THE new chief officer for Argyll and Bute's Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) has pledged to aim to deliver the best services for residents.

Joanna MacDonald was recently selected for the post, succeeding Christina West at the HSCP, which is operated by Argyll and Bute Council and NHS Highland.

She was previously director of social care for NHS Highland within the Highland Council area - but before that, was a service manager in adult services in Argyll and Bute.

And the new post, which she was selected for after a rigorous recruitment and selection process, is an exciting prospect for Joanna.

She said: “I was really pleased to be appointed as Chief Officer for the Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership.

“I started in post in September and in the few weeks I have been here I have already been very impressed by the dedication of HSCP staff and our partner organisations and the high standard of services they provide for the people of Argyll and Bute.

“They are working tirelessly every day in our hospitals, residential homes and local communities to provide the best quality care to adults and children in need of our care and support.

“Having previously worked as a Service Manager for Argyll and Bute Council I know that Argyll and Bute is an amazing place to live and work.

"But I am also well aware of the challenges involved in delivering health and social care services in such a remote and rural area.

“In addition to these challenges we are also facing significant financial pressures. This was outlined at our Integration Joint Board meeting on September 26 where it was highlighted that we are currently facing a projected overspend of £4.2m for this financial year.

“Our goal is to continue to deliver the best health and social care services for the people living and working in Argyll and Bute.

"At the same time we must tackle our financial challenges and this will be one of the main priorities for the Health and Social Care Partnership’s Senior Leadership Team over the coming months.

“Finally, I would like to say that I am looking forward to working with staff, the public, stakeholders and elected members in the months and years ahead to make sure that we can continue to make a real positive difference to the lives of the people in Argyll and Bute.”