Non-executive Whistleblowing Champion Board Members reappointed to NHS Scotland Boards

Public appointments news release.

This document is part of a collection

The Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care, Michael Matheson MSP, today announced the reappointment of Non-executive Whistleblowing Champion Board Members to NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS Forth Valley, NHS Grampian, NHS Highland, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Lothian, NHS Orkney, NHS 24, NHS Education for Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service and Public Health Scotland.



Sukhomoy Das has dual qualifications in Medicine and Law, and he has worked as a hospital doctor in several Scottish NHS Boards since 1996 with special interest and skills in neurovascular medicine and neurorehabilitation medicine. As the former Co-chair of the Scottish Trauma Network’s Rehabilitation Group and former member of the STN’s Steering Group he played a key role in setting the strategic direction of the new rehabilitation service for major trauma patients, including the development of the national ‘rehabilitation plan’. He became publicly known as a whistleblower and consequently became the sole direct contributor from NHS Scotland to the Freedom to Speak Up review by Sir Robert Francis KC which the Scottish Government accepted and went on to implement the report’s key recommendations, including the creation of the Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (Scotland) under a statute. Dr Das is strongly focused on governance, sustainability, best value and in promoting a positive culture within the NHS. As a Non-executive member of NHS Ayrshire and Arran Board he is currently the Chair of East Ayrshire IJB, Chair of the Corporate Equalities Committee, Vice Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee and a member of the Staff Governance Committee, which oversees whistleblowing in the public body. By invitation Dr Das speaks at awareness events/conferences sponsored by the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government, Audit Scotland and INWO (Independent National Whistleblowing Officer).


Gordon Johnston has held senior roles in the public and voluntary sectors in areas including community development, managing a local community engagement organisation, and co-ordinating the distribution of National Lottery and European funding. He is now active in many third sector mental health organisations in Scotland, has considerable leadership and governance experience; and is currently chair of VOX Scotland, Vice Chair of Bipolar Scotland and a public partner with Healthcare Improvement Scotland. Gordon also carries out paid consultancy work, mainly in peer research, patient engagement, community development and organisational development. He is a member of several Scottish Government working groups and boards in mental health and is Policy Lead for Scotland’s Mental Health Partnership. Gordon was appointed as a Board member of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland in April 2017 and chairs its Audit, Performance and Risk Committee.


Albert Donald is a former senior Police Officer who retired from the service in 2010 after serving almost 39 years across the north east of Scotland. Following his retirement, he was appointed as Independent Chair of several Adult Protection Committees, fulfilling this role until 2018. He also served as a Lay Member of NHS Education for Scotland. He was appointed a non-Executive Director (Whistleblowing Champion) in both NHS Highland and NHS Grampian in February 2020.  Bert brings to the Board his experience of leadership in a large public sector organisation, change management and partnership working together with experience of governance, accountability and scrutiny.


Lesley McDonald graduated from Glasgow University in 1989 and worked as a solicitor in private practice in Glasgow before moving to the public sector by taking up a post as a solicitor for the then Comhairle nan Eilean in 1993. Since her retirement in 2018, Lesley has become a volunteer with Clydesdale Foodbank and a legal services charity which represents people who may otherwise not obtain access to legal advice, reflecting her concern for the most vulnerable in society.  In her role as carer for her father, she has gained first-hand experience of the challenges and opportunities of health and social care integration.


Katharina Kasper is a senior risk and compliance professional, with substantial experience acting as a risk subject matter expert and professional adviser. Her core areas of expertise are audit, oversight and assurance, risk management, financial crime prevention and organisational transformation. Katharina is passionate about leading by example, facilitating meaningful organisational change and delivering a lasting positive impact for all stakeholders. Katharina's career to date has included a number of senior risk, compliance and transformation roles in the Financial Services industry. She is an experienced management consultant, advising a wide range of UK and EU based financial institutions, including regulators


Jason Taylor has a career background in Enforcement and Compliance. He has considerable experience in problem solving and analysis, investigating and resolving complaints, constructive challenge, and ensuring processes are adhered to. Appointed in February 2020, as a non-executive member and NHS Orkney’s Whistleblowing Champion, Jason provides critical oversight on behalf of the Board and Scottish Government, to ensure that NHS Orkney is compliant with the National Whistleblowing Standards. He also chairs the Audit and Risk Committee, charged with ensuring NHS Orkney has appropriate systems in place to operate effectively and meet its statutory objectives, and has adequate structures in place to underpin effective risk management.


