Public appointment: Members appointed to the Scottish Ambulance Service Board

Public appointments news release.

The Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care, Michael Matheson MSP today announced the appointment of Mr Michael McCormick and Dr Maggie Watts as members of the Scottish Ambulance Service Board.


Michael McCormick joined the police service in 1985 and served in numerous roles, latterly as an Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) with Lothian and Borders Police leading territorial policing, then Deputy Chief Constable with Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary before being appointed to the post of ACC in Police Scotland to lead Local Policing in the East of Scotland and deliver unified Command and Control arrangements for the new single police service.  Through his 30 years of police service Mike gained significant experience of leading response to serious incidents and emergencies as well as strategic management and leading organisational and ICT change. Mike retired from policing in March 2015 and served from 2015 to 2023 as a non-executive Board member with NHS 24 which delivers the 111 service in Scotland reinforcing and augmenting his experience in organisational leadership, ICT led change and the Health Service.  His service as a member of the Standards Commission for Scotland from 2016 to 2023, promoting ethical standards in public life in Scotland and adjudicating on cases of reported breaches of the Codes of Conduct for Local Councillors and Public Board Members, has increased his understanding of governance and public service oversight.

Maggie Watts recently retired after nine years as Director of Public Health with NHS Western Isles. Having graduated in 1979, she first came to work in the Outer Hebrides as a junior doctor in 1983 before training in General Practice and then in Public Health. Maggie has observed the changes in people’s lifestyles, access to and delivery of services over the past 40 years, more than half of which she has spent living and working in the islands. Maggie has experience of working at Board level and is committed to the provision of healthcare to remote, rural and island areas to help support and preserve the diverse ways of life. As well as being passionate about the health and wellbeing of island populations, she is committed to ensuring the sustainability of islands and their populations, including local action to reduce the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities.


Mr McCormick’s appointment will be for four years and will run from 1 December 2023 to 11 November 2027. Dr Watts’ appointment will be for four years and will run from 4 January 2024 to 3 January 2028.

The appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


The appointments are part-time and attract a remuneration of £9,030 per annum for a time commitment of one day per week.

Other ministerial appointments

Mr McCormick and Dr Watts do 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.   

Mr McCormick and Dr Watts have had no political activity within the last five years.


The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), at the frontline of NHS Scotland, provides an emergency, urgent and non-emergency service to people across mainland Scotland and its island communities. SAS plays a leading role in the national design and delivery of emergency and urgent care, using advanced digital technology to ensure a timely and appropriately resourced response to 999 calls; as well as to those who require non-emergency ambulance transport to and from hospitals and clinics. Patients are at the centre of everything we do. We have a high level of integration with the wider NHS in Scotland, working closely with the 14 territorial health boards and 31 Health and Social Care Partnerships. Additionally, as a major emergency service, we have an essential role in national resilience and work in partnership with Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.



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