Public appointment: members appointed to Western Isles NHS Board

Public appointment news release.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf MSP today announced the appointments of Professor Annetta Smith and Julia Higginbottom as Members of Western Isles NHS Board.


Professor Annetta Smith (Emerita) 

Professor Smith is the former Head of Department of nursing and midwifery at the University of the Highlands and Islands and has held various senior positions at the School of Health Sciences and Sport at the University of Stirling.  

She is a registered nurse and nurse teacher with experience of international work including collaborations with educators and health researchers in India. She is an experienced post graduate supervisor and supervises students undertaking Clinical Doctorates and PhDs.

Her health research spans remote and rural healthcare, and research with older people with sight and hearing impairment that includes evaluative research around service access and experiences of using community pharmacy services and management of the pharmaceutical journey.  

Prof Smith has a strong health professional regulatory background and was professional regulation lead for Council of Deans for Health Scotland and a member of the UK Council of Deans regulation advisory group.

Julia Higginbottom

Julia Higginbottom is a business development and innovation producer, with a strong track record and experience previously as a filmmaker and creative producer.

She has been a champion of Open Tech/IP/Data for 2 decades, working with government and civic technology organisations to navigate digital and IT challenges and projects. Julia will draw on her digital and transformation skills and experience in this role and looks forward to representing her fellow islanders.  She moved to the Western Isles in August 2019 as a new entrant crofter. Julia is driven by a passion to connect communities.


The appointments will be for four years and will run from 1 February 2022 to 31 January 2026.

The appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


The appointments are part-time and attract a remuneration of £8,176 per annum for a time commitment of one day per week.

Other ministerial appointments

Professor Smith and Julia Higginbottom 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.

Prof Annetta Smith and Julia Higginbottom have had no political activity within the last five years.


NHS Western Isles is responsible for meeting the health needs of around 26,950 people living in the Western Isles, and provides a comprehensive range of acute, mental health, primary and community services.  

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