Falkirk health and social care boss Patricia Cassidy to retire

The woman who led Falkirk’s health and social care teams through the coronavirus pandemic has been praised for her “tenacity and leadership” as she retires from the role.
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Patricia Cassidy was the first chief officer of Falkirk Health & Social Care Partnership (HSCP), which was established to bring services run by the NHS and Falkirk Council together.

At her final council meeting, members from all parties paid tribute to the work she has done over the last eight years.

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As leader of the Integration Joint Board (IJB), Ms Cassidy was at the helm throughout the coronavirus pandemic and councillors highlighted how she had been prepared to put on gloves and an apron to work on the frontline if needed.

Patricia Cassidy, head of Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership. Picture: Lisa Evans / Falkirk Council.Patricia Cassidy, head of Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership. Picture: Lisa Evans / Falkirk Council.
Patricia Cassidy, head of Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership. Picture: Lisa Evans / Falkirk Council.

Councillor Fiona Collie, who has worked closely with Ms Cassidy for the past seven years, praised her colleague’s “leadership, resilience, and tenacity – sometimes you might call it stubbornness”, saying her goal was always to make sure that Falkirk citizens had the best services possible.

“Patricia has been a warrior for the most vulnerable citizens in this area and I want to thank her,” she said.

Provost Robert Bissett said: “Patricia has led the Health and Social Care Partnership through some very challenging times.

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“She provided clear leadership for both the partnership and the council during the Covid-19 pandemic and was even ready to put on an apron and go out and deliver home care if needed.”

The leader of Falkirk Council, Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, praised Ms Cassidy’s drive “for whole system change” and said Falkirk had benefited greatly from her wide-ranging experience.

She said: “Her time with Falkirk and the IJB has not been plain sailing and not without its challenges.

“I know she has experienced many frustrations throughout the years. However, her tenacity and dedication to make sure we have the best possible integrated service has remained strong.

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“While it may have wavered on a few occasions, she has kept fighting on.”

She said that Ms Cassidy’s leadership through Covid had been exemplary and she was “leaving us in the best possible position” with a solid management team now in post.

Ms Cassidy trained as a nurse in 1984 and her career took in various posts including a lecturer, a senior project manager with NHS Lanarkshire and acting director of culture, education and communities with Aberdeen City Council.

In 2015 she joined Falkirk Council as the chief officer of the newly established Integration Joint Board, which oversees the work of Falkirk HSCP.

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The new venture brought together council and NHS services and Ms Cassidy, members heard, played a crucial role in establishing a wide range of community-based services across Falkirk district.

Responding to the comments, Ms Cassidy said simply: “It’s been a privilege, thank you.”