Executive Directors

Jennifer Welsh, Chief ExecutiveJennifer Welsh, Chief Executive

Jennifer Welsh was appointed Chief Executive of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust on 21 July 2020.  Prior to this she was Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive from 1 December 2017 – 31 March 2020, and Interim Chief Executive from 1 April 2020.

Jennifer has been a Director within Northern Ireland’s Health & Social Care Services since 2005, and has significant experience in operational management, service and capital planning, capital development as well as a strong track record on safety, quality and governance.

A former member of a number of Northern Ireland’s Clinical Networks (including Cancer & Cardiology), Jennifer has also been the Chair of the Northern Ireland Pathology Network since 2010.

Appointed Director of Specialist Services in the Belfast Trust in 2007, Jennifer was responsible for many of Northern Ireland’s Regional Specialist Services including the Cancer Centre and Specialist Surgery such as Cardiac Surgery and Renal Transplant Services. In January 2017 Jennifer was appointed Director of Planning, Performance & Informatics within the Belfast Trust during which she developed the organisation’s approach to Partnership & Engagement with statutory agencies, the community & voluntary sector and with services users and their carers.

From 2005 to 2007, Jennifer was Director of Capital Development at the former Ulster Community & Hospitals’ Trust, and prior to this held the posts of Service Development Manager and Deputy Director of Corporate Planning at the former Green Park Healthcare Trust.

Jennifer has a strong background in research, developing partnerships between academia and clinical service, and has retained a strong interest in the benefits that this, as well as innovation and quality improvement, can bring to patients and clients.

Executive Office Manager: Karen O’Kane, Email karen.okane@northerntrust.hscni.net, Tel: 028 9442 4327

Wendy Magowan, Divisional Director of Medicine and Emergency MedicineWendy Magowan, Interim Director of Operations

Wendy was appointed as Interim Director of Operations in June 2020.

Wendy has been a registered nurse since 1986 and has worked in various nursing roles across the Acute and Community sectors.

Wendy has been employed within the Northern Health and Social Care Trust area since 1990. She has held various managerial roles across community and hospital settings, including Assistant Director / Divisional Nurse in Community Care and most recently Divisional Director of Medicine and Emergency Medicine, managing a range of services to across Antrim, Causeway and Whiteabbey Hospital sites.

The Director of Operations is a key leadership role within the Trust Executive Management Team with responsibility for leading on the delivery of the full range of operational services for the Northern Trust  to include Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Surgery & Clinical Services, Community Care,  Women, Children and Families and Mental Health & Learning Disability Services.

Personal Assistant: Sinead Laverty, Email: sinead.laverty@northerntrust.hscni.net, Tel: 028 9442 4260.

Karen Hargan, Director of Human Resources, Organisation Development & Corporate CommunicationsKaren Hargan, Director of Human Resources, OD & Corporate Communications

Karen is a member of the Northern Trust Executive Team.  She joined the Trust as Director of HR, OD and Corporate Communications on 16 September 2019. A graduate of Ulster University and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, she has over 30 years’ experience in HR across the public and private sectors having held a number of senior roles in health, local government, policing and manufacturing.

Karen started her career in the private sector with Desmond and Sons Ltd, a supplier to Marks and Spencer, where she spent 18 years in a range of HR and training roles and led the HR function for five years across NI, the UK and overseas operations in Turkey and Sri Lanka.

After leaving Desmonds, Karen spent two years working as an independent HR Consultant undertaking interim roles in Perfectseal and Seagate and completing assignments for a number of other organisations.

In 2005 she made her first move into the public sector, taking on the role of Temporary HR Director in Homefirst Community Trust during the run up to RPA and the establishment of the Northern Trust. In 2007 she moved to the PSNI as Head of HR and led the implementation of the new district model in the North West.

Returning to health as Assistant Director of Surgery and Anaesthetics in the Western Trust in May 2008, she gained experience in a busy and challenging operational role before moving to local government as the sector implemented local government reform reducing the number of councils from 26 to 11. As Director of HR, OD and Community Planning for Mid and East Antrim Council she led the development of the first Community Plan for the new Council area.

Karen joins the Trust from the Business Services Organisation where she was Director of HR and Corporate Services.

Personal Assistant: Colette Carey Email: Colette.carey@northerntrust.hscni.net. Tel: 028 9442 4940.

Suzanne Pullins, Interim Executive Director Nursing Suzanne Pullins, Interim Executive Director of Nursing

Suzanne Pullins started her career as a Registered General Nurse in 1987. Suzanne was recently appointed as the Interim Executive Director of Nursing and User Experience in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT).  Prior to this she worked as Assistant Director of Nursing Safety, Quality and User Experience and Deputy Director of Nursing, from 1 December 2015.

