I was appointed as Chief Executive in January 2020.
I have a wealth of clinical and executive director level experience working in the NHS at a local, regional and national level.
I started my career in the NHS as a nurse and I am also a qualified midwife and health visitor.
I have worked as an executive and board director since 1992 across a variety of different NHS sectors including the role of executive director of nursing at Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals.
I was then appointed to the role of regional nurse / director of operations and workforce for the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Strategic Health Authority which subsequently became North East SHA.
As director of NHS operations at the Department of Health, I led on a number of high profile programmes of work including NHS performance and operations, communications and briefings for all NHS operational matters to the director general, ministers and NHS chief executive as well as having national responsibility for the NHS interface with military health.
At regional level, I was the regional director for the North at the NHS Trust Development Authority which involved leadership and engagement with 72 NHS organisations across the North East and Yorkshire and North West regions including acute, community, mental health and ambulance trusts as well as NHS Foundation Trust under the umbrella of NHS Improvement which brought TDA and Monitor together.
More latterly, I was the director of integration and transformation in the Tees Valley, leading on the design and execution of a clinical services strategy and financial plan as well as an options appraisal process for organisational form.
Throughout my career, I have remained passionate about ensuring the delivery of safe, high-quality care for patients as well as talent management and development of staff and I am delighted to be at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS FT and look forward to working with colleagues to continue to build on the good work already done and help improve areas which are more challenged through the engagement of clinicians and staff and partnership working.
Deputy CEO, System Clinical Lead and Professor of Primary Care at UCLAN
I was appointed a Deputy Chief Executive Officer in September 2017. I've been a practicing GP in Cockermouth for over 24 years. I was also the Clinical Director for Community Services and Elderly Care Lead for NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Prior to this I spent 7 years as Medical Director of Cumbria's GP out of hours cooperative, chaired the Primary Care Research Group and was a GP trainer for over 10 years. I was also medical adviser to the local Hospice at Home charity and co-authored a textbook in palliative care.
During the 1990s, I trained in tropical medicine and worked in 11 different wars and natural disasters zones. I also became Medical Director and Head of Operations of an international disaster relief charity. In 2010 I was a runner up in the national NHS Leadership Awards from over 1000 entries.
In 2011 I received a Fellowship in Public Health through distinction and in 2013 I received a Fellowship to the Royal College of General Practitioners.
System Medical Director
Executive Director of Performance & Improvement (secondment from NHS I)
Executive Director of Finance, Estates and People
I joined the Board in January 2007 and became Director of Finance and Estates during 2018.
I have over 25 years’ experience working in the NHS and have held posts as a Director of Finance, Director of Commissioning and Director of Business Development in both commissioning and provider organisations in England.
During my time in the NHS, I've been involved in a number of transactions such as Transforming Community Services. I'm passionate about making sure services are delivered in the most effective way.
I lead on financial stewardship and forward planning for the Trust and I'm working with our partners to improve the health and care system.
I also lead on ensuring the Trust’s estate and facilities are fit for purpose and properly developed to support clinical care.
Interim System Executive and Chief Nurse
I joined in December 2019 as interim system chief nurse, after being deputy system nurse and director of nursing and quality within NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group.
I am a registered nurse and midwife with over 34 years’ experience and have also worked as a public health practitioner across acute and community services and within NHS England, including at the former North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust. I am passionate about continuous improvement and the development of both nurses/midwives and the wider workforce both in extending their roles and expanding their skills so that they have a clear career pathway.
Interim Executive Medical Director
System Executive Director of Strategy
I was appointed in 2019 and my role covers NCIC and the wider North Cumbria Health and Care System.
I was previously Director of Integration and have played a key role in establishing north Cumbria as one of the 14 nationally recognised systems for leading integration.
I have worked in a range of roles across the NHS over the last 20 years, including leading improvements in governance and quality within the acute sector in north Cumbria as part of the special measures process.
I was born in Cumbria and I’m passionate about helping to improve and develop our health and care services with our partners.
I was appointed as Interim Chair in April 2020 to lead the Trust’s Board of Directors and Governors Council.
My previous positions include working at various levels of the NHS locally at North Cumbria Acute Hospital, Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group and Newcastle Hospitals together with national roles at the Department of Health.
Susan Mckenna has spent the last 36 years as a nurse within clinical care or management and leadership roles in both physical and mental health and holds current registration in both.
She retired from her previous role as Chief Operating Officer at South West London and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Trust in December 2019 and previously was Interim Director of Nursing at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.
Susan has also held senior management roles with various NHS Trusts in the past and has spent most of her working life in the Lancashire area.
I was appointed Chief Executive of Cumbria Council of Voluntary Service in 2019.
Prior to this, I was the Chief Executive of the Faculty of Public Health (of the 3 Royal Colleges of Physicians) during 2013 to 2018.
My previous positions also include being Director and a number of senior management positions at the Royal National Institute for the Blind since 1991.
I'm a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
I was appointed to the Board in December 2013. I worked for British Telecom (BT) for 27 years in a variety of roles, including Head of Service Excellence and Customer Research.
At BT, I led a team that negotiated the largest human resources outsource contract ever seen. I received an international business outsourcing award for Customer Relationship of the Year in recognition of my work.
Between 2007 and 2013, I was a Vice Chair and Non-executive Director at NHS County Durham.
I was appointed to the Board in July 2015. I served in the Royal Air Force for over 30 years including 13 years as a Wing Commander.
During my time in the Royal Air Force, I gained experience in strategic planning and management and was based in a number of countries. I retired from the Royal Air Force in January 2015 and I’m currently President and Chair of Scottish Fencing Ltd.
I was appointed to the Board in March 2018. I completed my training as a mental health nurse in 1987 and completed an MBA while working as a Senior Manager in the NHS.
Since 2005, I've worked in higher education as a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for mental health nursing.
I'm currently the Head of Nursing, Health and Professional Practice at the University of Cumbria.
I obtained a PhD in 2014, based on service users’ experiences of mental health services and in 2018 completed a qualification as an Executive Coach.
I was appointed to the Board in November 2018. I'm a Chartered Accountant and formerly the Global Director of Finance of North Group, an international marine insurance group based in Newcastle.
I'm also a Non-executive Director of Justships Ltd which is a wholesale marine insurance broker, and Chairman of RASCALS Ltd, a community social enterprise providing affordable childcare in south east Northumberland.