Meet the Board Members

Tom Steele

Tom Steele, Chair

Tom Steele was appointed as Chair of the Scottish Ambulance Service Board on 1 June 2018. From 2014 until this appointment, he served as a Non-Executive Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee at NHS Lanarkshire and as a member of the South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board. Currently Tom also co-chairs the National Health and Social Care Innovation Design Authority Board and chairs the National Group for Volunteering in NHS Scotland. Previously he spent his career in management consultancy with KPMG and then in the IT industry, where for 20 years he held various senior executive positions with Fujitsu UK. Tom has wide leadership and corporate governance experience of large, complex organisations.

Tom was reappointed for a further four years from 1 June 2022 to 31 May 2026.

Michael Dickson OBE, Chief Executive

Michael Dickson was appointed as Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service from 1 July 2023.

Michael was Chair of NHS Shetland from January 2020 and also took on interim Chief Executive of NHS Orkney later that same year. He was awarded an OBE in the 2023 New Year Honours in recognition of his services to healthcare in his role as Chief Executive during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is a qualified nurse and has worked in both the NHS and independent sectors, holding Director of Nursing positions in both. Before joining NHS Shetland, he worked as a Director at the NHS England Improvement programme ‘Getting it Right First Time’ leading the support to clinicians addressing unwarranted variation in care.

Stuart Currie, Non Executive Director

Stuart Currie has spent over 12 years in local government as an elected councillor in East Lothian serving in a variety of roles with responsibility for housing, community safety and, until recently, as a member of the East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership’s Integrated Joint Board. This experience brings a wide range of skills and knowledge of both local government and the public sector. Latterly he has served at national level as the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) Interim Spokesperson for Health and Social Care with responsibility for Health and Social Care Integration, Mental Health and Public Health giving him a detailed working knowledge of Integration across the entire public, private and independent sector. In addition he brings wide ranging experience of working with a variety of partners and stakeholders, chairing and participating in policy development boards and representing local government at a number of public facing events and forums to further develop key relationships.

Stuart’s second term of appointment is for four years and runs from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2027.

Elizabeth Humphreys, Non Executive Director and Whistleblowing Champion

Elizabeth Humphreys has over 30 years of leadership experience in the public and third sectors in the areas of justice; marine management; culture; and health and social care. She has extensive board-level strategic, policy and governance experience, with particular expertise in assurance and risk management; championing equality and diversity; leading change; and business resilience. She is currently a non-executive director and the Whistleblowing Champion for the Scottish Ambulance Service and Public Health Scotland. She is also Vice-Chair of Independent Living Fund Scotland and a member of the Police Investigations and Review Commission Audit and Accountability Committee. Her voluntary roles include: Chair of Drake Music Scotland; and Trustee and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for the Scottish Association for Mental Health.

Elizabeth is a member of the Service’s Clinical Governance Committee and Remuneration Committee.

Elizabeth’s appointment is for four years and runs from 1 February 2020 to 31 January 2024.

John McGuigan, Non Executive Director

John McGuigan joined Standard Life in 2013 as Managing Director of Customer Service. Shortly after joining, he assumed responsibility for the Company’s businesses in Ireland and Germany. In 2018, at the point Standard Life was acquired by The Phoenix Group, John became the Customer Director for the Group until he retired in 2022. Prior to joining Standard Life, John worked for 7 years at Telefonica with his last appointment being Managing Director for Sales and Customer Service in Telefonica Germany. He is an executive coach with Merryck & Co and the Chair of Scottish Financial Enterprise and the Chair of Scottish Rugby Limited.

John is a member a member of the Service’s Audit Committee and Staff Governance Committee.

John’s appointment is for four years and runs from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2025.

Cecil Meiklejohn, Non Executive Director

Cecil Meiklejohn has spent over 25 years working within local government in a variety of roles, including as a voluntary sector partner and latterly as an elected councillor which enables her to bring a broad range of skills and knowledge, particularly of the public sector. In her elected capacity she is currently the Leader of Falkirk Council, Chair of the Community Planning Partnership and a member of the Integrated Joint Board. Her previous positions as a non executive director with the Care Inspectorate and in her current elected role, includes leading on areas such as Strategic Planning and working with a broad range of partners, through Community Planning Partnership and COSLA, giving her a working knowledge of the Health and Local and National Government agendas which is key at this time to the further integration of Health and Social Care.

Cecil is a member of the Service’s Staff Governance Committee and Remuneration Committee.

Cecil’s second term of appointment is for four years and runs from 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2024.

Irene Oldfather, Non Executive Director and Vice Chair

Irene Oldfather joined the Board in April 2018 and brings a range of Third Sector, parliamentary and Health and Social Care experience. She is currently Director with the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland and brings a strong background in citizen participation and engagement. As a member of Scottish Parliament (1999 – 2011), Irene set up and chaired the Cross Party Group on Alzheimer’s and Dementia which drafted and agreed the Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers. She is very committed to human rights based approaches to health and social care and sees this as fundamental to improving service design.

