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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

New Director of Medicine for NES

New Director of Medicine for NES

New Director of Medicine for NES

Dr Emma Watson MBChB, M.Sc.,FRCPath.,FRCPEd. has been appointed to be the next  Director of Medicine at NHS Education for Scotland (NES), from 1 April 2022.

Dr Watson has experience as Deputy Medical Director in NHS Highland and as Chair of the Directors of Medical Education for Scotland. She has extensive experience as a practitioner, academic and educationalist and is a recognised leader in medical education in Scotland, including previous work as a Senior Medical Officer in the Scottish Government Workforce and Strategic Change Directorate.

Following a handover period, Dr Watson will take over from the current post-holder, Professor Stewart Irvine, who retires on 31st March 2022. She will also become an Executive Director member of the NES Board.

NES Chair David Garbutt said:

“I am delighted to welcome Emma to NES. In an outstanding field of candidates, Emma’s breadth and depth of experience shone through. This is a pivotal period for health and social care, and for NES as an organisation, as we support health and social care services to both recover from the pandemic and to take a more integrated approach to care in the future.
“Emma’s insight and ability will be instrumental in helping us rise to these challenges. She will lead nationally on the strategic direction for postgraduate medical education and training, supporting a sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland. In doing so, she will build on the significant contribution of Professor Irvine, who has fulfilled his role with distinction for many years.”


NES Chief Executive Karen Reid said:

“I am looking forward to working closely with Emma in this exciting time. We want to improve the quality of care experienced by citizens across Scotland by ensuring that we have the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time.  Our Director of Medicine role will be central to that agenda, helping us effect sustainable change through workforce development, education and training across the health and social care system.”

Dr Watson is a 2021-22 UK Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and is currently based at the University of North Carolina during her research study.

Dr Watson will be responsible for leading nationally on the strategic direction, development and delivery of postgraduate medical education and training to GMC standards for the medical workforce in NHS Scotland.

Additionally, the post carries UK wide responsibilities for medical recruitment and examination and for liaising with medical colleagues in the four nations. She will also contribute to the development and delivery of a rolling five-year integrated strategic plan that reflects Scottish Government strategic direction and the National Performance Framework and is aligned to workforce demand across health and social care, informed by close working with academia, the Royal Colleges and Scottish Government.


October, 08 2021