Liz Mallinson brings a wide experience in the private, public and charitable sectors, where her roles have encompassed strategic planning, operations, programme management, governance and delivery. She has been involved in business development and transformational change programmes at forefront of policy, service development and market change and in supporting early growth organisations. Following completion of MSc at Cranfield Institute of Technology she joined Scottish Enterprise working with a variety of industry sectors notably oil and gas and in the provision of venture capital with Scottish Development Finance. In 1999 she joined the team that brought NHS 24 into existence; followed by a start-up role for a new youth charity. She joined Openreach (BT Group) as a General Manager of Operations in Scotland in 2006 and became the Director for Next Generation Access and the delivery of the Digital Scotland Superfast Programme working in partnership with Scottish Government in 2012. She is now working with Fibrus Ltd and the Dept of Economy, NI on the roll out of broadband in the most rural parts of the province. From 2013-2019 Liz held a Non-Executive Role in the Institute of Occupational Medicine.

NHS Education for Scotland Board

Gillian Mawdsley is currently a Scottish practising solicitor and a member of the Law Society of Scotland. Her professional background includes private and public sector work, and latterly in working as a policy lawyer. This brings a detailed understanding of the role of policy and to its implications for the organisation. Her longstanding interests and experience in legal and medical law, and in scrutiny of process provide her with the skills to ensure the oversight and support required in embedding whistleblowing and therefore, contribute to the culture of the NHS Scotland. With the increasing importance of sustainability to NHS Scotland, her interest and background in attending COP26 continues her interest and commitment to this topic.

Scottish Ambulance Service Board and Public Health Scotland Board

Elizabeth Humphreys has over 30 years of leadership experience in the public and third sectors in the areas of justice; marine management; culture; and health and social care. She has extensive board-level strategic, policy and governance experience, with particular expertise in assurance and risk management; championing equality and diversity; leading change; and business resilience. As well as her roles as non-executive member and the Whistleblowing Champion for the Scottish Ambulance Service and Public Health Scotland, Elizabeth is also Vice-Chair of Independent Living Fund Scotland and a member of the Police Investigations and Review Commission Audit and Accountability Committee. Her voluntary roles include: Chair of Drake Music Scotland; and Trustee and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for the Scottish Association for Mental Health.


The reappointments of Dr Das, Mr Johnston, Mr Donald, Ms McDonald, Mrs Kasper, Mr Taylor and Mrs Mallinson will be for four years and will run from 1 February 2024.

Mrs Mawdsley’s reappointment will be for 3 years and six months, and will run from 1 February 2024.

Mrs Humphrey’s reappointment to the Scottish Ambulance Service Board will be for four years and will run from 1 February 2024. Her reappointment to the Public Health Scotland Board will be for four years and will run from 1 March 2024.

The reappointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


The remuneration for all the Board reappointments indicated, with the exception of Orkney NHS Board, is £9,030 per annum for a time commitment of one day per week. 

The remuneration for Orkney NHS Board is £8,276 per annum for a time commitment of one day per week. 


Gordon Johnston is a Board member of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, for which he receives remuneration of £250 per day for a time commitment of 15 days per year.

Katharina Kasper is Chair of Children’s Hearings Scotland and receives a remuneration of £220 per day for a time commitment of four days per month. She is also a member of the Scottish Police Authority, receiving a remuneration of £300 per day for a time commitment of up to six days per month.

Gillian Mawdsley is a Legal Member of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, receiving remuneration of £254 per day for a time commitment of up to four days per month. She is also a Member of the Scottish Advisory Committee on Distinction Awards for which she receives remuneration of £100 per day, for a time commitment of up to five days per year, when the Committee is operational.

Elizabeth Humphreys is a Non-Executive Director of the Independent Living Fund Scotland, for which she receives remuneration of £190 per day for a time commitment of up to 20 days per year.

Dr Das, Mr Donald, Ms McDonald, Mr Taylor and Mrs Mallinson do not hold any other public appointments.


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. 

Dr Das, Mr Johnston, Mr Donald, Ms McDonald, Mrs Kasper, Mr Taylor, Mrs Mallinson, Mrs Mawdsley and Mrs Humphreys have had no political activity within the last five years.


NHS Scotland currently employs over 170,000 staff who work across 14 territorial NHS Boards, seven Special NHS Boards and one public health body.  All NHS Boards work together for the benefit of the people of Scotland.  They also work closely with partners in other parts of the public sector to fulfil the Scottish Government’s Purpose and National Outcomes.

The NHS is one of the most valued organisations in the country and whistleblowing should be welcomed as it allows the organisation to put right anything that may compromise patient safety or the integrity of the Board.

The Whistleblowing Champions will promote a culture of openness and transparency in their Board’s where all staff feel confident to raise any concerns they may have in the knowledge that they will be supported and their concerns properly investigated. Being able to provide assurance that staff are able to raise concerns in an open, honest, and supportive workplace is a hugely worthwhile role.

Back to top