Scottish Health Council Committee

As a Committee of the Board of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, the Scottish Health Council produces a summary report of its meetings for the Board.

These reports are available to download from the Link opens in a new windowHealthcare Improvement Scotland website.

Chair: Pam Whittle, CBE

Pam Whittle

Pam originally trained as a teacher but moved into the NHS as Chief Officer of a Community Health Council before moving to a Regional Health Authority and subsequently to the Department of Health in England.  Pam relocated to Scotland in 2001 to take up an appointment as Director of Public Health and Health Improvement at the Scottish Government.  In 2009 Pam was awarded a CBE for her services to public health in Scotland.

Since retiring from the Civil Service, Pam has continued to be involved in a wide range of activities. In addition to her role as Chair of the Scottish Health Council, she is also a non-executive member of Healthcare Improvement Scotland. Pam is a passionate gardener and a former President of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, an organization in which she continues to be very active.


Tel: 0141 225 6899 (PA)


George Black, CBE

George BlackGeorge retired in 2014 from his role as Chief Executive of Glasgow City Council which he held since 2003, having previously been the Council’s Director of Financial Services for four years.

He brings to the Board senior level experience of both strategic and operational management of a wide range of public services, including adult care and children’s services. He also brings practical experience of joint working across the public and private sectors, complex change management initiatives, conflict resolution and corporate governance.

John Glennie, OBE

John GlennieJohn was the Interim Chief Executive for Healthcare Improvement Scotland from 2013-2014 and also NHS Borders Chief Executive 2003-2009.

He was Chief Executive of Borders General Hospital NHS Trust from 1995-2003, and before that Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance of Central Manchester Healthcare NHS Trust.

John is a qualified accountant.

Kim Schmulian LLB,LLM,DipLP,NP,MCIArb

Kim is a solicitor and mediator who has worked across the private, public regulatory and voluntary sectors in her career. Most recently she acted as Company Solicitor for a Scottish Dental Group where she worked to raise awareness of the value of patient engagement in service delivery across the Group, reflecting on patient concerns and implementing changes as a result. She also undertakes mediation and training on a consultancy basis and works as a sessional family mediator for Relationships Scotland in Glasgow. Recently, Kim was appointed a Lay Examiner by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons UK. Kim is a member of the Law Society of Scotland and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK.

Elizabeth Cuthbertson

Elizabeth brings over 10 years’ experience in research, consultation and stakeholder management across the public, private and third sectors. Having managed large scale research and consultation programmes across Scotland - involving a diverse range of service users and stakeholders - she brings to the Committee an ability to think critically, listen to others and convey multiple perspectives, while also challenging performance or proposals when necessary. She is committed to ensuring that evidence is central to decision making; supporting continuous improvement, promoting innovation and increasing community capacity. Elizabeth currently works full time for Wheatley Group - Scotland's largest housing, care and property management company. She was previously Secretary for the Market Research Society in Scotland on a voluntary basis, maximising networking opportunities and helping to highlight best practice in order to raise awareness of the high quality market and social research undertaken in Scotland.

Irene Oldfather

Irene is Director at the ALLIANCE leading on Dementia Carer Voices, Active Ageing, Care Opinion and Prescription for Excellence programmes. She is also The ALLIANCE Strategic Lead on the National Conversation and Our Voice initiatives. She is a member of the Scottish Government Commitment 11/QESDC Implementation & Monitoring Group. 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 the European Patients’ Academy on Therapeutic Innovation (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 actively campaigns on the rights of older people and was the first ever Member of the Scottish Parliament to be nominated and shortlisted for Dod’s 2009 UK Parliamentary Award for Services to Older People. Irene was educated at Strathclyde University, where she obtained an honours degree in politics and a postgraduate MSc by research.

Marianne Wong

For 23 years Marianne worked within a local authority in the health and fitness field. Her work as a Health and Fitness Officer involved managing and developing specialised classes for people suffering from various medical conditions. Since retiring she has taken on a role as a ‘Living Well Facilitator’ for Scotland, which involves presenting and delivering ‘Living Well with the Impact of Cancer’ courses to people diagnosed with cancer. Marianne also facilitates ‘Safe Sessions’ for children aged 6-16 years in ethnic minority community groups. In her spare time she demonstrates and teaches Tai Chi ‘Qi Gong’ to surrounding hospices and elderly organisations. This gives Marianne a lot of personal satisfaction, enjoyment and huge rewards by helping to change people’s lifestyle and increase their wellbeing. Since surviving the 2004 Tsunami and being part of the rescue team in Thailand, Marianne has continued to travel to third world countries and has carried out voluntary work at Malindi District Hospital and at the Mama Anakuja Children’s Home in Malindi, Kenya. In recognition of her extensive charity work Marianne was invited to meet the Queen at an annual garden party and during a recent visit to Kenya was awarded a certificate of excellence by the Ministry of Public Health.

Alison Cox MBE

Alison started her working life as a chartered physiotherapist, but was forced to rethink her career when she sustained a significant back injury meaning she had to leave clinical work for two years. During that time Alison trained as a teacher and decided to progress her teaching experience rather than returning to physiotherapy following her recovery. She has been involved in education in a range of roles including lecturing, project co-ordination and management ever since. Alison was then asked by Scottish Ministers to establish the BRITE Initiative in 2001 – with a remit to build the competence and capacity of Scottish colleges and universities to be more inclusive, and equip staff to feel confident about enabling all learners to fulfil their potential. This initiative ran successfully for 13 years. Alison has served as both member and Chair of the Board of Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living and LEAD Scotland and was a founding member of Keycomm, the Lothian Communication Technology Service (supporting communication impaired children and adults and AAC users). She currently works as a consultant for various organisations including Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority as well as volunteering in a team seeking to improve the life chances of marginalised young people. Alison is married with two grown-up children and two very young grandsons. She’s a keen traveller and spends as much time as possible in the open air – either walking the dog, spectating at rugby matches or renovating the family’s derelict cottage!