The independent facilitator involved in the implementation of the Ritchie report has stood down.

Mr David Noble cited health reasons as the factor in his decision to relinquish the post.

David, who was the chief executive of the former Skye and Lochalsh District Council for 21 years, said: “I very much regret having to step down from the work. Unfortunately, it is absolutely unavoidable because of health reasons.”

Mr Noble was unanimously chosen to be the independent facilitator by members of the campaign group NHS-SOS Skye in June this year. Since then he has been instrumental in setting up the framework and processes necessary in order to put the Ritchie Review recommendations into practice.

He said: “I wish everyone involved success for the future, and I shall be watching the project progress with keen interest.”

David Park, NHS Highland’s chief officer for the Highland Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “On behalf of NHS Highland, I’d like to thank David for his contribution and commitment in moving forward the redesign work in Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross. He has played a vital role in coordinating and facilitating the multi-agency engagement with the local community and represented community groups. We would very much like to pass on our thanks as well as our best wishes for the future.

“We will now begin the process of identifying a new facilitator to take the work forward.”