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 Steering Group 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.

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive

Pauline Howie began her career with CSL Group in London, working mainly with the Health and Local Government Sectors. Having qualified as an accountant in 1990, winning the Richard Emmott Memorial Prize for Best Performance in the Case Study Paper, she returned to Scotland and joined the NHS in Glasgow as Project Accountant with the Glasgow Royal Infirmary Unit. She joined the South Glasgow Unit in 1992 as Deputy Director of Finance and helped in its NHS Trust formation. In 1996 she was seconded to the Scottish Executive Health Department as Head of Trust Finance, and later that year joined the State Hospitals Board for Scotland as Finance and Planning Director. Pauline joined the Scottish Ambulance Service as Finance Director in March 2000, also taking responsibility for Information and Communications Technology, Fleet Services, Procurement, Planning and Performance management and Risk Management. In 2006 she took on the role of Chief Operating Officer, becoming Acting Chief Executive in May 2008 and was appointed Chief Executive in September 2009. She is passionate about developing the Service further to deliver person centered, world class services, and to develop better joined up sustainable care as set out in the Service Strategy “Towards 2020: taking Care to the Patient”. Pauline was awarded an OBE in the 2015 New Year’s honours for her services to Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS Scotland.

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 appointment is for four years and runs from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2023.

Elizabeth Humphreys, Non Executive 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's appointment 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. 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. John is also the Deputy Chair of Scottish Financial Enterprise which represents Financial Services in Scotland.

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

Cecil Meiklejohn, Non Executive Director

Mrs Cecil Meiklejohn has spent over 20 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 chairs Falkirk Council’s Scrutiny Committee. Her elected role, as well as being a non-executive member of the Care Inspectorate, includes participation in Strategic Planning and working with partners, through Community Planning Partnership and COSLA, giving her a working knowledge of the Health and Local Government agendas which is key at this time to the integration of Health and Social Care.

Cecil's 2nd term appointment runs from 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2024

Irene Oldfather, Non Executive Director and Vice Chair

Irene Oldfather brings to the Board a range of Third Sector, parliamentary and Health and Social Care experience. She is currently Director with the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland where her thematic areas of interest include Dementia Carer Voices, Medicines, Our Voice, Neurological Conditions, Sensory Impairment, and Transforming Care After Treatment programmes. As a Member of the Scottish Parliament, 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. Irene`s work also extends to Europe where she is currently 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). 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 of the Board from 1 July 2019.

Irene's appointment is for four years and runs from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2022.

John Riggins, Employee Director

John joined the Service as an Ambulance Care Assistant in 1992 at Glasgow South Ambulance Station. He progressed through the Service and had operational experience on the Urgent Tier before becoming an Ambulance Technician and then a Paramedic. He moved to Largs in 2000 and then to Millport in 2002, taking up the Paramedic Team Leader post. John is also a long standing member of Unite the Union (formerly the Transport and General Workers Union) and became a Shop Steward in 2000. He was Joint Chair of the Scottish Ambulance Service’s South West Partnership Forum for many years and is a firm believer in good partnership working arrangements. In the role of Employee Director, John is the Joint Chair of the National Partnership Forum, a member of the Staff Governance Committee, Remuneration Committee and Trustee of the Benevolent Fund.

Carol Sinclair, Non Executive Director

Carol Sinclair brings her skills to the role that have been developed in over 20 years’ service working in the NHS in Scotland. Her early career as a healthcare scientist was followed by a variety of positions in primary and community care. Carol is currently a senior leader within a large national health body, these experiences allow her to bring a diverse and comprehensive understanding of health and care in Scotland. Her main areas of professional interest are improving the quality and efficiency of our services to ensure the best possible experience and outcomes for the people of Scotland. As a trained advanced quality improvement practitioner, she believes that continuous improvement and innovation are at the heart of successful transformation and she is currently a Commissioner on a UK-wide Commission on mission-led innovation. In her role as a non-executive director for the Scottish Ambulance Service, she will bring vision and ambition alongside robust leadership with the confidence to challenge where needed.

Carol's appointment is for four years and runs from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2023.

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 building complex collaborations, as well as new approaches to community engagement. She works part time for the Glasgow School of Art, as Head of Strategy in the Innovation School where she leads the research and enterprise strategy, as well as the development and delivery of a portfolio of programmes using design to build the innovative capacity of businesses, public sector organisations and communities. She is a Non Executive Director and Vice Chair of the NHS 24 Board.

Dr Francis Tierney, Non Executive Director

Dr Francis Tierney brings to the Board his experience as a GP with over 30 years' service in NHS Scotland. 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 and is now a part time locum GP in the same practice. In addition to his work as a Non Executive Director of the Scottish Ambulance Service, he has taken on new challenges such as becoming a GP appraiser and doing some voluntary work.

Francis 2nd term appointment is from 4 January 2020 to 3 January 2024

Julie Carter, Director of Finance, Logistics and Strategy

Dr Jim Ward, Medical Director

Dr Jim Ward became Medical Director of the Scottish Ambulance Service in January 2014. Dr Ward 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. Outside of Medicine he is a keen musician, playing guitar and violin, and enjoys cycling and golf.

Other members of the Executive Directors Group

(normally in attendance at Board meetings)

  • Avril Keen, Director of Workforce
  • Frances Dodd, Director of Care Quality and Professional Development
  • Paul Bassett, Chief Operating Officer/Deputy Chief Executive
  • Matt Cooper, Director, National Operations
  • David Robertson, Regional Director, West
  • Milne Weir, Regional Director, North
  • Kenny Freeburn, Interim Regional Director East