Who’s who: Health

agendaNi takes a look at some of the key figures within Northern Ireland’s largest department, health. 

Michelle O’Neill MLA

Minister for Health in the Stormont Executive

A qualified welfare rights advisor, Michelle O’Neill was first elected to Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council in 2005 and in 2010 was the first female Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council. In May 2016, O’Neill was appointed as Minister for Health, having previously served as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Valerie Watts

Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board

With over 30 years’ public sector experience, Watts took up post as Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board in July 2014. Having started her career at the Royal Victoria Hospital where she oversaw competitive tendering for ancillary support services, her most recent roles include Chief Executive of Aberdeen City Council between 2011 to 2014 and a key player in securing the UK City Of Culture 2013 as Chief Executive of Derry City Council between 2009 and 2011, as well as developing an economic masterplan for the North West.

Michael McBride

Department of Health Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Chief Executive of Belfast Health and Social Services Trust

A consultant in the health service since 1994, McBride was appointed CMO in 2006 having previously held positions as Postgraduate Clinical Tutor in the Royal Group of Hospitals between 1996 and 2000 and Director of Education in the Royal Hospitals from 2000. He took up the post of Chief Executive of Belfast Health and Social Services Trust at the request of the Minister in 2014 and combines his role with that of CMO.

Roisin O’Hara

Interim Chief Executive of the Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust

Appointed as Director of Human Resources in March 2002, O’Hara previously lectured at Queen’s University, Belfast. She has held positions as Director of Human Resources in the voluntary sector and served as Vice-Chair for the CIPD Northern Ireland branch. She is also a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Tony Stevens

Chief Executive of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust

An occupational physician, Stevens has had a 20 year career in medical management. Appointed as Chief Executive of the Northern Trust in August 2014, he previously held the position as Medical Director for the Belfast Trust. He also served as Deputy Medical Director and Director of Risk and Occupational Health with the Royal Hospitals Trust.

Hugh McCaughey

Chief Executive of the South Eastern Trust

McCaughey was previously Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive of the Belfast Trust, having worked in the NHS since 1985. He is the Trust’s accountable officer to the DHSSPS for all matters relating to the performance of the Trust and the discharge of delegated statutory functions. McCaughey is a former Council member of Sport NI and chaired the Sports Institute, Northern Ireland, which is responsible for the development of some of Northern Ireland’s best athletes from 2005 to 2008.

Francis Rice

Interim Chief Executive of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust

Appointed in April 2016, following the resignation of Kieran Donaghy, Rice is well known across the Trust in his role as Director of Mental Health and Learning Disability since February 2007. He is also the Executive Director of Nursing and previously held the post of Director of Nursing in Sperrin Lakeland HSS Trust. Prior to this, he was Nursing Officer for Mental Health, Disability and Older People’s Services from 2000 and was previously Acting Chief Nursing Director.

Elaine Way

Chief Executive of the Western Health and Social Care Trust

Specialising in human resource management within health and social care since 1977, Way moved into general management in 1993 and was Chief Executive of Foyle, then Altnagelvin Trusts, before being appointed as the Chief Executive of the Western Trust in 2007.

Richard Pengelly

Permanent Secretary for Health

Richard Pengelly has been the Department of Health’s permanent secretary since 2014 having previously held the post at the Department for Regional Development. A chartered accountant, he previously worked in the Northern Ireland Audit Office and in private accounting practice before joining the Department.

Maeve Hully

Chief Executive of the Patient and Client Council

Prior to joining the Patient and Client Council, Hully worked for Marie Curie Cancer Care for 15 years, where she had a national role for patient advocacy and engagement. She is a registered nurse with over 15 years experience working in palliative care. Hully has also worked as a health visitor and a community paediatric nurse.

Olive MacLeod

Chief Executive of RQIA

Appointed in July 2016, Olive MacLeod spent 14 years in Canada at the Mount Sinai Hospital Toronto and Kingston General Hospital as an obstetric nurse, nurse leader and clinical educator, after qualifying as a general nurse in Dublin and a registered midwife in Scotland.

In 2007 she was appointed as the Co-Director of Nursing in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and most recently was Director of Nursing and User Experience at the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

Liam McIvor

Chief Executive of the Business Services Organisation (BSO)

Appointed in April 2016, McIvor was previously Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) from October 2004 having held the position of Director of Operations from May 2001. McIvor joined the health service after a career in store management with British Home Stores and has served as the General Manager for Ambulatory Care at the Royal Group of Hospitals, after general management positions in cardiology and cardiac surgery. He is currently Vice Chair of the Representatives Group for the Northern Ireland Confederation, and a member of the Council of the NI Chest Heart and Stroke Association.

Colum Conway

Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Social Care Council

Appointed in May 2013, Conway previously served as Chief Executive of Extra Care, a cross-border organisation supporting independent living through the provision of home care. He also worked as include Director of Operations for NIPPA (The Early Years Organisation), Family and Childcare social work in Craigavon and Banbridge HSC Trust, Barnardos in Dublin, and Child and Family Care with the Daughters of Charity in Dublin.

Eddie Rooney

Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency

Appointed when the agency was established in 2009 to protect and improve health and social well-being and reduce health inequalities, Rooney previously served as Equality Director at the Office for the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and as Deputy Secretary at the Department of Education from 2004 to 2008.

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