MacKay Hannah

Caring for Older People in Scotland 3rd Annual Conference: Care Standards, Human Rights and Equality in Care


Shona Robison MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing & Sport, Scottish Government

Shona Robison was born in Redcar in 1966. Educated at Alva Academy, she went on to graduate from Glasgow University with a Social Sciences MA and Jordanhill College with a Postgraduate Certificate in Community Education. Previously she worked for Glasgow City Council’s Social Work Department.

She was MSP for the North East from 1999-2003 and elected MSP for Dundee East in 2003. Latterly she was Shadow Minster for Health and Social Justice and a member of the Parliament’s Health Committee before being appointed Minister for Public Health in the Scottish Government formed after the May 2007 election.

She was re-elected at the May 5, 2011 election and appointed as Minister for Commonwealth Games & Sport.  She became Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing & Sport in November 2014.

Shona has a daughter and lives in Dundee.

ShonaRobison scotgov

Professor Alan Miller

Chair, Scottish Human Rights Commission

Professor Alan Miller was unanimously elected in 2007 by the Scottish Parliament to become the first Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, and he was unanimously re-nominated to the role in 2013 for a further three year term. As SHRC Chair he was re-elected in 2013 as Chair of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and was also elected to the post of Secretary of the International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs.

Alan has a combination of experience and expertise in the field of human rights grounded in 25 years involvement with the legal, academic and voluntary communities within Scotland. He previously ran a law practice in Castlemilk, Glasgow and is a past President of the Glasgow Bar Association and former Director of the Scottish Human Rights Centre. He also teaches human rights on the LLM programme at the University of Strathclyde where he is a member of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights Law. Professor Miller also brings an international perspective and insight gained from engagement with the United Nations and other bodies in capacity-building initiatives in around 20 countries around the world.

Alan is the full time member of the Commission.



Christine O'Neill

Chairman and Partner, Brodies LLP

Christine O'Neill is Chairman of Brodies LLP and a recognised expert on public and constitutional law issues in Scotland. She is, uniquely in Scotland, rated by Chambers and Partners as a Star Individual in administrative and public law and is also ranked in Band 1 for local government law.

Christine advises clients on legislation and statutory interpretation, the powers and duties of public bodies including the Scottish Parliament, and freedom of information laws and data protection. She is frequently involved in giving advice to clients on the defensibility of decision-making processes adopted by public bodies and the compatibility of those processes with the requirements of natural justice and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Christine is the first and only solicitor advocate to be appointed a 'Standing Junior' to the Scottish Government. She acts for a range of Scottish and UK clients including BBC Scotland, the Gambling Commission, the Scottish Court Service, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, and a range of local authorities.

Sue Neilson

Depute Director for Adult Services, Care Inspectorate

Sue has an extensive professional health background in nursing, midwifery and public health. During her career she has held a diverse range of posts from Head of Midwifery to leading on service redesign for cancer and palliative care services across hospital and community settings. She also worked in the Middle East in the 1980s, modernising maternity services in this area.

Sue joined the Care Commission in 2005 after moving to Aberdeen. She has held a number of posts including Development Manager, Healthcare Manager, Complaints and Quality Assurance Manager and Inspection Programme Manager North area, prior to being appointed to Depute Director of Inspection, Adult Services at the Care Inspectorate.

Ranald Mair

Chief Executive, Scottish Care

Ranald is Chief Executive of Scottish Care, the representative body for private and voluntary Care Homes, Care at Home and Housing Support services in Scotland. Prior to coming to Scottish Care in 2007, Ranald had an extensive career in Social Work and Social Care across a range of settings. He completed his undergraduate degree at Stirling University and his professional training at Nottingham. He also has a Post Qualifying Award in Child Care Studies from Newcastle University and the Certificate in Social Services Management and Leadership from Robert Gordon’s. Ranald is currently Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Safeguarding Committee. Ranald is also involved in a range of Scottish Government planning groups for services for Older People.


Theresa Fyffe

Director, Royal College of Nursing Scotland

Theresa Fyffe began her nursing career in Dublin where she trained as a registered nurse, later working mainly within Critical Care Nursing, in the fields of Intensive Care and Neuroscience.

She was formerly Director of Practice Development and Research within Tayside University Hospitals Trust. In 2000 Theresa joined the Scottish Executive Health Department in a wide-ranging role, Theresa had responsibility for research, quality, safe and effective care, clinical leadership, practice development, acute services and strategy development. She also played a key role in the understanding and development of spiritual care in the health service in Scotland. Theresa went on to become the Deputy Chief Nursing Officer (Interim).   In February 2007, Theresa was appointed Director of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland, leading an organisation which represents over 39,000 nurses across the country and is part of the wider RCN, which has a membership in the UK of around 400,000 nurses and health care support workers.

At a time of extensive change not only within the health service, but also in the political arena, her wide experience and influencing skills bring a strategic focus and direction to the RCN in Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish membership.  

