Public appointment: members reappointed to Grampian NHS Board

Public appointments news release.

This document is part of a collection

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf MSP today announced the reappointment of Ms Joyce Duncan, Mr Sandy Riddell, Mr Dennis Robertson and Dr John Tomlinson as Members of Grampian NHS Board.


Ms Joyce Duncan brings a strong leadership perspective to her work in NHS Grampian, having worked in the private and third sectors in CEO roles. Her experience of developing and managing teams along with a strong financial perspective allows her to have a broad strategic view. Her ability to be future focused and looking to ensure sustainability and agility in organisations is also of value to the role on the Board.

Mr Sandy Riddell originally trained in social work and, during a public service career of over 40 years, has held director level posts in social work, housing, education and health and social care. He has substantial experience at a national level in shaping policy and legislation in adult health and social care, children’s services, substance misuse, and justice services and he has served as president of the former Association of Directors of Social Work and founded Social Work Scotland. Sandy is Chair of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland and has worked as an independent management consultant. He brings to the Board substantial knowledge of policy and practice in health and social care and has extensive experience in collaborative leadership and managing organisational change. He is passionate about the need to develop a rights-based approach to the design and delivery of public services.

Mr Dennis Robertson is an Elected Member of Aberdeenshire Council, Co-chair of the Moray Integrated Joint Board and Co-chair of the National Review of Eating Disorder Services Implementation Group. He has a professional background in Social Work and has also worked for Guide Dogs and North East Sensory Services. He was an MSP from 2011 to 2016. Dennis uses his extensive public/ third sector experience as well as his lived experience of visual impairment to challenge health inequalities in his roles as a Councillor and the Non-Executive Board.

Dr John Tomlinson brings a range of relevant skills and experience to this role. He has held Director posts responsible for social work, housing and education, and has led and contributed to a wide range of partnership working including health and social care. He has always maintained string links and support for the voice of service users. This has included responsibility for large public budgets (oversight, planning and strategic management) and for innovative service modernisation to meet people’s needs. John is a qualified mentor and coach practitioner combining this with consultancy to support a range of organisations across sectors in developing leadership and change. He has a PhD in leadership and management from the Business School of Aberdeen University. Sitting on a number of boards/trusts, John is experienced at balancing support and scrutiny.


The reappointments for Ms Joyce Duncan and Mr Sandy Riddell will be for four years and will run from 1 November 2022 to 31 October 2026.

The reappointments for Mr Dennis Robertson and Dr John Tomlinson will be for four years and will run from 1 February 2023 to 31 January 2027.

The reappointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


The reappointments 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 Sandy Riddell is Chair of the Mental Welfare Commission, for which he receives £360.87 per day for a time commitment of four days per month. 

Ms Joyce Duncan, Mr Dennis Robertson and Dr John Tomlinson 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 Dennis Robertson has been a SNP elected Councillor for Aberdeenshire Council since May 2017. 

Ms Joyce Duncan, Mr Sandy Riddell and Dr John Tomlinson have had no political activity within the last five years.


Through hospital and local based services, NHS Grampian is responsible for meeting the health needs of the half-million population spread over 3,000 square miles of city, town, village and rural communities. Since April 2016 NHS Grampian’s fully integrated Health and Social Care Partnerships became fully operational across their three Local Authority areas of Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray and NHS Grampian works closely with the three Integration Joint Boards covering these areas. NHS Grampian is also very closely linked with both the University of Aberdeen and The Robert Gordon University, especially in the fields of research, workforce planning and training.

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