Drug Deaths Task Force: members' biographies

Professional backgrounds of the members of the Drug Deaths Task Force.

Catriona Matheson (Chair)

Catriona Matheson is Professor in Substance Use at the University of Stirling, her research interests span 25 years. She is a freelance Research Consultant, a Trustee of the Society for the Study of Addiction and Convenor of the Drugs Research Network Scotland (DRNS). 

Catherine Calderwood

Chief Medical Officer for Scotland

In addition to her CMO role, Catherine continues to work as an obstetrician at a regular antenatal clinic at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Catherine has published four annual reports on Realistic Medicine which have been universally well received.

Adam Coldwells

Aberdeenshire’s Health and Social Care Partnership

Adam has lived and worked in the North East of Scotland for the past 23 years. Initially Adam worked in the NHS in a wide variety of roles and for the past five years in the health and social care integrated approach with the Council, the NHS and the third & independent sectors. Adam has 15 years’ experience as a non-executive member and Chair of a Third Sector organisation supporting people with alcohol addiction.

Iona Colvin

Chief Social Work Adviser

Iona is a social worker by background. The North Ayrshire Integrated Joint Board (IJB) was formed on 2 April 2015 and Iona was appointed as Chief Officer for the North Ayrshire HSCP at that meeting. Iona became the Scottish Government’s Chief Social Work Adviser in April 2017.

Fiona Doig

Borders Alcohol & Drugs Partnership and Health Improvement

Fiona has worked in Public Health for over 17 years and with Borders ADP since 2012. She has strategic responsibility for ensuring the implementation and performance of local drug and alcohol strategies on behalf of the ADP as well as lead for adult and communities health improvement.  

Allan Houston 

Lived/Living Experience representative

Allan has been in recovery from opioid dependency for 26 plus years. Allan is currently a senior social work addictions team worker in Glasgow. Over his 25 years working in the field he has occupied many roles including, youth work, homelessness and addictions.

Colin Hutcheon

Families lived experience representative

Colin joined the board of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs in June 2017 and recently took over as Chair. Colin is trained as a SMART facilitator before he and his wife established a group for Family and Friends in West Lothian in 2015. His personal experiences have convinced him of the need to extend support for families.

Ahmed Khan

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Ahmed is a consultant in addictions psychiatry in South Lanarkshire. He is also Chair of the Scottish Addictions Faculty and of the Scottish Addictions Specialists Committees. 

Jean B. Logan

Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland

Jean is currently Associate Director of Pharmacy, Community Care, NHS Forth Valley. Jean has a broad range of pharmacy experience, practising in community pharmacy and specialising in mental health and substance use. Jean has recently became a member of the Dundee Drug Commission.

Carey Lunan 

Royal College General Practioners in Scotland

Carey is a GP partner in one of Edinburgh's Deep End practices. Her priorities during her time as RCGP Chair include a focus on the role of general practice in reducing health inequality, improving the interface between primary and secondary care, and growing and retaining the GP workforce. She is a passionate advocate of generalism and its crucial role in the sustainability of the NHS, and has consistently called for the need to engage the public in a 'national conversation' about the realistic role of the modern NHS and the importance of collective social responsibility for its use.

Phil Mackie

Scottish Public Health Network

Phil heads the Scottish Public Health Network (ScotPHN), which links together all Health Board and national public health functions across Scotland. ScotPHN is there to do those things for which there is a recognised national need, but for which there is no national capacity. He also leads the Scottish Managed Sustainable Health Network, which is part of ScotPHN. Previously, Phil held public health service appointments in Lothian and in the north of England, covering a very wide range of health and social care remits and the commissioning and evaluation of priority and community services. 

Duncan McCormick

Public Health Medicine

Duncan spent about ten years living and working in South America, South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa for UK and US based academic, government and charity organisations; mainly in the area of primary care, sexual health and HIV with deprived populations such as sex workers and people in remote and rural areas. Over the last eight years he has been working as a Consultant in Public Health Medicine in the Scottish Government and the NHS.

Karyn McCluskey

Community Justice Scotland

Karyn is a Scottish forensic scientist who is currently the Chief Executive of Community Justice Scotland (since 2016). Previously, Karyn worked for the West Mercia Police force before taking on the role of head of intelligence analysis for the Strathclyde Police in 2002. It was in this role that she was tasked with creating a report on how to reduce violence in Glasgow in 2004; the report led directly to the establishment of the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU). The VRU played a vital role in reducing violence and violent crime in Scotland, particularly in Glasgow. 

Lesley McDowall

Scottish Prisons Service

Lesley joined the Scottish Prison Service at HMP & YOI Cornton Vale in 1997 as a practitioner nurse and later held the post of Clinical Manager and then Head of Care.

