THE chief officer of the West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership is retiring after a 42-year career in the public sector.

Keith Redpath will leave on July 31 having worked in West Dunbartonshire since the formation of the original Community Health Partnership in 2005.

The 57-year-old was a driving force in establishing the Community Health and Care Partnership (CHCP) in 2010, which brought together social work and community health services in West Dunbartonshire.

He was then appointed the first chief officer of the new Health and Social Care Partnership in July 2015.

Mr Redpath was also elected by his colleagues to chair the new national group, Chief Officers Health and Social Care Scotland, for its first two years of operation. He said: “I can honestly say it’s been a real honour and privilege to work for the HSCP and my time in West Dunbartonshire has been both happy and challenging, but always rewarding.

“I must thank my senior staff who have supported me and helped to build West Dunbartonshire HSCP to deliver the strong health and social care services our residents receive today.

“I would also like to thank all of my colleagues across the council, the health board and the HSCP for their support and friendship, and I wish them every success in the future.”

Mr Redpath has, however, presided over a period of recent turmoil at the HSPC.

In November, West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership members gave the green light to almost £1m of healthcare savings, spelling cuts to adult care, school nursing provision, physios, occupational therapists, along with addiction and mental health services in the region. At the time Mr Redpath labelled the cuts the “least unacceptable options” but unions pledged to fight back against the austerity measures.

Councillor Gail Casey, West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership chairman, said: “In my role as chairman, I have worked closely with Keith over the years and have always been impressed with his vision and passion for delivering excellent health and care services. He has overseen the building of the Vale Centre for Health and Care, giving residents first-class health and social care in a new £20million centre. I would like to thank Keith for his support and assistance and take this opportunity to wish him a healthy, happy retirement.”

Joyce White, chief executive of West Dunbartonshire Council, said: “Keith has been a valued member of the council’s senior management team and during his time he has driven major improvements to the delivery of health and social care across West Dunbartonshire. At all times he has shown great commitment to the health and wellbeing of our residents.

“The delivery of the new health and care centre in Alexandria, and his work to develop the new elderly care homes in both Dumbarton and Clydebank along with the new health quarter in Queen’s Quay are evidence of this.

“I would like to take this opportunity to put on record my personal thanks for the support he has given me over the five years.”

Robert Calderwood, chief executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, added: “Keith has made a major contribution to health and social care developments over a long and distinguished career. His skills and experience will be greatly missed and I wish him a long and happy retirement.”