Council Member Profiles

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Neil Smart

Chair SHTG Council, Consultant Anaesthetist - NHS GG&C

Neil Smart trained in Glasgow, Adelaide and Sheffield before taking up a post as a consultant anaesthetist in Glasgow in 1994. He has a wide range of interests in health technology assessment, regulation, quality improvement and procurement. He chairs the Scottish Health Technologies Council and is a member of the Interim Devices Working Group advising the MHRA, a former European Commission Advisor for Medical Devices and in vitro diagnostic devices, and an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow. He also sits as a medical member with the Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service, GMC.

Safia Qureshi

Director of Evidence, HIS

Safia is Director of Evidence and leads our work on the development of national evidence-based advice, guidance and standards and the assessment of new technologies and newly licensed medicines.

Before joining Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Safia has held a number of senior roles in NHS Scotland including Programme Director at NSS and Director of Quality, Innovation and People at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital. At the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service she was responsible for delivering the Jack Copland Centre, the state of the art manufacturing facility and headquarters for SNBTS.

She holds an MSc in Healthcare Management and a PhD in Reproductive Biology.

Ed Clifton

SHTG Unit Head HIS

Ed Clifton is the Unit Head of the Scottish Health Technologies Group (SHTG). Ed’s focus for SHTG is to ensure that HTA is relevant, flexible and timely towards better quality health and care in Scotland. 

Prior to his current role, Ed has gained over 10 years of experience working as an economist within NHSScotland. He completed his qualifications at the University of Sheffield, where Ed was awarded the University of Sheffield Gilbert Prize in Economics. 

Colin Marsland

Director of Finance, NHS Shetland

Rodolfo Hernandez

Health Economics Research Unit (HERU), University of Aberdeen

Karen Facey

Senior Research Fellow at University of Edinburgh

Karen Facey is a Chartered Statistician and Honorary Member of the Faculty of Public Health. She works internationally as an Evidence-Based Health Policy Consultant, specialising in health technology assessment (HTA). Karen originally worked as a statistician in medicines development and regulation and was a member of the UK regulatory committee for safety of medical devices for over 8 years. In 2000 she established the Health Technology Board for Scotland, the first national HTA body in Scotland. She has been self-employed since 2003 working internationally in the field of HTA and for over a decade led the development of the resource allocation formula for health boards in Scotland. She was the lead editor of the book on patient involvement in HTA published in 2017 and has helped SHTG developed its patient involvement processes.

Claire Fernie

HIS Public Partner

Claire has had a lifelong interest in healthcare and has worked for many years as a research chemist and within the pharmacy sector. About 10 years ago she semi-retired, partly due to ill health, and was keen to use her own experiences of the healthcare system in a positive way. As those with direct daily knowledge of their circumstances, she feels it’s important that patients and carers are meaningfully involved in developing safe, evidence-based health services. She became a Public Partner with Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) at the start of 2018 and joined the Scottish Health Technologies Group (SHTG) a year later.

Being a part of SHTG allows her an insight into new and cutting-edge developments in health technologies and to be part of discussions into their potential benefits to Scottish healthcare. As a lay person, she offers a different perspective to the clinicians, economists and healthcare managers, and values being involved in transforming the very technical language used within SHTG products into plain language summaries for patients and the general public.

Katie Hislop

Policy Lead, Healthcare Quality and Improvement Directorate

Katie is a the policy lead for Health Technologies and for Scottish Government sponsorship of the Scottish Health Technology Group. She is a career civil servant and has worked across a variety of areas of policy development and delivery.

Mark Cook

Chair of Life Science Scotland Industrial Leadership Group & Chair of ABHI Scotland

Mark has spent 30 years in roles within the health sector including biologicals/pharmaceuticals, medical technology and consultancy.

In February 2022 Mark became Co Chair of the Life Sciences Industrial Leadership Group in Scotland, he also continues to support decision making for non-medicine technologies through membership of the Scottish Health Technology Group plus as a member of SHIP he raises the profile for the Life Sciences Sector in Scotland.

Current focus for the Life Sciences ILG is the refresh of the sector strategy to drive growth and Mark is leading on this work to ensure we build upon achieving 4 years early, our goal of £8 Billion generated by the Scottish Life Sciences sector by 2025 .

Commercially Mark Chairs the Board on Brain Health Scotland Life Sciences Limited which seeks to widen access to clinical trials in the neurodegenerative disease space.

Mark is proud to be able to support the Jane Moore Trust, a charity which provides residential education for young neurodiverse people.

Mark Chairs ABHI Scotland and has published on healthcare resource utilization.

Fatim Lakha

Consultant in Public Health Medicine

Fatim Lakha is a Consultant in Public Health Medicine at Public Health Scotland and NHS Tayside with the remit of Health Care Public Health. She has a background in General Practice and holds honorary positions with LSHTM, UKHSA and University of Dundee. She has worked in multiple levels of the health and social care system from primary care, secondary care, at health board level, within NGOs, academia and at policy level within government (both nationally and internationally). In her current role at PHS Fatim has two main areas of focus: 1. Population Health Monitoring within which she contributes to the Scottish Burden of Disease Study, Whole System Modelling and Economics of Prevention and 2. the Health and Care Acute and Emergency Services Programme.

Gordon James

NHS Golden Jubilee Chief Executive

Gordon took up post as Chief Executive in December 2022.

Gordon brings more than 20 years' experience in the private and public sector, senior management and leadership experience to the role. 

Prior to joining NHS Golden Jubilee, Gordon was NHS Scotland Deputy Chief Operating Officer within the Scottish Government’s Health and Social Care Directorate.

Before that, he was Director of Procurement, Commissioning and Facilities at NHS National Services Scotland, Director of Health Facilities Scotland (HFS) and Director of Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection Scotland (ARHAI Scotland). He also led on the creation of NHS Scotland Assure. 

Gordon was also an integral member of the NHS Louisa Jordan Executive Management Team during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Julie Calvert

Lead Health Service Researcher, HIS

Julie Calvert leads the Tech team who support the work of the Scottish Health Technologies Group (SHTG). Julie’s focus for SHTG is to ensure that HTA output is of high quality and timely through management and support of the Tech team.

Prior to her current role, Julie had over 10 years of experience working as a health services researcher in HIS, as well as 16 years working in primary research in the NHS. She has a PhD in electrophysiology in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease and an undergraduate degree in Law & Psychology. 


Kate Dion

HIS Public Partner
Last Updated: 5 April 2024