The head of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Scotland has been appointed the new chief executive of NHS Scotland.

Caroline Lamb will also become the Scottish Government’s director-general for health and social care.

The appointment was announced alongside news that interim chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith will take up the role on a permanent basis, while Professor Amanda Croft takes over as chief nursing officer.

Ms Lamb, who is expected to take up her post in January, began her career working as a chartered accountant in London before moving to Scotland and taking up management roles in the NHS.

READ MORE: Clinical trials for vaccine developed in West Lothian begin​

She was chief executive of NHS Education for Scotland before joining the Scottish Government last year as director of digital reform and service engagement in the health and social care directorates.

As well as overseeing the Covid-19 vaccination programme across Scotland, she also has responsibility for Test and Protect.

HeraldScotland:

Dr Gregor Smith

Her predecessor Malcolm Wright stood down as NHS Scotland chief executive for health reasons in May and John Connaghan, chief performance officer in NHS Scotland and director of delivery and resilience, took on the role on an interim basis.

Elinor Mitchell, director of community health and social care, was the interim director-general for health and social care.

Dr Smith stepped up from his role as deputy chief medical officer in April when then chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood resigned for flouting coronavirus rules by visiting her second home.

Prof Croft, a former chief executive of NHS Grampian, is expected to start in February, working alongside current chief nursing officer Professor Fiona McQueen who retires in March.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “I want to congratulate Caroline Lamb, Dr Gregor Smith and Professor Amanda Croft on their appointments to these crucial roles.

“All three bring a wealth of experience and I know they will work collaboratively with health and social care staff across the country as we continue to respond to the Covid pandemic, remobilise NHS Scotland and ensure people access the right care, in the right place."

HeraldScotland:

Ms Freeman added: “I also want to extend my personal thanks to Elinor Mitchell and John Connaghan for the leadership they have provided in an interim capacity over the last eight months.

READ MORE: Pfizer jab approved for emergency use in US

“That thanks is extended to Professor Fiona McQueen for everything she has done throughout her career, including the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and for ensuring NHS Scotland has been able to respond to the Covid pandemic.

“The contribution of all three has been invaluable and I wish them well for the future.”