Gillian Russell

Director, Health Workforce, Leadership and Service Reform

Gillian Russell

Gillian Russell was appointed Director for Health Workforce, Leadership and Service Reform in March 2020.


The Director of Health Workforce is responsible for workforce sustainability, pay, terms and conditions of service, pensions, workforce planning, reshaping medical careers, and the sponsorship of NHS Education for Scotland.

Gillian is also responsible for chairing, co-chairing or attending the following:

  • Everyone Matters Implementation Group
  • Health and Social Care Management Board
  • HR Executive Strategic Forum
  • Integration of Health and Social Care Short Life Working Group
  • NHS Leadership Advisory Board
  • Scottish Academy, DG Health and NHSScotland Group
  • Scottish Partnership Forum
  • Staff Workforce Advisory Group


Gillian has many years of experience within the Senior Civil Service in the Scottish Government working across five very different high impact roles.

A lawyer by background, Gillian spent three years advising at senior level across health and social care before moving to a social policy role. In that role Gillian developed experience on enabling assets based approaches and coproduction to deliver better outcomes.

Gillian then moved to reforming and transforming public services by ensuring the effective delivery of the benefits of Police Reform. During summer 2014 she worked on readiness for the referendum outcome. Gillian was appointed Director for Safer Communities in June 2015.