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Board of Directors

Mr Les Drew


Mr Drew is a self-employed business consultant providing strategic advice regarding business improvement and change management.

Les was previously employed by Northern Ireland Electricity Networks as Head of Procurement. He has held a number of other senior management posts during his 39-year career including, Group Financial Controller; Governance and Risk Manager; Regulation Officer; and Information Technology Contract Manager and until March 2017 Head of Procurement.

Mrs Valerie Watts

Chief Executive

Valerie Watts took up post as Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board in July 2014. Mrs Watts has over 30 years' public sector experience, beginning her career at the Royal Victoria Hospital where she oversaw competitive tendering for ancillary support services, and having worked in local government since 1989. Most recently, Mrs Watts was Chief Executive of Aberdeen City Council (2011- 2014) and formerly Town Clerk and Chief Executive of Derry City Council (2009-2011) where she was instrumental in securing the UK City of Culture for 2013 and developing a strategic economic masterplan for the North West.

Mr Stephen Leach CB

Non Executive Director

Mr Leach lives in North Down and has been a Non-Executive Director of the Health and Social Care Board since 2009. He is a former senior civil servant and was Chair of the Northern Ireland Criminal Justice Board from 2000 to 2009. He was a Parole Commissioner for Northern Ireland from 2009 to 2015 and is currently a Commissioner with the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Mrs Stephanie Lowry

Non Executive Director

Mrs Lowry has 30 years’ experience working in both the private and public sector throughout her career. She has held several public appointments in a variety of areas, including Independent Board Member with the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure; Deputy Chair of the Health and Safety Executive and was a member of the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) Audit Committee and an Independent Assessor for Public Appointments.

Dr Melissa McCullough PhD, MSc Clinical/Bioethics, LLB

Non Executive Director

Dr McCullough lives in Belfast and is a Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Melissa was appointed to the National Institute for Clinical and Care Excellence (NICE, London) Guideline Committee for Lyme Disease in 2016, and has recently been appointed as a Panel Assessor and Chair for Undergraduate Medical Education with the Medical Council Ireland. Melissa has worked as a senior academic in medical education specialising in ethics & law, professionalism and leadership in medical schools in the UK and Ireland since 2005, and her teaching and research interests are primarily in clinical ethics, public health ethics, human rights & healthcare, diversity & inclusion, equality and justice in health and social care and health policy. She also has an interest in public engagement including performing arts & ethics and works with local voluntary bodies in Belfast and the USA.

Mr John Mone MSc, BA

Non Executive Director

Mr Mone lives in Co Armagh. He is a Non-Executive Director of the HSCB since 2009. He spent his career in the health service and is a former Director of Nursing. He is a primary school governor and a member of the NI Research Ethics Committee.

Mr Paul Cummings

Director of Finance

Mr Cummings trained as an accountant with Northern Ireland Electricity before joining the Eastern Health and Social Services Board in 1987. Previous posts include Director of Finance, Technology and Estates to the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Director of Finance and Information for the Ulster Community and Hospitals Trust, and Director of Finance and Contracting, Mater Hospital. In 2003 Paul served as the National Chairman of Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), the first person outside the English NHS to receive such an honour.

Dr Miriam McCarthy

Director of Commissioning (Interim)

Miriam McCarthy is the Director of Commissioning at the HSCB, having taken up post in December 2017. Miriam is a medical doctor trained in both general practice and public health. While she has spent most of her career working in Northern Ireland, she has also worked and studied for many years in the USA. Miriam has extensive experience in policy and strategy development.

As a senior civil servant during the period 1998-2011 she led many high profile service reviews which have shaped the direction of acute and specialist hospital services in Northern Ireland. She subsequently took up a position as consultant in public health, based at the PHA where she worked in partnership with commissioners in shaping and developing hospital services across NI, with particular focus on specialist services, cancer and medicines management. Miriam has also been closely involved with the work of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and was a member of a Technology Appraisal Committee between 2013 and 2017. In her role as Director of Commissioning Miriam provides leadership to improve patient care, ensure sustainable services and transform the delivery of care.

Mrs Lisa McWilliams

Director of Performance Management and Service Improvement (Interim)

An economist by training Lisa worked in the private and public sector before joining the HSC in 2004. Lisa has been the Interim Director of Performance Management and Service Improvement for the Health and Social Care Board since April 2018. Lisa’s substantive post is the Assistant Director of Scheduled Care for the Health and Social Care Board and had responsibility for elective care reform, service improvement and performance management. Lisa previously held the posts of HSCB Assistant Director of Commissioning overseeing clinical networks and NICE processes. Prior to that Lisa was the lead for Northern Ireland’s Managed Clinical Network for Cancer Services where she led a number of regional service improvement initiatives and became a peer reviewer with the NHS England Peer Review Team.

Ms Marie Roulston, OBE

Director of Social Care and Children

Marie has over 30 years’ experience in working with children and families. Marie has worked across the range of children’s services and moved into a managerial role as Area Manager in 2002 in the Northern Trust. In May 2007 she was appointed as Assistant Director in the Women and Children's Directorate. She had responsibility for Looked after Children Trust-wide, encompassing children in residential care, children in foster care, the Northern Trust Adoption service, recruitment of foster carers and 16+ services.
Marie took up post as Director of Children’s Services/Executive Director Social Work within the Northern Trust in September 2012 and had responsibility for Women, Children and Families from 2015 and in August 2018 took up post as Director of Social Care and Children at HSCB. She was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List (2019) with respect to services to health care and young people.