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Meet current board members

Bill Brackenridge

" There are lots of people who can put something back. "

Having started his career in British European Airways, Bill joined Strathclyde Region's Policy Planning Unit, before going on to spend more than 20 years in a Management Consultancy with a focus on corporate governance. Drawing on several strands of his experience, he joined Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd as a non-executive director in 1999. In his six years there - a period which he describes as "remarkably interesting" - he helped the organisation evolve from one that simply operated airports to one that used its ten airports to develop the economy of the area.

When he left full time consultancy in 2003, he joined the Scottish Ambulance Service as Chairman of the board. There was a need to make the Scottish Ambulance Service a recognised and integral part of the health service and not just a transport adjunct to it . "In my time as Chair I improved the links between the two. Paramedics are well-qualified health professionals making a vastly different contribution from the ambulance drivers of old."

In 2006 Bill successfully applied to be a member of the Board of NHS Highland - Bill's local Health Board. A "cross-directorship" like this allows Bill to help ensure the NHS is a truly national and integrated service, not a collection of separate organisations. He was appointed Chairman of NHS Highland's Argyll & Bute Community Health Partnership, charged with overseeing the delivery of primary health care to the 100,000 people of Argyll & Bute and purchasing most of their secondary care from neighbouring Health Boards.

Recently he was appointed by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing to chair The Vale Monitoring Group -  a group which will report to her on whether or not the Vision which she has approved for the Vale of Leven Hospital is being implemented fully and to an appropriate timetable.  

"The public appointments system has changed vastly over the years. It is now a competency based framework. Many will find this very different from ordinary application processes, but it is not difficult. It focuses on what you have done and not what you have been. There are lots of people out there who can put something back and make a contribution. These roles are not just for middle class white Scottish men. Board members don't have to be drawn from the sector or to have come from big jobs. If you have the right personal qualities, and you keep asking the difficult questions until you get an answer that you're happy with, you will be making a contribution to the work of the body. Public appointments are fascinating and rewarding. The key issue is to have the confidence to ask questions -  and to keep asking more questions till you get answers you believe ".