Extensions to the terms of the chair and seven non-executive members of the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery

Date published: 27 October 2021

Health Minster Robin Swann, has announced an extension to the terms of the Chair and seven Non-Executive Members of the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery (NIPEC).

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Professor Carol Curran’s appointment as Chair has been extended from 20 September 2021 to a date not later than 19 December 2021; Mrs Alison Baxendale’s appointment as a Non-Executive (Lay) Member has been extended from 18 September 2021 to a date not later than 17 December 2021; Mr Paul Davidson’s appointment as Non-Executive (Lay) Member has been be extended from 1 October 2021 to a date not later than 31 December 2021.  Mrs Lisa Houlihan’s appointment as a Non- Executive (Professional) member has been extended from 1 October 2021 to a date not later than 31 December 2021; Mrs Deirdre O’Donnell’s appointment as a Non- Executive (Professional) has been extended from 1 October 2021 to a date not later than 31 December 2021; Mrs Deborah Oktar- Campbell’s appointment (Professional) member has been extended from 1 October 2021 to a date not later than 31 December 2021; Ms Catherine Rice’s appointment (Professional) extension is from 28 October 2021 until a date not later than 27 January 2022; Dr Vinod Tohani’s appointment as a Non- Executive (Lay) member has been extended from 1 October 2021 to a date not later than 31 December 2021. 

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

The Non-Executive Chair role attracts an annual remuneration of £11,534 and carries a time commitment of 45 days per annum. The Non-Executive Member positions are not remunerated and carry a time commitment of 20 days per annum.

NIPEC was established by the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2002 under the Health and Personal Social Services Act as a Non-Departmental Public Body 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.

The membership of the NIPEC Council comprises two Executive positions (Chief Executive and Chief Nursing Officer (ex-officio)), a Non-Executive Chair, six Non-Executive Lay Members and eight Non-Executive Professional Members.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Professor Carol Curran – Carol is Professor of Nursing and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Life & Health Sciences at Ulster University.  Carol is widely recognised as a nurse leader, regularly delivering key-note addresses at prestigious conferences worldwide. She has been a visiting scholar at Kent State University, Ohio and is currently visiting professor at Qiqihar Medical University China.  In 2014 Carol was recognised in the Queen’s Honours, receiving an OBE for services to Education and Nursing in Northern Ireland.  Carol is a registered nurse and holds specialist qualifications in District Nursing and Education. She has a BSc, MSc and PhD all from Ulster University, along with a Diploma in Nursing from the University of London.
  1. Mrs Alison Baxendale - Mrs Baxendale worked within the National Health Service (NHS) in England from 1981 until 2011 in a variety of clinical and managerial roles. She qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 1981 and specialised in working with children with specific speech and language disorders. Her managerial roles included Service Manager, Business Manager, General Manager and Head of Clinical Services. She has been a clinical advisor to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman was an executive coach and Leadership Quality Framework facilitator and trainer. She worked for the Care Quality Commission inspecting health and social care organisations from 2012 until 2016.  Mrs Baxendale brings to her role of Non-Executive (Lay) Member to NIPEC, her extensive experience and knowledge of healthcare strategy and delivery, and of organisational and clinical governance. Her communication, inter-personal, business and change management skills, coupled with her ongoing interest in supporting high quality care, will ensure she makes a full contribution to the work of NIPEC.  Mrs Baxendale currently holds the position of Deputy Chair on NIPEC’s Council.
  1. Mr Paul Davidson - Mr Davidson is a Lay Member of NIPEC council and is currently engaged as a lecturer (Engineering) for the Open University, student support provider for QUB, and Professional Registration Advisor for the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He is also the School Designated Governor for child protection and Chair at Clifton Special School, Bangor.
  1. Dr Vinod Tohani, until his retirement in February 2010, had been employed for over twenty years in the Southern Health and Social Services Board, latterly the Public Health Agency, as Consultant in Communicable Disease Control/Consultant in Public Health Medicine. From April 1987 to September 1990, Dr Tohani had been employed as Consultant in Communicable Disease Control/Consultant in Public Health Medicine with the Western Health and Social Services Board. Dr Tohani's experience gained in the field of Public Health, covering such areas as Child and Maternal Health, Mental Health, Health Promotion, together with his involvement with health care professional training and education, assists him on the Council. He has been involved, in a voluntary capacity, as a member of the NI Food Standards Agency Advisory Committee and of the Pesticide Advisory Committee (UK).
  1. Mrs Lisa Houlihan has many years' experience in Health and Social Care (HSC) 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 will bring 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. Ms Deirdre O’Donnell is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing at Ulster University. She is a registered nurse, holds a specialist practice qualification, a Master’s degree in Advanced Nursing and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Since 2013, Ms O’Donnell has been a Professional Member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council Fitness to Practice Committee. Ms O’Donnell brings to the role as Non-Executive Professional Member of NIPEC, her extensive experience and knowledge of leadership in nursing education, clinical nursing practice and professional regulation. She has a particular interest in the development of person-centred practice through nursing education.
  1. Mrs Deborah Oktar Campbell has worked in the Independent Sector for almost thirty years where she has led and directed various teams to deliver against the regulations and standards within the independent and voluntary sectors; currently running her own successful consultancy/training and counselling business she engages her diverse range of skills to assist with continual quality improvement, development and support.  Serving on the NIPEC board since 2012, Mrs Oktar-Campbell has represented council on various subgroups, Audit and Risk Committee, Record Keeping Steering Group and Independent and Voluntary Sector Forum and continues to bring her professional expertise to the table to assist NIPEC achieve its strategic business objectives.
  1. Ms Catherine Rice has recently retired from her post as Assistant Head with the Clinical Education Centre for the Business Services Organisation and was formerly a Senior Manager at the Education Centre.  Ms Rice led a team of senior managers overseeing the service level agreements for Belfast, South Eastern and Southern Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts.  She led the CEC team working closely with all Trusts providing support and education for the newly recruited international nurses. Prior to this, Ms Rice was Primary Care Manager, Child Protection Co-ordinator at Down Lisburn Trust, Community Psychiatric Nurse (Sister Grade) in North and West Belfast HSC Trust and a Staff Nurse at Purdysburn Hospital. She has been a Registrant panel member for the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practice panels and was appointed as Chair in May 2017.  She is also part of a team of nurses and midwives from Northern Ireland providing training to Nurses in Croatia.
  1. Appointments to NIPEC are made with the approval of the Health Minister.   
  2. 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. All appointees have all declared that they have not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.
  1. All appointees have advised that they do not currently hold any other public appointments.  
  1. For media enquiries please contact DOH Press Office by email pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk.
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  1. 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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