Claire Sweeney

Senior Manager, Performance Audit and Best Value Group, Audit Scotland

Claire has worked for Audit Scotland for ten years and is responsible for national audits of performance in primary and community care and housing. She has led on reviews of mental health, drugs and alcohol, the major pay contracts in the NHS, Community Health Partnerships and transport for health and social care. Before joining Audit Scotland Claire worked in acute and primary care trusts in the North East of England and for the Audit Commission.  Her career started as a researcher and she has an MSc in Social Research.


Emma Maclean

Project Manager, Route Monkey

Emma Maclean joined Route Monkey as Business Growth Director in 2014. She focuses on the delivery of solutions using technology that can tackle complex problems but at the same time create efficiencies, are sustainable and improve service user experiences.

Prior to joining Route Monkey, Emma consulted in the third sector to energise local economies by matching sustainable solutions with the needs of communities. She spent 10 years working in the Highlands with community groups and renewables developers (Wind, Hydro & Tidal) negotiating community benefit. Successfully forming community companies, she has supported local groups to be cohesive and structured in their aims to deliver income generating projects whilst addressing the real issues they face such as social isolation, delivery of health & social care, housing, fuel poverty, local transport and energy. She has worked with Siemens, MCT, (wind developers – various), CADISPA, HIE, NHS, Hitrans and local authorities.

Irene Oldfather

Director, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)

Irene is Director at the ALLIANCE leading on Strategic Partnerships and Engagement. Thematic areas which she manages include, Dementia Carer Voices, Prescription for Excellence, Neurological Conditions, Sensory Impairment, and Transforming Care After Treatment programmes. She is also The ALLIANCE Strategic Lead on the National Conversation, Our Voice initiatives and representative on the Scottish Health Council Committee Board, Scottish Public Service Ombudsman Sounding Board, Healthcare Improvement Scotland Ihub Board, National Dementia Advisory Group and a member of the Scottish Government Mental Health Strategy short term working group, Dementia Forum and Strategy and Implementation Group.

As a Member of the Scottish Parliament, Irene set up and chaired the Cross Party Group on Alzheimer’s and Dementia which drafted and agreed the Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers.

Irene`s work also extends to Europe where she is currently chair of European Patients’ Academy (EUPATI) UK National Liaison Team (NLT), as well as representing Scotland's third sector on the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). As an MSP Irene chaired the European and External Relations Committee for most of her 12year term.

She actively campaigns on the rights of older people and was the first ever Member of the Scottish Parliament to be nominated and shortlisted for Dod’s 2009 UK Parliamentary Award for Services to Older People. Irene also recently stood down as Chair of National Dementia Carers Action Network (NDCAN) having served as Chair for four years.

Her recent publications include, Dementia Carer Voices - Rights and the Carer Voice June 2017, Joint Improvement Team Legacy Report 2016, Digital Technology - Giving You Choice and Control November 2014, In Good Faith Building Compassionate Communities July 2013 and PATH to Active Ageing 2012, as well as regular articles in the Scotsman, Herald and Holyrood Magazine.

Irene was educated at Strathclyde University, where she obtained an Honours degree in Politics and a post graduate MSc by Research.

 wee blue twitter birdALLIANCEScot IreneOldfather

Mark Hazelwood

Chief Executive, Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care

After studying philosophy, politics and economics, Mark became an NHS Scotland Management trainee, moving subsequently through a series of management roles in the Scottish acute sector.  He then spent four years running VSO’s international development operations in Ghana, West Africa, a role he carried out as a job share with his wife.  Returning to Scotland he became Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland, leading the organisation through nine years of growth. 

Mark has been Chief Executive of the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care since 2009.  The 50+ members of the Partnership span NHS Boards, hospices and other 3rd sector organisations. Over 55 000 people die in Scotland die each year and the care and support which those people and their families do or don’t receive is an issue of major significance and impact.   As well as developing and promoting good practice in palliative care in all settings the Partnership is now leading work to encourage more openness about death, dying and bereavement in Scottish society. 

Niki Maclean

Director, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Niki Maclean joined the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) in August 2005 taking on the role of Director in 2010. Niki has specific responsibility for the Investigatory, Scottish Welfare Fund Review and Corporate Services functions. Her focus during this time has been on developing and professionalising SPSO and other complaint handling bodies in order to drive organisational learning and improvement through the lens of complaints handling. In Scotland, this has included focusing on the impact SPSO has on supporting improvement within the public bodies it works with and investigates through a culture of good complaints handling and getting decisions right first time. More widely, across the UK and Irish ombudsman community, Niki has initiated the development of ombudsman wide industry service standards for the benefit of service users. Niki currently sits on scrutiny forums for monitoring organisation and sector performance in both the health and water sectors.

Prior to the SPSO, Niki worked as a senior HR professional within the field of HR, organisation change and development and training across the public and private sectors including the teaching, health, legal and accountancy professions. Niki has a BSc degree in Genetics, is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, has a Masters in People and Organisation Development and a qualification in adult teaching.


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This was an interactive seminar with Q&A and time to share thoughts and ideas. It was a nice mixture of professionals and good to hear from the various agencies. An excellent seminar, well put together and all relevant.

Shirley Wright, Barnardo's,
Delegate at Understanding and Delivering Children's Rights Seminar