Name: Tim Davison

Age: 36

Job: Chief executive, Greater Glasgow Community and Mental Health trust.

Dimensions of role: The trust provides a wide range of mental health, community and learning disability services to a core population of 900,000 people from over 100 hospital and community sites. It employs almost 6,000 staff and received income of pounds 152m in 1997-98.

Salary: pounds 82,000

Hours worked: 50+

Background

1992-94: Unit general manager, community and mental health unit, Greater Glasgow health board.

1991-92: Unit general manager, mental health unit, Greater Glasgow health board.

1990-91: Unit sector manager, mental health unit, Greater Glasgow health board.

1988-90: Hospital administrator, Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

1986-88: Patient services manager, Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

1984-86: General services manager, Stirling Royal Infirmary.

1983-84: National management trainee, NHS in Scotland.

Qualifications: BA (Hons, first class) history Stirling University (1979- 83); MBA (distinction) Glasgow University (1988-91); Master of Public Health, Glasgow University (1995-97)

Management training: Member of the Institute of Health Services Management; diploma in health services management.

Taking positive steps north of the border Tim Davison believes that the Scottish white paper, Designed to Care, gives 'clarity, consistency and certainty' to the future structure of mental health services north of the border. Unlike its English counterpart, The New NHS, the Scottish white paper places all mental health services within new primary care trusts, along with primary care and community health services.

'This will give mental health services a very high profile and they will become much more community -oriented,' says Mr Davison, who is chief executive of the Greater Glasgow Community and Mental Health trust.

'It is a positive move.'

In his eight years working in mental health in Greater Glasgow, Mr Davison has moved from a post as sector manager to take the helm of the combined trust. The lion's share, 50 per cent, of the trust's annual income of over pounds 150m, is spent on mental health services, with 35 per cent going on community health and the rest on learning disabilities.

The combined trust works really well, he says. 'Our health centres accommodate almost half the GPs in Glasgow, which means we have been able to develop community mental health teams in or near those centres. This has resulted in much closer working with primary healthcare teams.'

Two large hospitals with more than 1,300 beds have been closed, and a third will be closed this year. In their place, seven-days-a-week resource centres and 24-hour community psychiatric nursing domiciliary support services have been developed. User involvement has been greatly enhanced and better working relationships have been forged with social services, housing and planning departments in the six local authorities the trust deals with.

'But there are still thousands of things we want to do better,' he adds. 'Mental health services management needs a series of visionary leaders - clinicians, commissioners, providers, managers - who, together, can move things forward.'