Suzanne has worked at Assistant Director Level within the Belfast and Northern Health and Social Care Trusts from 2009, and has significant experience in operational management and professional leadership in regional specialties, acute hospitals and community services.  Suzanne has also worked as Head of Governance (2012-2015) and led on the patient safety, governance, service user experience and quality agendas within the NHSCT.

Suzanne has a proven track record in quality improvement, completing the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, Improvement Advisor Programme (2017) and was a member of the founding cohort of the Q initiative in 2017, a programme led by the Health Foundation which was a fantastic opportunity to experience co-design and co-production in quality improvement development, first hand.

Suzanne has held both clinical and managerial roles in Cardiology from 1987 until 2009, having completed the Coronary Care Course at Belfast city Hospital in 1989. She has a clear focus on learning from the patient and client experience and engaging service user at all levels. Suzanne has previously facilitated service user groups as part of the establishment of the Regional Cardiology Network to inform the development of Cardiology Services in Northern Ireland. She continues to operationally lead the implementation of 10,000 More voices and more recently the Trust implementation of the on line user feedback platform of Care Opinion.

Personal Assistant: Hazel McClenaghan, Email: hazel.mcclenaghan@northerntrust.hscni.net, Tel: 028 9442 4261.

Seamus O'Reilly, Executive Director of MedicineSeamus O’Reilly, Executive Director of Medicine

Seamus O’Reilly was appointed as Medical Director on 15 December 2016.  Prior to this Seamus was interim Medical Director from 1 November 2016. Prior to this he was Assistant Medical Director with the Northern Trust.

Seamus qualified from Queens University Belfast in 1987. He has qualified in general medicine, general practice and emergency medicine. More recently he has completed his masters in medical law. He worked for 19 years in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust before coming to the Northern Health and Social Care Trust in August 2016.



Personal Assistant: Dorothy Killough, Email: dorothy.killough@northerntrust.hscni.net, Tel: 028 9442 4259.

Owen Harkin, Executive Director of FinanceOwen Harkin, Executive Director of Finance

A graduate of the University of Ulster, Owen began his career in the Finance department of the Western Health and Social Services Board in Derry in 1988. He progressed through a series of finance roles within the health service (based in Belfast and Omagh) before taking up the position of Deputy Director of Finance at Altnagelvin Hospitals Health and Social Services Trust in December 1995.

Owen was Chief Finance Officer at the Western Education and Library Board from January 2004. He returned to the health and social care sector and was Assistant Director of Finance with the Health and Social Care Board from April 2010 to 31 August 2015. Within that time he spent a year as Acting Director of Finance (from May 2013 – May 2014).

Owen is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and serves as a Trustee, and Vice President, of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), the representative body for finance staff in healthcare.

Personal Assistant: Jill McBride, Email: jill.mcbride@northerntrust.hscni.net, Tel: 028 9442 4260.

Maura Dargan, Executive Director of Social WorkMaura Dargan, Executive Director of Social Work and Divisional Director of Women, Children and Families Division

Maura was appointed as Divisional Director for Women, Children and Families Division/ Executive Director of Social Work in September 2019.

Maura has been employed by the Northern Trust since 1993 when she started her career in Antrim Fieldwork office as a childcare social worker. Maura moved to her first management role 5 years later within childcare/child protection and has undertaken a number of middle/senior management positions since that time.

Appointed children’s service improvement coordinator in 2008, Maua was responsible for leading on developments such as the creation of Gateway and the single assessment/planning framework for childcare social work. Maura has maintained her interest in quality improvement having completed the Improvement Advisor Professional Development Programme run by the Institute for Health Care Improvement in 2016.

Maura became Head of Service for Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) in 2012 and led on a range of initiatives to improve mental health support to children and young people. Most recently Maura was appointed as Assistant Director for Child Health, Development and Emotional Wellbeing focusing on improving access to services and developing fully integrated Emotional Wellbeing Services for children.

As Divisional Director Maura has operational responsibility for family and child care social work (safeguarding and corporate parenting), child health and disability, child and adolescent mental health service, Paediatric and Adult speech and language therapy, Paediatric Autism and Occupational Therapy, acute and community paediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology and maternity services including services provided at the Rowan, which is the Northern Ireland Regional Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

As Executive Director of Social Work Maura carries responsibility for all issues relating to social work policy, workforce and professional standards, alongside ensuring the Trust discharges its delegated statutory social services functions and maintains a high standard of social work practice in all programmes of care.

Personal Assistant: Julie Scobie, Email: julie.scobie@northerntrust.hscni.net, Tel: 028 9442 4326.

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