Elected: 1995
Discipline: Professional, Educational and Public Sector Leadership
Lord Stewart Ross Sutherland of Houndwood KT FBA FRSE, HonFLSW

Former Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Edinburgh.

When the Royal Commission on Long-Term Care of the Elderly, chaired by Sir Stewart Sutherland, issued its report in 1999, the response of his critics was predictable. They dismissed his radical recommendation that all nursing and personal care should be provided free by the government as “hopelessly unrealistic” and described the costs as “prohibitive”. The Labour government, which had set up the commission, quietly shelved it.

Reflecting on that setback ten years later, Sir Stewart — by then Lord Sutherland of Houndwood — was phlegmatic, but still convinced that a genuine opportunity had been missed. “My biggest disappointment,” he said, “is that the government, when it rejected our proposals, didn’t come up with an alternative. If it had a better scheme, then we have not seen it. We are still at sixes and sevens.” Read more