Scottish council

The Scottish council is a standing committee of the BMA. It focuses on matters relevant to the medical profession and healthcare in Scotland.

Location: Scotland
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Monday 26 February 2024
Voting card article illustration

The Scottish council ensures the voices of the medical profession in Scotland are heard.


Our priorities

Ensure that doctors are valued

General practice and hospital services in Scotland are both desperately short of doctors. We need to be able to fill vacancies so that we can look after our patients properly while taking care of our own health. That means attracting doctors to Scotland and keeping them here by making it a good and rewarding place to train and work. We are pursuing improvements in terms and conditions of service and in addressing the pension issues affecting many doctors.

Provide high quality individual support and promote a positive workplace culture

Bullying and harassment is far too widespread in our NHS. BMA Scotland has a key role in finding solutions so our doctors can focus 100 per cent on the task at hand. Our project 'Promoting Positive Workplace Cultures' is at the heart of BMA Scotland’s priorities.

Be the voice of doctors in influencing the future of health and healthcare in Scotland

Our members have an important insight into how to improve public health and the sustainability of health services in Scotland. We are marshalling this intelligence and using it to influence through media and lobbying with constructive proposals for change. We are also calling for the public to be consulted on what they need from the health service and be told honestly how much it will cost.

Increase visibility and responsiveness of the BMA in Scotland

We are increasing the number of people working locally across Scotland, in hospitals and in members' workplaces, to hear directly what members want from the BMA so we can respond appropriately. We are developing new products and services to make sure members get maximum value for their membership.


Our people

Chair: Iain Kennedy (supernumerary)

Deputy chairs: Simon Barker and Hugh Pearson


(v) voting member /  *new to Scottish council

Chair of Scottish council-                            Iain Kennedy (supernumerary) (NV)

Deputy Chairs of Scottish council -          Simon Barker (V) and Hugh Pearson (V)

Chair, SGPC -                                      Andrew Buist (V)

Chair, SCC                                                  Alan Robertson (V)

Chair, SJDC -                                                Chris Smith (NV)

Chair, SSASC -                                            Sine Steele (NV)

Chair, SMSC -                                 
Vash Loffelmann (V)

Chair, Scottish LNC Forum -                       Lailah Peel (NV)

President of the BMA -                                

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore (NV)

Chair of Representative Body -                  

Latifa Patel (NV)

Treasurer of the BMA -                                

Trevor Pickersgill (NV)

Chair of Council (UK) -                                  

Phil Banfield (NV)

Deputy Chair of Council (UK) -                   

Emma Runswick (NV)

Members of Council (UK) whose electoral zone is Scotland

Stuart Blake (NV)

Hannah Cagney (NV)

Iain Kennedy (NV)

Lewis Morrison (NV)


There are 35 voting seats on Scottish council as follows:

Scotland (National Seats) (V)

  1. Andrew Buist
  2. Alan Robertson
  3. Lewis Hughes
  4. Jennifer Pewsey *                                        
  5. Theo Habbick
  6. David Gorman*


General Practitioners (V)

  • East of Scotland
  1. Andrew Cowie
  2. Nora Murray-Cavanagh


  • North of Scotland
  1. Mishaim Bhana*
  2. Peggy Chua*


  • West of Scotland
  1. Tyra Smyth
  2. John Ip
  3. Patricia Moultrie
  4. Victoria Jane Shotton*


Consultants (V)

  • East of Scotland
  1. Ewan Olson
  2. Graeme Eunson


  • West of Scotland
  1. Malik Sajid Farid
  2. David Gerber*
  3. Alan Ogg*
  4. Christopher Barrett


  • North of Scotland
  1. Simon Barker
  2. Stephen Docherty*

Juniors (v)

  • Junior doctor - East of Scotland
  1. Sobha Singh*
  2. Hugh Pearson


  • Junior doctor - West of Scotland
  1. Scott Mcglynn
  2. Benjamin Forrest*
  3. Catriona Mcaleer*
  4. Lucas O'Donnell *


  • Junior doctor - North of Scotland
  1. Tom Dale MacLaine*
  2. Rhys Taylor*


  1. Medical academics -
    Michael Rimmer (v)*
  2. Medical students -
    Shoaib Shahbaz (NV)* (backfill for chair of SMSC)
  3. SAS doctors -
    Bernie Scott (v)
  4. Other craft not represented -
    Charles Saunders (v)
  5. Retired -
    Peter Curry (v)

Immediate past chair (for one year after demitting office as Chairman) – N/A

Appointed members where the Chair of a branch of practice committee has an elected seat –

Co-opted members -                                   

Joanna Bredski and Ellen McBride (NV)

Observer – Academy of Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland

Our meetings

Scottish council meets three times a year (in Edinburgh) and an executive committee deals with matters between meetings.

