Mark Richards

Associate Chief Nursing Officer & Chair of SLWG on NHSS Mental Health Estates

Scottish Government - Mental Health and Social Care Directorate


Mark joined the NHS in 1988, and qualified as a Registered Mental Health Nurse in 1991. He graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University with a BSc in forensic mental health nursing 2001, and has completed post graduate studies in primary care at the University of Glasgow. He has also trained as a business coach. His early clinical career was spent in forensic mental health services in Perth and Glasgow, and he has held professional leadership and managerial roles in mental health, addictions, learning disability and prison healthcare services. Between 2016 and 2022 he was the Director of Nursing and Operations/Deputy Chief Executive at the State Hospitals Board for Scotland, and, until recently, he was the vice chair of Scotland’s Executive Nurse Director’s group.  He is currently the Associate Chief Nursing Officer at Scottish Government, working between the Mental Health and the Chief Nursing Officer’s Directorates, with his work focused on areas such as workforce planning and development, and the quality and safety of mental health services.

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