Executive Directors

E6357-Web Ready.jpgChief Executive 

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 of which have included roles such as, director of patient services for Newcastle Hospitals trust, regional nurse / director of operations and workforce for the Strategic Health Authorities and nationally as director of NHS operations at the Department of Health. 

I have led a number of high profile national programmes of work for example coordinating the health service response to the London 2012 Olympics along with national emergency preparedness response, incident specific issues.  I was responsible for providing oversight of NHS performance and operations, communications and briefings for 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.

I was the regional director for the North at the NHS Trust Development Authority which subsequently became NHS Improvement and I was involved in providing leadership and engagement for 70 NHS organisations across the North East and Yorkshire and North West region including acute, community, mental health and ambulance trusts as well as NHS Foundation Trusts.

Recently I led, on behalf of the region, the early phases of integration and transformation in the Tees Valley, which included designing and executing a clinical services strategy, financial recovery plan and an options appraisal process for organisational form.

I remain passionate about ensuring the delivery of safe, high-quality care for patients as well as developing staff and services and look forward to working with colleagues to continue to build on the good work already done and help improve areas through the engagement of clinicians and staff and partnership working.

E6338-Web Ready.jpgInterim Executive Medical Director

I am currently Interim Executive Medical Director appointed to the Board April 2020

I am the Trust’s Responsible Officer and have been so since January 2017 and previously held the appointment of Executive Medical Director to the Board of NCUH from September 2016 to April 2019.

I am also the Trust's Caldicott Guardian.

I am a practising Consultant Anaesthetist and Intensive Care Specialist within the Trust.

I previously practiced medicine in Northland, New Zealand, providing Anaesthesia, Intensive Care, helicopter retrieval and multiple roles in Medical Administration leading groups of elective and acute services as well as diagnostics. I spent many years both in Service Management and as a Clinical Director gaining an Australasian Fellowship in Medical administration leading to my widened range of qualifications:


Between 1988 to 1990 and then 1996 to 2001 I worked as a Consultant in Intensive Care and Anaesthetics in Newcastle following my senior registrar training in the Northern Health Authority Rotation. The latter time period included the role of Clinical Director in Newcastle.

Dean Oliver Smiling.jpgExecutive Director of Performance, Planning and Strategy

I joined NCIC on 1 April 2020 as part of the interim management team arrangements.

I have over 30 years of experience of working within and around the NHS, having previously worked as a senior manager across a number of acute, community, mental health and primary care sector organisations within NHS.

I have also worked as a senior management consultant for 14 years where I obtained a blend of commercial and extended health care industry experience. My focus during this time has been on supporting health care organisations to improve their performance and strategic planning functions. 

I returned to working for the NHS as Regional Productivity Lead working for NHS Improvement, helping a number of NHS trusts across the north improve their productivity performance.    

I have a masters in business administration (MBA) which I obtained from Durham University Business School along with a certificate in health economics which I obtained from the Health Economics Research Unit at the University of Aberdeen. 

I has also attended a number of management and international leadership training events at both Judges Business School at Cambridge University and at Durham University.

In my spare time I enjoy walking, going to the cinema and listening to music.

E6878.jpgExecutive Director of Finance, Digital & Estates

I joined the Board in January 2007 and became joint Director of Finance and Estates during 2018 prior to the Trust merger.  Having joined the NHS in 1993 I have worked as an Executive Director on numerous NHS Boards since October 2001.

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 and other mergers. 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 am the Senior Information Risk Officer, ensuring that the Trust is adopting digital technology in an effective and safe way as we modernise our services.

I also lead on ensuring the Trust’s estate and facilities are fit for purpose and properly developed to support clinical care.

E6343-Web Ready.jpgInterim Executive Chief Nurse​​​​​​​

I joined the Trust in April 2021 as Interim Executive Chief Nurse. I am a registered nurse with 35 years' experience and for the last seven years have held the post of Executive Chief Nurse of integrated provider organisations in London and North Yorkshire.

My clinical background is in Acute Medicine, Coronary and medical high dependency and intensive care.

I am passionate about providing exceptional outcomes and care for the people this organisation serves delivered by skilful, respectful and kind colleagues.

Justine Steele Smiling.jpgExecutive Director of People and Organisational Development

I joined the Trust in May 2020 after working at Director Level for over 18 years within both the public and private sectors. My experience is as a generalist within Human Resources and Organisational Development.

Other sectors that I have worked within over the years include: Engineering, the NHS (in Airedale and Pennine area), Police (in Cheshire) and Facilities (in Operon).

Over the years I have been committed to my personal continuous development and have attained a Masters in Strategic HRM and Executive Coaching and Mentoring. I am also a trained mediator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD).  

