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New Chief Executive for the Mental Welfare Commission

Publication date: 19 May, 2020

Julie Paterson has been appointed chief executive of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, and will take up the position on 3 August, 2020.

Julie is currently divisional general manager (Fifewide division) at Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, and has had a career in social work in the region.

Julie qualified as a social worker/mental health officer. Her career has demonstrated leadership and transformation across a diverse range of health and social work/social care services including mental health, learning disability, psychology and addiction services. 

Julie had a two year secondment to the Mental Welfare Commission in 2007 before returning to Fife Council. She has been in her current post for five years.

Sandy Riddell, chair of the Mental Welfare Commission, said:

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Julie to this post. She brings many years’ experience across a range of senior roles at Fife Council, and since 2015 has been in a key post at Fife Health and Social Care Partnership.
“Positive joint working with health and social services is a key part of the Commission’s business. Julie’s experience - combined with her skills in leadership, strategic planning and relationship management - will be a huge bonus for the Commission.”

Clare Haughey, minister for mental health, Scottish Government, said:

        'I'd like to offer warm congratulations to Julie on the announcement of her new role. I know she is joining an organisation that's doing tremendously important work in protecting and promoting the rights of people living with mental illnesses and learning disabilities in Scotland. Given the current situation and the potential impact on mental health in Scotland, I expect that the Commission's work will assume even greater importance, and I'm sure that Julie's considerable experience and leadership skills will prove to be invaluable."

Julie Patterson said:

‘I spent two years on secondment to the Mental Welfare Commission in 2007 and I am very aware of the tremendous work undertaken to safeguard and promote the rights of people with mental illness, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions. 
“I feel privileged to now be appointed to lead the Commission and very much look forward to working with the Board, staff and stakeholders at this very important time of legislative review.” 

Note to editors
Julie follows Colin McKay as chief executive of the Commission. Colin left the organisation in March 2020 after six years in post to take on the roles of adviser to the review of the Mental Health Act and professor at Edinburgh Napier University.