GERRY Marr, the chief executive of NHS Tayside, today announced his retirement after a long and distinguished career spanning more than 40 years in healthcare.
Mr Marr began his career as a nurse in the mental health sector before moving to America where he worked in trauma and acute care. He returned to Scotland to work at Glasgow’s Southern General before becoming head of patient services for Greater Glasgow.
He was then promoted to unit general manager for children’s and maternity services in Glasgow and took Yorkhill Hospital for children into trust status in the early 90s.
Mr Marr was then appointed director of human resources at the Scottish Executive and then director of performance and planning for the NHS in Scotland. He moved to Tayside in 2001 to become chief executive of the Tayside University Hospitals NHS Trust, then chief operating officer for acute and primary services in Tayside before taking up the post of chief executive of NHS Tayside in February 2011.
Mr Marr, said today: “I first came to Dundee in 2001 at a time when there were many questions hanging over the future delivery of health services in Tayside. From day one it was obvious to me that NHS Tayside had staff with professionalism and a commitment to delivering quality services for their patients. I came with an ambition to transform those services for patients, their families and carers and my task was made simpler by that dedication which was so evident from the beginning.”
He continued: ““I have a nursing background and I know how important it is for people to have trust in those looking after either their own health or that of their loved ones. That’s why the first and biggest challenge we faced when I came to Tayside was restoring public confidence in how local health services were run.
“Over the past decade I have been privileged to work with dedicated and skilled individuals and teams who are ensuring that we are constantly focused on making patient experiences better and today I pay tribute to their exceptional effort and commitment to the NHS here in Tayside.”
Mr Marr added: “I am immensely proud of all that NHS Tayside has achieved over the past few years but I am even prouder of the fact that, thanks to the dedication of all staff at all levels, the people of Tayside have health services they can have confidence in.”
Sandy Watson, the chairman of NHS Tayside, paid tribute to Mr Marr. He said: “Over the past 12 years, Gerry Marr has played a pivotal role in transforming health services here in Tayside.
“He has also been an inspirational leader for this organisation who has an empathy and understanding for the hard work that staff take on day in, day out. I believe that it is his background as a nurse, a job he did for many years with some of the most vulnerable patients, that gives him his inimitable insight into health services, what patients need when they come into hospital and how staff can really make a difference.
“He has made an outstanding contribution to the NHS not just in Tayside but right across Scotland and through his international work he has undoubtedly put NHS Tayside on the global stage. The Board of NHS Tayside has much to thank him for. We wish him, his wife and family well for the future.”
Mr Marr will retire from NHS Tayside on 1 December 2013 and will be moving to Australia with his wife Carrie who is taking up an appointment as an Executive Director with the Western Sydney Local Health District. She is currently director of the Tayside Centre for Organisational Effectiveness at NHS Tayside.
Alex Neil, the Scottish Health Secretary, said: “I would like to wish Gerry and Carrie Marr good luck for the future, and thank them for the considerable influence they have had on helping to shape both NHS Tayside, and NHS Scotland. Their input into the improvement of the health service in Scotland will be missed.
“Their move to Australia once again shows how Scotland is leading the way in patient safety, and how valuable Scottish expertise is in influencing and improving healthcare across the globe.”