Volunteering has been a personal focus for me for many years having being a Justice of the Peace for nearly 20 years and chairing the Lancashire branch for the CIPD until recently.

E6889.jpgDirector of Operations (Programmes)

Johanna Reilly has joined the Trust as Interim Chief Operating Officer. Johanna is a registered nurse with over seven years’ experience as a Chief Operating Officer at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust. She also has experience working in NHS England and in commissioning roles.

Johanna has already been out and about in her first two weeks at the Trust having been to Brampton Community Hospital, and the Cumberland Infirmary to some of the teams including A&E, the discharge lounge and patient flow. Next week she plans to visit West Cumberland Hospital and is hoping to visit all of the community hospitals over the next few weeks.

Steve Park2.jpgDirector of Communications

I joined the trust in August 2021 as Director of Communication.

I have over 30 years’ experience in public sector communication. Most recently I headed the communication team at NHS Blood and Transplant, and before that I led on communication for Newcastle City Council and Cumbria County Council.

I have spent the remainder of my career in senior communication roles in Whitehall including two stints at the Home Office, and spells at the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Central Office of Information. I also spent six years as a press officer with the Metropolitan Police. Before moving to London I began working life as a local news reporter in Cumbria.

I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations - gaining accredited practitioner status through my commitment to continuous professional development.  I am passionate about putting great communication at the heart of great public services.


Non-executive Directors

E6351-Web Ready.jpgInterim Chair

I was appointed as Interim Chair to lead the Trust’s Board of Directors and Governors’ Council in April 2020.

My previous positions include working at various levels of the NHS locally at North Cumbria Acute Hospital, Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group and Northumbria and Tyne & Wear Strategic Health Authority together with national roles at the Department of Health.

Non-executive DirectorSueMckenna IMG_2841.jpg

I was appointed to the Board in October 2019.

I have spent the last 37 years in the NHS, within clinical care or management and leadership roles, both physical and mental health and hold a current registration.

I retired from my previous full time role as Chief Operating Officer at South West London and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Trust in December 2019. Previously Chief Operating Officer at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and Director of Nursing, and before that, an operational Director for many years. Key areas of interest and expertise are performance management, governance and safety, leadership and large scale transformation.

I have recently taken on the role of Chair of the Board Committee Finance Performance and Improvement. I am an active member of the Quality Improvement and Safety Committee. I have recently also taken on the Non-Executive Director lead for Maternity Services.

David Allen Non-executive Director of North Cumbria Integrate Care NHS Foundation TrustNon-executive Director

I was appointed to the Board in October 2019, shortly after being appointed Chief Executive of Cumbria Council of Voluntary Service in July 2019.  I was the Chief Executive of the Faculty of Public Health (2013 to 2018) – one of the professional bodies that form the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

I held several senior management positions at the Royal National Institute for Blind People – including Head of Prevention; Head of English Regional Services and Director, Northern Ireland.

I'm a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce.

George Liston.jpgNon-Executive Director/Senior Independent Director

I was appointed to the Board in October 2019 and appointed as Senior Independent Director in November 2019.  I was previously appointed to the Board of NCUH in July 2015 and CPFT in August 2018.

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 leadership strategic planning and safety management and was based in a number of countries. I retired from the Royal Air Force in January 2015 and I’m currently Chair of Scottish Fencing Ltd.  

Louise Nelson.jpgNon-executive Director 

I was appointed to the Board in October 2019, previously appointed to the Board of CPFT 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 was Head of Nursing, Health and Professional Practice at the University of Cumbria which I left in September 2019.

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. 

Jeff ONeil.jpgNon-executive Director

I was appointed to the Board in October 2019, previously appointed to the Board of NCUH in November 2018.

I'm a Chartered Accountant and formerly the Global Director of Finance of North Group, an international marine insurance group of companies based in Newcastle.

I am also a Non-executive Director of Justships Ltd which is a wholesale marine insurance broker. I was until 2019 Chairman of RASCALS Ltd, which was a community social enterprise providing affordable childcare in south east Northumberland.

Phillip Kane.pngI was appointed to the Board in May 2021.

I retired in December 2020 after 24 years in NHS clinical practice as a consultant neurosurgeon in the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. During that time I held a number of clinical leadership and managerial roles including Neuro-oncology MDT lead, Clinical Director of Neurosurgery and Neuroradiology and Chief of Service, Division of Neurosciences.

Several roles reflected my specialist interest in the management of cancer including chair of the NSSG for Brain and CNS tumours, Cancer peer reviewer, member of the National Clinical Reference Group for Brain and CNS tumours and Trust lead clinician for cancer.

I enjoyed an active role in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and was an honorary Professor in the School of Health, Durham University, AFP supervisor, MRCS examiner and an ATLS course director. During the two years preceding my retirement I chaired the senior medical staff forum.