I am looking forward to having more time to spend with my family, in particular, my three grandchildren, the relationships with my colleagues and friends in Angus HSCP and partner agencies will always have a special place in my heart.”
Paying tribute to Gail’s tenure as Chief Officer, Lorna Birse-Stewart, Chair of NHS Tayside said, “Gail has made an immense contribution to health services in Tayside.
“Her work, vision and leadership have certainly set Angus HSCP in very good stead over the years and she has pursued everything with an unwavering professionalism, and passion that always shines through.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank Gail for her commitment, vision and leadership, especially as Chief Officer of Angus HSCP. She should be immensely proud of what she has achieved throughout her career, we are certainly very proud of her.
“On behalf of the Board of NHS Tayside, I wish Gail and her family all best wishes in her retirement.”