Irene`s work also extended to Europe where she was chair of European Patients’ Academy (EUPATI) UK National Liaison Team (NLT), as well as representing Scotland's third sector on the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). As an MSP Irene chaired the European and External Relations Committee for most of her 12 year term. She also served as Chair of the National Dementia Carers Action Network for four years. Irene was educated at Strathclyde University, where she obtained an Honours degree in Politics and a post graduate MSc by Research.

Irene was appointed as Vice Chair from 1 July 2019 and is a member of the Service’s Audit Committee and Clinical Governance Committee.

Irene’s second term of appointment is for four years and runs from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2026.

Stevie Gilroy in front of an ambulance at sunset

Steven Gilroy, Employee Director

Steven Gilroy joined the Service as a part time Ambulance Care Assistant in September 1991 at Cumnock Ambulance Station. He progressed through the Service, becoming an Ambulance Technician (1996) and then a Paramedic (1998). During his time as a Paramedic, Steven has worked on Helimed 5 based at the SECC in Glasgow, and as a PRU operative. Steven is also a longstanding member of UNISON and became a Shop Steward in 2002. During this time he filled several roles within the union eventually becoming Convenor, a role he has held for more than 10 years. He is a firm believer in good partnership working. In the role of Employee Director, Steven is the Joint Chair of the National Partnership Forum, a member of the Staff Governance Committee, Remuneration Committee and Trustee of the Benevolent Fund.

Steven was appointed Employee Director from 1 November 2023.

Carol Sinclair, Non Executive Director

Carol Sinclair is a highly experienced senior leader and manager with significant experience in leading and overseeing of the design and delivery of data and digital solutions for the NHS in Scotland. Following retirement from her role as a Chief Officer in Public Health Scotland in summer 2022, she has taken up a part-time role as Strategic Data Adviser to the Digital Health and Care Directorate in the Scottish Government and chairs the national Health & Social Care Data Board.

Carol is the Chair of the Service’s Audit Committee and member of the Clinical Governance Committee. She also serves as a Trustee on Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.

Carol’s second term of appointment is for four years and runs from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2027.

Madeline Smith, Non Executive Director

Madeline Smith is a chartered engineer with experience from the private, public and academic sectors. She brings expertise in strategy, innovation and evaluation. Madeline works part time for the Glasgow School of Art, as Head of Strategy in the Innovation School where she leads the development and delivery of a portfolio of programmes using design to build the innovative capacity of businesses, public sector organisations and communities.

Madeline also sits on the Board of a number of triple helix collaborations including the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and the Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre. She also served as a non executive Board member and Vice Chair of NHS 24 until the end of her term in 2021.

Madeline is the Chair of the Service’s Staff Governance Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.

Madeline’s second term of appointment is for four years and runs from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2026

Dr Francis Tierney, Non Executive Director

Dr Francis Tierney brings to the Board his experience as a GP, providing frontline healthcare services both in a community and an acute hospital setting in a very remote and rural location. He graduated from Sheffield University Medical School in 1984 and became a junior doctor in Inverness. In 1991 he started a GP partnership based in Benbecula and was also a GP Anaesthetist and Medical Officer to the island’s community hospital. After 31 years in the NHS, Francis retired from his GP partnership. In addition to his work as a Non Executive Director of the Service, he is currently a GP appraiser and doing some voluntary work.

Francis is Chair of the Service’s Remuneration Committee and a member of the Clinical Governance Committee.

Francis’ second term of appointment runs from 4 January 2020 - 3 January 2024.

Julie Carter, Director of Finance, Logistics and Strategy

Julie Carter is a qualified accountant and worked within the NHS in Glasgow for over 20 years. Before joining the Service in 2019, she was employed by the NHS National Waiting Times Centre Board from 2006 and prior to this she worked as the Deputy Director of Finance in North Glasgow. During her career Julie has been involved in numerous service redesigns and new developments. This has included the creation of the West of Scotland Regional Heart and Lung Centre, the development and implementation of the Beardmore Hotel and Conference Centre as an NHS and public sector conference and training facility and the ongoing expansions at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital including the Board’s role in leading the innovation fund on behalf of NHS Scotland. Julie is now responsible for delivering the financial strategy of the Board and she also has responsibility for eHealth, Procurement, Strategic Planning and Estates services within the Service.

Dr Jim Ward, Medical Director

Jim Ward was appointed as Medical Director of the Scottish Ambulance Service in January 2014. Jim graduated from Glasgow University in 1987 and trained as a GP, entering partnership in Easterhouse in 1991 where he developed services tackling substance misuse and diabetes. In 1996 he relocated to Greenock where he continued to work as a GP until 2009. His interests at that time included medical education and clinical governance and he was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of GPs in 2005 in recognition of this work. Following three years as Clinical Director of Inverclyde CHP he moved to take on the role of Medical Director of NHS Western Isles in 2009. His achievements in the Western Isles include leading areas of service improvement and redesign, particularly in acute care and eHealth.

Other members of the Executive Directors Group

(normally in attendance at Board meetings)

  • Avril Keen, Director of Workforce
  • Emma Stirling, Director of Care Quality and Professional Development
  • Paul Bassett, Chief Operating Officer/Deputy Chief Executive
  • Stephen Massetti, Director, National Operations
  • David Robertson, Regional Director, West
  • Milne Weir, Regional Director, North
  • Kenny Freeburn, Regional Director East