Obstetrician Sir Naren Patel has been appointed chair of the Clinical Standards Board for Scotland, the Scottish equivalent of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.

Sir Naren, who is based at Dundee Teaching Hospitals trust, is past-president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The new board, which comes into being on 1 April, will tackle as one of its first tasks the national priority areas of mental health, cancer and heart disease.

It will liaise with the other public bodies monitoring the NHS in Scotland - the Scottish Health Advisory Committee and the Accounts Commission - and attempt to bridge the gap between good clinical practice and its implementation.

Sir Naren said he wants the Scottish public to be better informed about its health services and intends to publish the board's findings in full.

'In Scotland, we have an opportunity to build a health service based on evidence that the public understands,' he said.