Appointments to the Northern Ireland Practice & Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery

Date published: 27 January 2022

Health Minister Robin Swann, has announced the appointment of five Non-Executive Members to, and extensions to the terms of two Non-Executive Members of, the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery (NIPEC).

Public Appointments Image

Siobhán Caslin, Karen Diamond and Emma McIlveen are appointed as Non-Executive Lay Members. Mrs Diamond’s and Mrs McIlveen’s appointments commenced on 1 January 2022 and will end on a date not later than 31 December 2025. Ms Caslin‘s appointment commenced on 6 January 22 and will end on a date not later than 5 January 2026.  Brenda Kelly Murnion and Kieran McCormick are appointed as Non-Executive Professional Members. Their appointments commenced on 1 January 2022 and 12 January and will end on a date not later than 31 December 2025 and 11 January 2026 respectively. Lisa Houlihan’s and Catherine Rice’s appointments as Non- Executive Professional Members have been extended with effect from 1 January 2022 and 28 January 2022 and will end on  a date not later than 31 December 2022 and 27 January 2023 respectively.  

NIPEC’s Non- Executive Member positions are not remunerated and require a time commitment of 20 days per year.

These appointments have been made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland.

NIPEC, is an Arms’ Length Body sponsored by the Department of Health to support the development of nurses and midwives by promoting high standards of practice, education and professional development. NIPEC also provides advice and guidance on best practice and matters relating to nursing and midwifery (NI).

The NIPEC Council comprises a Non-Executive Chair, a Chief Executive and not more than 14 Non-Executive Members (60% registered nurses/midwives and 40% not registered).

    Notes to editors: 

    1. Mr Kieran McCormick has been a Registered Nurse for 14 years and during this time has worked across the public, private and voluntary sector. Kieran’s clinical nursing background is in care of the elderly and learning disability, before he later moved in to management and regulation. Kieran is currently the Managing Director of a healthcare agency based in Belfast.
    2. Mrs Emma McIlveen is a barrister who primarily specialises in employment law. She has a special interest in pregnancy discrimination and vulnerable claimants. Prior to qualifying as a barrister, she was a Kennedy scholar at Harvard University. She was a co-founder of an Advanced Employment Course at the Institute for Professional Legal Studies. In 2021, she was shortlisted for a Next 100 Years Inspirational Women in Law award and recently completed a global leadership programme delivered by Cambridge University. Alongside her employment practice, she is very interested in medico legal issues. As a result, she currently serves on the committee of the Medico-Legal Society in Northern Ireland. Emma currently serves as an Independent Assessor for the Commissioner for Public Appointments Northern Ireland.
    3. Mrs Brenda Kelly Murnion started her healthcare career as a Registered Nurse in 1990 and Registered Midwife in 1993, in the Western Trust area and has held midwifery posts both in the Western and Belfast Trusts. In 2002, shewas appointed a Supervisor of Midwives, before moving to the Southern Trust as a Midwifery Sister, in 2005 and Lead Midwife in 2009. Having earlier completed a Diploma in Professional Studies in Midwifery, Brenda subsequently undertook a BSc in Professional Studies in Midwifery, with first class honours in 2012 and was awarded an MSc with Commendation in Inter Professional Health and Social Care Management in 2017. Brenda is currently the Divisional Midwife and Head of Midwifery for the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust since 2014. She is a Scottish Improvement Leadership graduate since 2019 and has specific interests in Medicines Management and Midwifery led care and is a keen mentor and coach.
    4. Ms Karen Diamond has been a qualified music therapist for over 30 years. She established her own music therapy consultancy practice in 2015 working with children and adults in various care pathways specialising in learning disability and early years.  Karen founded and directs the Equal Notes Choir, a choir for adults with learning disabilities. She holds registrant partner roles in Continuing Professional Development and Lead Visitor for Education with the Health Care Professions Council. She is also an Associate Lecturer with St Mary’s University College delivering on the undergraduate and postgraduate education courses. She has significant experience of strategic development, multidisciplinary working and service user engagement.  Karen brings to her role on the board of NIPEC her professional and personal experience in the Education, Health and voluntary sectors.
    5. Ms Siobhán Caslin is a barrister with over ten years’ experience in public and regulatory law. Currently working as in house counsel to the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), Siobhán advises on the governance and regulation of payment systems in the UK. Her work ranges from fraud protection to innovation and competition in the interests of consumers. Prior to joining the PSR, Siobhán worked extensively as a Case Presenter for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), dealing with lengthy, complex, and high-profile fitness to practice cases. Siobhán was elected a Scholar of Trinity College Dublin and graduated with First Class Honours in Law. She also holds an LL.M from Trinity, where she completed her dissertation on the Human Rights of Travellers, and a Certificate of Professional Legal Studies from Queen’s University Belfast. Siobhán was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2011 and the Bar of England & Wales in 2015.
    6. Ms Catherine Rice qualified as RMN in July 1984.  She worked as CPN, Manager and with Social Services Child Protection team. From May 2000, Ms Rice was employed by the Clinical Education Centre as a Nurse Teacher, a Senior Education Manager and finally, the Assistant Head of Clinical Education Centre. Ms Rice has delivered on regional nurse education programmes working collaboratively with Trust Leaders to develop teaching packages meeting the needs of Trust staff.  As a member of the strategic working group for Overseas Nurses, Ms Rice was influential in developing an educational package to fulfil the needs of the Nurses coming from Overseas. Although retired from the NHS, Ms Rice is live on the Nursing Register and remains committed to improving standards to enhance care delivery to patients. She is currently a case examiner with NMC and a lay panel member for fitness to practice with HCPC.
    7. Mrs Lisa Houlihan has many years' experience in Health and Social Care (HSC) as a Service Manager and as a Nurse. She has gained vast experience in developing and securing service improvement in healthcare in a range of settings and has clear focus on what makes a difference to frontline practitioners. Mrs Houlihan brings her enthusiasm and willingness to take on new challenges to the role of board member. Her excellent communication skills and ability to work with a wide range of stakeholders to secure successful outcomes will benefit the board.
    1. Appointments to NIPEC are made with the approval of the Health Minister.
    1. All public appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Ms McIlveen has declared that she has spoken and canvassed on behalf of the DUP in various elections over a number of years. All other appointees have declared they have not engaged in any political activity during the last five years.
    2. All appointees have advised that they do not currently hold any other public appointments.
    3. For media enquiries please contact DOH Press Office by email
    4. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt
    5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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