Extensions to the Terms of Appointment of the Non-Executive Acting Chair and 3 Non-Executive Directors of the Western Health and Social Care Trust

Date published: 15 October 2018

The Department of Health has announced the Non-Executive appointment of Niall Birthistle, as Acting Chair of the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT), has been extended for a maximum period of 6 months from 1 October 2018.

Public Appointments Image

This appointment carries a time commitment of 3 days per week and attracts an annual remuneration of £29,716.

The Non-Executive appointments of Stella Cummings, Sally O’Kane, and Joan Doherty to the WHSCT Board have also been extended for a maximum period of 6 months from 1 October 2018.

These appointments carry a time commitment of 1 day per week and attract an annual remuneration of £7,960.

The WHSCT is one of five HSC Trusts established in 2007 responsible for the delivery of responsive and effective health and care services and for the ownership and management of hospitals and other establishments and facilities.

Each HSC Trust is managed directly by a Board of Directors which has corporate responsibility for its operation. The Board is made up of five Executive Directors and seven Non-Executive Directors and a Non-Executive Chair. Executive Directors and Non-Executive Directors are full and equal members of the Board.

The appointments are made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for NI. The final decision on the extension of the appointments rested with the Department. There are no specific qualifications for appointment. 

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process however, all of those extended declared no political activity.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Niall Birthistle worked for Adria Ltd, a large clothing manufacturer based in Strabane as an executive director and was appointed Managing Director until his retirement in 2005. He is a former President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and served on the Council of the University of Ulster and on the Northern Ireland Council of The Princes Trust. He was a director of the Northern Ireland Partnership Board and is currently a Trustee of the Playhouse in Derry and a director of School Employer Connections.  He is Non-Executive Chairman of R E Cooke Ltd, an engineering company based in Burton on Trent. Mr Birthistle was a Non-Executive Director of the former Altnagelvin Trust for 2 years prior to the establishment of the Western Health and Social Care Trust and has been a Non-Executive of that board since then. He was appointed Acting Chairman in August 2016.
  2. Stella Cummings from 1978-2003, worked for Foyle HSS Trust and was Programme Manager for Older People, with the responsibility for the provision of Social Care Service to the over 65 population. In 2007 Mrs. Cummings was elected as a Trustee to the Board of the British Red Cross, became a Vice Chair of the organisation in 2010 and served on this Board as a UK Trustee until her term of office ended in December 2013. Mrs. Cummings is a former Chair of Roe Valley Disability Action Group. In 2015 she was appointed Vice President of Northern Ireland British Red Cross and received an MBE for my voluntary work with the British Red Cross in the Queens New Year’s Honours list in 2017.
  3. Sally O’Kane is a pharmacist by profession and served as Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Western Health and Social Services and as Clinical Director, Altnagelvin Hospital, Pharmacy/HSDU services.

    Ms. O’Kane has served on a number of Pharmacy Committees and chaired the Central Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee for 6 years. In recognition of her service to the Pharmacy profession she was made a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland. Ms. O’Kane was a member of the Western Education and Library Board for 13 years and chaired the Library Committee. She is Vice Chair of the Derry Diocesan Committee, Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) and is a governor of Foyle College.
  4. Joan Doherty is a retired school principal who has been involved in the management of two companies. She has served on Altnagelvin Hospital Board prior to being appointed to the WHSCT. She has served on several other Boards including the North West Regional College, The Independent Monitoring Board, The Churches Trust, and in several Charities. She is an honorary member of a number of organisations. Mrs Doherty was awarded an MBE for her services to the Community. Her interests are travelling, working with homeless people, and other charity work.
  5. Media enquiries to DoH Press Office on 02890 520575 or email: pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk . Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 02890 378110. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt.

Share this page

Back to top