When the responsibility for the delivery of healthcare in prisons transferred to NHS Health Boards in 2011 she remained with SPS as the Clinical Advisor, providing advice to NHS and operational colleagues and contributing to prisoner health care strategy and policy. She now holds the position of  Head of Health Strategy with responsibility for the co-production of all health related strategies in prisons, including suicide prevention, mental health and drugs and alcohol.  

Anthony McGeehan

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

Anthony is Head of COPFS Policy and Engagement, with particular responsibility for engagement with Scottish Government and stakeholders in relation to legislative change and the development of Prosecution Policy. He has over 20 years’ experience as a prosecutor.

Susanne Millar

Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership

In 2012, Susanne became the Assistant Director for Social Work Services in Glasgow. In 2014, Susanne took on the role of Chief Officer for Planning, Strategy & Commissioning for Glasgow City HSCP and currently holds the post of Interim Chief Officer. Recently Susanne has been involved in the transition of Home Care services from an arm’s length organisation into Glasgow HSCP and will be responsible for strategy operations and management of this group of staff. Susanne has always worked in Glasgow, and is committed to partnership working to address the many, varied and complex issues which contribute to the need for people of Glasgow to access health and social services.

Dr Tessa Parkes

Director of the Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research at University of Stirling

Tessa is Deputy Convenor of the Drugs Research Network Scotland with expertise in the field of drugs and alcohol. Her research activity has centred on enhancing the experience of people who experience problems with alcohol or drugs when using health and substance use services, with a clear commitment to social justice, health equity, and advocacy for poorly served groups. She has recently served on the Dundee Drugs Commission.

Dr Robert Peat

Dundee Drugs Commission

Robert was a social worker for over 30 years and a Director at Angus Council. Robert was also Chair of the Angus Alcohol and Drug Partnership from 2003 until 2013. In January 2017, Robert was appointed as a Non-Executive Member of NHS Tayside Board. Since retiring Robert has worked as a consultant with 'Support in Mind Scotland' and is also a member of an Expert Panel with the Commissioner for Older People (Northern Ireland).

Neil Richardson

Turning Point Scotland

Neil Richardson joined Lothian and Borders Police in 1985. He gained a BA in Social Science from the Open University, an MBA with distinction from Napier University and a diploma in Applied Criminology from Cambridge University. In 2006, he was appointed Assistant Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police Force and moved to Strathclyde Police Force when he was appointed Deputy Chief Constable. He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) in 2011 and appointed Deputy Chief Constable of Police Scotland in 2012. He was awarded an OBE for services to policing in Scotland in 2014 and became Chief Executive of Turning Point Scotland in 2017.

Gary Ritchie

Police Scotland

ACC Ritchie is responsible for the Digitally Enabled Policing Programme and Strategic Design Authority. He is also the strategic lead for the Partnerships, Prevention and Community Wellbeing portfolio (reporting to DCC Local Policing) with responsibility for developing new approaches to working with other Scottish public services to achieve better outcomes for communities. 

Hannah Snow 

Lived/Living Experience representative

Hannah has been in recovery from opioid dependency for two years. She is a student and holds down a number of part-time jobs. Hannah has care experience and experience of the criminal justice system and young offenders' institutions. Hannah recently travelled to Westminster to give evidence to Scottish Affairs Committee Inquiry into Drug Use in Scotland.

Cameron Stewart

Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS)

In January 2019, Cameron joined the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service from the Scottish Government, where he was Head of Local Government Policy and Relationships. Cameron’s responsibilities within SCTS include leading the information governance, legislation implementation and management information functions within SCTS and responsibility for leading on future reform of services with specific focus on civil justice.

Richard Watson

Recovery Community Lived Experience representative

Richard is employed by the Department of Work and Pensions as an addiction specialist. He is responsible for delivering training and developing strategies that help support customers and staff. Richard is in recovery.

David Williams

Glasgow City Health & Social Care Partnership

David qualified as a social worker in 1988 and worked for two years in Easterhouse and then seven years in Drumchapel as a social worker and senior social worker.

He became Executive Director of Social Care Services in Glasgow in December 2012 and Chief Officer Designate for the Glasgow City Health and Social Care partnership in July 2014. He was appointed formally to the Chief Officer position by the Glasgow City Integration Joint Board at its first meeting on 8 February 2016. In May 2019 he was seconded to the Scottish Government in a new post, Director of Delivery, Health and Social Care Integration.

John Wood

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities

John Wood is the Chief Officer for Health and Social Care at COSLA with a remit that includes health and social care integration, mental health, public health and adult social care and will sit on the taskforce on behalf of COSLA members. He was previously a policy manager at COSLA covering community safety, community justice and housing policy. Prior to joining COSLA John worked in the third sector and continues to be involved in the third sector as a charity trustee.

Rebecca Wood 

Lived/Living Experience representative

Rebecca has been in recovery from opioid dependency for three years. For the last two years she has worked as a recovery development worker in Forth Valley. She is now a team leader working with Forth Valley recovery Community and Substance Use Services.



Drug Deaths Task Force 


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