New chief for Scottish Ambulance Service

Michael Dickson OBE has been confirmed as the new Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service. He is currently Chief Executive of NHS Shetland and NHS Orkney and will take over from current SAS Chief Executive Pauline Howie OBE, who is retiring. A start date is still to be agreed, but the two will work closely together over the coming months to ensure an effective transition.

Mr Dickson joined NHS Shetland in January 2020 and also took on interim Chief Executive of NHS Orkney later that same year. He is a qualified nurse and has worked in both the NHS and independent sectors, holding Director of Nursing positions in both. Before joining NHS Shetland, he worked as a Director at the NHS England improvement programme ‘Getting it Right First Time’ leading the support to clinicians addressing unwarranted variation in care.

Welcoming Mr Dickson to the organisation, Scottish Ambulance Service Chair, Tom Steele said, “We are delighted Michael Dickson will be joining us as our new Chief Executive. He is highly experienced within the NHS having worked in senior roles across the UK and is an outstanding leader. His work in steering NHS Shetland and Orkney through the extreme challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic was rightly recognised with the award of OBE.”

Mr Dickson added, “The Scottish Ambulance Service reaches every part of Scotland but does not forget its local impact, and it is a privilege to have the chance to lead the service as it works towards its 2030 strategy. I welcome the opportunity to lead the efforts to save more lives, improve clinical outcomes and continue to shift the balance of care by improving the health and wellbeing of the population and staff, but I do not underestimate the challenge ahead.”