Chair and Member Reappointed to the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland

Public appointments news release.

The Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, Kevin Stewart MSP, today announced the reappointments of Sandy Riddell as Chair and Nichola Brown as a  Member of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland.


Sandy Riddell  has been Chair of the Mental Welfare Commission since April 2019 and has led the Board through a period of considerable challenge and uncertainty as a result of the pandemic. As Chair, his priority has been to ensure that the Commission has adapted in order to influence and promote the rights, safeguards and welfare of people with mental illness, learning disabilities, dementia and other related conditions during this unprecedented time.  Sandy brings to the Commission considerable experience as a public service leader in health and social care and social work and has significantly contributed at a national level to the shaping of legislation, policy and practice in areas which remain the focus of the Commission. He is currently Chair of the Appropriate Adults National Oversight Group and is a member of Grampian NHS Board.  Sandy is passionate about the need to develop a rights-based approach to services for the public; and in addition to ensuring that the Commission plays a vital role in supporting Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic, is committed to working with the public and the Commission’s key stakeholders to help realise the ambitions of the forthcoming reforms in mental health.


Nichola Brown joined the Board in April 2019 bringing her experience of and commitment to addressing inequalities.  With over twenty years spent working in public health, she has extensive experience in partnership working and strong communication skills. This is underpinned by community development skills, and knowledge of the challenges associated with navigating services and systems from a carer’s perspective.  Nichola is a Health Improvement Manager in Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership; leading the Health Improvement Team in North East Locality, with a city role for children aged 0-8. She manages a portfolio of work programmes to improve population health, with particular focus on reducing health inequalities.  Nichola is also Chairperson, in a voluntary capacity, of PlayPeace, a community organisation in North Lanarkshire which provides play sessions and outings to support families of children with additional needs during school holiday periods.


Both reappointments will be for four years, and will run from 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2027.

These reappointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


Both reappointments are part-time. 

The Chair role attracts a daily fee of £371.87 (rising to £373.79 once the 22/23 pay remit is approved) for a time commitment of up to 45 days per year. 

The member role attracts a daily fee of £246.21 (£248.13 once the 22/23 pay remit is approved)  for a time commitment of up to 15 days per year.

Other ministerial appointments

Sandy Riddell is a member of Grampian NHS Board for which he receives remuneration of £8,930 per annum, for a time commitment of one day per week.

Nichola Brown does not hold any other ministerial appointments.

Political activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.  

Sandy Riddell and Nichola Brown have had no political activity over the last five years.


The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (the Commission) protects and promotes the human rights of people with mental illness, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions.  The Commission has a key statutory role in safeguarding individual rights and monitoring how the principles of mental health and incapacity legislation are applied in practice.  Through direct interventions in the care and treatment of individuals using mental health and learning disability services, providing guidance and conducting investigations, the Commission has a strong influence on the quality of care and treatment provided of some of the most vulnerable people in our community. 

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