Meetings are open to council members only but non-members are welcome to attend by taking part in our committee visitors scheme.

Meeting dates:

  • Wednesday 6 September 2023
  • Tuesday 28 November 2023
  • Thursday 28 March 2024

All meetings are either virtual or take place at:

BMA Scotland
14 Queen Street


Our terms of reference

Scottish council is a standing committee of the BMA and has full delegated authority to consider any and all matters of specific relevance to the medical profession and healthcare in Scotland.

Scottish council determines policy and action where the application is exclusive to Scotland.

Voting members

There are 35 voting members of Scottish Council, elected for a three-year term of office.

  • Eight members engaged wholly or mainly in general practice, including those in private general practice but excluding general practice registrars, to represent and be elected by members in general practice in Scotland of whom: two for East, four for West, two for North.
  • Eight members employed wholly or mainly as senior hospital doctors to represent and be elected by members who are senior hospital doctors in Scotland of whom: two for East, four for West, two for North.
  • Eight members who are hospital doctors in the training grades or general practice registrars to represent and be elected by members who are hospital doctors in the training grades and general practice registrars in Scotland of whom: two for East, four for West, two for North.
  • One member employed wholly or mainly in the staff and associate specialist group elected by members from those groups in Scotland.
  • One member employed full-time in a university or in medical research, elected by members from those groups in Scotland.
  • One medical student member elected by all medical student members in Scotland.
  • One retired member elected by retired members in Scotland.
  • One member from other branches of practice not represented, elected by those groups in Scotland (eg civil service and armed forces, occupational health).
  • Six members resident in Scotland to represent and be elected by all members in Scotland.


  • East covers: Fife, Lothian, and Scottish Borders.
  • West covers: Argyll and Bute, Ayrshire and Arran, Dumfries and Stewartry, Dumbarton, Forth Valley, Greater Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Wigtown.
  • North covers: Angus, Caithness, Dundee, Grampian, Inverness, Orkney, Perth and Kinross, Ross and Cromarty, Shetland, Sutherland and Western Isles.
Non-voting members

Non-voting members are the chief officers of the association; the chairs of the SCC, SGPC, SJDC, SMASC, SSASC and SMSC; chair of Scottish LNC forum,  those members of Scottish council who are also members of UK council and the immediate past chair of Scottish council for a period of one year after demitting office as chair. The chair of the Academy of Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland is also a non-voting member.

Scottish council has the power to co-opt two additional non-voting members where specific expertise is required.

How to join the Scottish council

There are many advantages to becoming involved in our committees. You can actively influence BMA policy-making and negotiations, represent your colleagues' voices and develop your leadership skills. 

Each committee has a few routes to becoming an elected member. In the case of Scottish council, these are: 

Direct elections
  • Seats/term - every three years, elections for 35 seats on the Scottish council take place for a three-session term.
  • Timeline - elections are usually held prior the start of the session.
  • Eligibility - all BMA members who work and live in Scotland and meet the criteria detailed in the terms of reference (above) are eligible to stand and vote in this election. 

The election section below is kept up to date with details about any running elections, so make sure you keep checking it throughout the year.  



Scottish council elections

The Scottish council has now concluded the election process for 2023-2026. All seats on the committee were open for election.

The following have been elected and will take up their seats following this year’s ARM.

  • 6 national;
    Andrew Buist
    David Gorman
    Theo Habbick
    Lewis Hughes
    Jennifer Pewsey
    Alan Robertson
  • 8 GP;
    Mishaim Bhana
    Peggy Chua
    Andrew Cowie
    John Ip
    Nora Murray-Cavanagh
    Patricia Moultrie
    Victoria Shotton
    Tyra Smith
  • 8 consultant;
    Sajid Farid
    David Gerber
    Alan Ogg
    Christopher Barrett
    Simon Barker
    Stephen Docherty
    Ewan Olson
    Graeme Eunson
  • 8 junior doctor;
    Tom Dale MacLaine
    Ben Forrest
    Catriona Mcaleer
    Scott Mcglynn
    Lucas O’Donnell
    Hugh Pearson
    Sobha Singh
    Rhys Taylor
  • 1 SAS;
    Bernie Scott
  • 1 medical academic;
    Michael Rimmer
  • 1 medical student;
    Shoaib Shahbaz
  • 1 retired member;
    Peter Curry
  • 1 seat for other branches of practice;
    Charles Saunders
  • 2 co-opted members;
    Joanna Bredski
    Ellen McBride

If you have any questions about these elections, please email us

Get in touch

We are happy to answer any questions, give advice, or help on any matter related to Scottish council.

Write to:
Scottish council secretariat
BMA Scotland
14 Queen Street

Call us on 0131 247 3000 or email us.