Public appointment: members appointed to Lothian NHS Board

Public appointments news release.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf MSP today announced the appointments of Mrs Nadin Akta, Mr Philip Allenby, Mr Andrew Fleming, Mrs Elizabeth Gordon, Mr George Gordon, Mr Peter Knight and Mrs Val de Souza as Members of Lothian NHS Board.


Mrs Nadin Akta holds a MSc degree in Intercultural Business Communication and TESOL. Her interests are in cultures, cross cultures, barriers and challenges for ethnic minorities in Scotland and she has a wide knowledge from working with BME communities through her previous jobs in a professional capacity and through volunteering with charitable organisations across the Lothians. Nadin previously work with East Lothian Council and other charity organisations as an Integration Coordinator and TESOL Teacher. More recently, she has been working at the University of Edinburgh as an Outreach and Projects Coordinator for the BME communities in the Lothians.

Mr Philip Allenby is a Scottish Solicitor and Notary Public, with over 20 years’ international legal and business experience. He was previously Chief Counsel, Governance and Compliance, Europe with BT plc. Phil is a lecturer and senior tutor at the University of Glasgow School of Law. He holds degrees in mathematics, information technology and law.

Mr Andrew Fleming is a retired senior civil servant with experience in designing and delivering strategic improvements across a range of public policy areas, including health, tax collection, justice, community safety, environment and heritage. He is currently Convenor of Evaluation Support Scotland – a charity which supports Third Sector organisations to measure their impact. Andrew has a professional background as a social researcher.

Mrs Elizabeth Gordon spent the first 10 years of her career as a Solicitor in private practice in the occupational pensions team of a large Scottish law firm. Her time working in this field included many years of significant and complex legal change as the UK Government transformed regulatory protection for members of occupational pension schemes. Clients included boards of trustees of UK-wide pension schemes and work involved advising on changes in the law and regulatory compliance, interpretation of trust deeds and pensions aspects of corporate transactions. Elizabeth then took up a new post, with a wide-ranging remit, managing a large, independent provider of NHS dentistry in Edinburgh and has been there for over 14 years. Her focus has always been to ensure that the dental practices provide a service that prioritises safe, high quality NHS patient care and compliance alongside the wellbeing of the clinical team. Elizabeth looks forward to combining her experience and knowledge acquired in a primary care management setting with the skills developed from her legal education and background.

Mr George Gordon is a longstanding community activist who has instigated and set up numerous groups and organisations within his own community, which has given him a good skill set in the requirements of the local population both in areas of health, wellbeing and services that are vitally important in areas of multi-deprivation and poverty. As the Sustainability Spokesperson for the City of Edinburgh Council, he has worked tirelessly to ensure long-term benefit in the capital; and as the Disability and Diversity Spokesperson he has ensured that all people are fairly represented and gain the services tailored to their own individual needs, which is in keeping with NHS Lothian’s patient centric goals and aspirations. He has served on various NHS Lothian committees in his Local Authority stakeholder member role and looks forward to continuing his work within the Board in highlighting disability issues that affect services and in ensuring that community and citizens are at the heart of all of our services.

Mr Peter Knight has been a leading information professional for NHSScotland for some four decades and brings wide perspectives on the development and use of data in support of decision making. His experience has spanned quality of NHS care, future planning, health and social care integration and topics in public health. He has worked at all levels: directly with clinicians and front-line health and social care professionals through to informing the decision-making of Chief Executives and Chief Officers. He has had spells in the Scottish Government supporting the development of health and social care policy, monitoring NHS performance and advising Ministers. Latterly, his interests have included older people services and the development of information in social care and primary care. Peter is shortly to retire from NHS employment.

Mrs Val de Souza is a Social Worker by profession and has held a number of senior leadership roles in health, social care and social work in Scotland. She spent the last five years as Chief Officer for South Lanarkshire’s Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP), and Director of Social Services, working across NHS Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire Council. In these roles Val was responsible for community health services, primary care, palliative care, allied health professionals and social work services. Prior to this she was acting Chief Officer for Stirling and Clackmannanshire HSCP and the Chief Social Work Officer for these two local authorities, which included responsibility for two national prisons, Glenochil and Cortonvale. Val was instrumental in introducing and implementing the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 and continues to have a keen interest in all aspects of Public Protection and social justice. With over 30 years’ experience of strategic and operational management she is committed to promoting interagency collaboration and multidisciplinary working. She is a graduate of University College Dublin, and holds postgraduate qualifications from the Universities of Edinburgh and Robert Gordon Business School. Val has recently been appointed Chair of the Bairns Hoose, and is a professional adviser for Positive Help, an Edinburgh based charity supporting child and families affected by HIV and Hepatitis C.


The appointments for Mrs Nadin Akta, Mrs Elizabeth Gordon, Mr Peter Knight and Mrs Val de Souza will be for three years and will run from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025.

Mr Philip Allenby’s appointment will be for four years and will run from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2026.

Mr Andrew Fleming’s appointment will be for four years and will run from 11 April 2022 to 10 April 2026.

Mr George Gordon’s appointment will be for three years and will run from 16 May 2022 to 15 May 2025.

The appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


The appointments are part-time and attract a remuneration of £8,930 per annum for a time commitment of one day per week.

Other ministerial appointments

Mr George Gordon is the Edinburgh City Council Local Authority member on the NHS Lothian Board, for which he receives a remuneration of £8,930 per annum for a time commitment of one day per week. Mr Gordon will be standing down from this role on 30th April 2022.

Mrs Val de Souza is Chair of Bairns Hoose, for which she receives a daily rate of £300 for a time commitment of four days per month.

Mrs Nadin Akta, Mr Philip Allenby, Mr Andrew Fleming, Mrs Elizabeth Gordon and Mr Peter Knight do not hold any other public 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 George Gordon holds the position of Scottish National Party (SNP) councillor for the Forth Ward. In administration in the city of Edinburgh, he has spoken on behalf of the party and council.

Mr Peter Knight has leafleted and canvassed for the Scottish Labour Party and attended the count for the 2019 General Election on behalf of Edinburgh North and Leith Constituency Labour Party.

Mrs Nadin Akta, Mr Philip Allenby, Mr Andrew Fleming, Mrs Elizabeth Gordon and Mrs Val de Souza have had no political activity within the last five years.


NHS Lothian provides a comprehensive range of primary, community-based and acute hospital services for the populations of Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian. They also provide some services for patients in the Borders and in Fife and are a national centre of expertise for some specialties provided to people across Scotland. 

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