Reappointment of Eight Non-Executive Directors to Health and Social Care Trusts

Date published: 16 February 2021

Health Minister Robin Swann has announced the reappointment of eight Non-Executive Directors to three Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts. The reappointments are all Lay Member positions.

Northern HSC Trust – The Non-Executive Directors reappointed are as follows: Mr Glenn Houston and Mr Gerard McGivern from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2024.

South Eastern HSC Trust – The Non-Executive Directors reappointed are as follows:  Mr Jonathon Patton (currently acting Chair), Mrs Helen Minford and Mrs Joan O’Hagan from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2024.

Southern HSC Trust – The Non-Executive Directors reappointed are as follows: Ms Geraldine Donaghy, Mrs Pauline Lesson and Mr Martin McDonald from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2024.

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

The Non-Executive Director position within HSC Trusts attracts a remuneration of £8,283 per annum and carries a time commitment of one day per week.

The HSC Trusts were established as statutorily separate organisations within the HSC family, 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.  They provide health and social care services against Ministerial priorities, standards and targets and are performance managed by the Department and the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB).  Services are provided as specified in contracts with the commissioners of health and care services, namely the HSCB. 

Each Trust Board comprises five Executive Directors, including the Chief Executive, a Non-Executive Chair and seven Non-Executive Members. 


Notes to editors: 

  1. Mr Jonathon Patton has extensive experience across the Private, Public and Charity Sectors. As a Management Consultant, he has worked with Businesses and Charities on governance, performance improvement, recruitment, and health and safety policy and implementation.  His career spans several industry sectors throughout the UK at senior management and Director levels.  He has extensive knowledge and experience across fitness to practice for Barristers, Pharmacists and Social Workers.  Jonathan currently holds appointments with the Bar Council for Northern Ireland and the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal.  He is the non-remunerated Chairman of Community Rescue Service. Since 2015, he has served as a Lay Advisor on the Strategic Management Board for Public Protection Arrangements in Northern Ireland. Jonathan currently holds one other Ministerial public appointment, from 2019 as a Lay Member and Vice-President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, where he attends 6 meetings per annum and receives remuneration of £118 per meeting.
  2. Mrs Helen Minford has served for over thirty years in both the public health and education sectors and has held a variety of roles including senior management. Until April 2016, she held the post of Head of School for Health, Care & Sport in Belfast Metropolitan College. Helen led and managed teams as they brought about change, has overseen quality, performance and innovation in line with stakeholder requirements, has led through major inspections and managed a wide range of projects within significant budgetary constraints. Helen was a member of a range of stakeholder groups, collaborative fora and strategic partnerships. She began her career as a nurse and midwife, and was a midwifery teacher before moving into the role of practice nurse with responsibility for Health Promotion. In 1998 Helen took up the post of a Lecturer in Early Years and Health & Social Care.
  3. Mrs Joan O’Hagan has had a long and varied career in both the public and voluntary sector.  After training as a nurse, midwife and then health visitor working in primary care, the community, the acute sector and for the Department of Health, Joan became the Director of Nursing and Community Health in Newry and Mourne Trust  from 1995- 2007.  Following this, she worked for Asthma UK as the Director in Northern Ireland from 2007- 2015. Joan was also an independent member of the Policing Board Northern Ireland from 2011-2015.  Joan has a particular interest in Governance issues, leadership development and human rights in the healthcare sector.
  4. Ms Geraldine Donaghy was formerly Chief Executive of the Confederation of Community Groups, Newry and Mourne and previously served as a Commissioner on the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.  Geraldine has wide experience of the voluntary and public sectors with an interest and experience in governance and regulation.  She is a Member of the Complaints Committee of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) Ireland.  Geraldine currently holds one other Ministerial public appointment as a Non-Executive Member of the Warrenpoint Harbour Authority, appointed December 2019.  This position attracts a remuneration of £7807.44 per annum and carries a time commitment of 1 - 2 days per month.
  5. Mrs Pauline Leeson is a Social Worker and Chief Executive of Children in Northern Ireland, the regional network for the children’s sector. She currently holds one other current public appointment, from November 2020 as a Board Member of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, for which she receives an annual remuneration of £6,890 with a time commitment of 1 day per month. Pauline is as an Independent Member of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Policing and Community Safety Partnership. Pauline was awarded a CBE in 2013 for services to children in Northern Ireland.
  6. Martin McDonald has over 40 years of experience in public service, commencing his career with local government in 1973. He later went on to work in the Town & Country Planning Service and in 1990 joined the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development as a Rural Area Co-ordinator under the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme. Martin is recognised as a key figure in the development and implementation of major rural development initiatives. He joined the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council as Chief Executive in 1999 and retired in 2011.   He was a member of the Northern Ireland Heritage Lottery Fund in 2011 and acted as Interim Chair between 2013 and 2016.  Martin served as a Non-Executive Director on the Northern Ireland Fisheries Harbour Authority between 2012 and 2020. He is a former Director and Chair of Newry Credit Union. Martin currently holds one other Ministerial public appointment as Chair of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council, appointed June 2019. This position attracts a remuneration of £8,200 for a time commitment of approximately 60 days per annum.
  7. Mr Glenn Houston has 35 years’ experience of working in health and social care in Northern Ireland.  He has held senior appointments at both Director and Chief Executive level, including Chief Executive of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) between 2009 and 2016. Glenn is a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of the Public Prosecution Service (PPSNI); from 2017 he has served as Chair of the Jersey Care Commission; from 2017 as a Non-Executive Member, but currently Vice Chair, of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and from 2018 as a Non-Executive Board Member of the Human Tissue Authority (HTA). 
  8. Gerard McGivern is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, and holds an MSc in Local Economic Development from the University of Glasgow. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Fellow to the Institute of Economic Development.  He played a lead role in building Banbridge EnterprisesLtd, and in the 1990s established the Development Directorate at Banbridge District Council, with responsibility for economic development, tourism and corporate marketing.  Gerard served as Director of District Development with Newry & Mourne District Council, with responsibility for economic development and tourism, community services, sports, arts, museum and language services from 2000 to 2015.  During this period he also pioneered a series of cross border economic development initiatives which culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Newry & Mourne District Council and Louth Local Authorities in 2011. He is also Vice Chairman of Banbridge District Enterprises Ltd. Gerard currently holds one other Ministerial public appointment as Chair of the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland, appointed 2015. This position attracts a remuneration of £17,315 per annum for a time commitment of 2 days per week.
  9. Appointments to the HSC Trusts are made with the approval of the Health Minister.
  10. All 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 of the appointees declared that they have not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.
  11. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office by email:
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  13. 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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