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Executive Team

In addition to the Chief Executive Cathy Jack, the following people are part of the Trusts Executive team:

Deputy Chief Executive and Director Covid Oversight, Imaging and Neurosciences Services

Bernie Owens

Bernie is Deputy Chief Executive for Belfast Trust.  She is also Director of Covid Oversight, Neurosciences, AHPs and Imaging Services.

Bernie was appointed as Director of Unscheduled and Acute Care in November 2013 and is responsible for Anaesthetics, Critical Care, Theatres & Sterile Services, emergency departments, medical and cardiology services, neurosciences and imaging, medical physics, allied health professionals and GP Out of Hours service.

Bernie is a registered general nurse having trained in Royal Victoria Hospital specialising in operating department nursing.

Director of Finance, Estates & Capital Redevelopment

Maureen Edwards

Maureen has been the Director of Finance, Estates and Capital Development in Belfast Trust since February 2017. Alongside dealing with the significant financial challenges facing a £1.6bn Trust, she is the SRO for the Trust’s major capital schemes including a new regional children’s hospital for Northern Ireland.

Maureen began her career as a graduate finance trainee in Wales. Having worked in various organisations in the NHS, she returned home in 1999 and has held a number of posts in health and social care including Director of Finance in the Royal Hospitals prior to the amalgamation of the six Belfast acute and community Trusts into the Belfast Trust in 2007 and co-director of finance in the Belfast Trust between 2007 and 2017.

Director of Cancer and Specialist Services

Caroline Leonard

Caroline took up post in February 2017. She is currently responsible for Oncology services provided at the NI Cancer Centre, Haematology, Rheumatology, Dermatology, Nephrology, Specialist Palliative Medicine, Renal Transplant Surgery, Pharmacy and Laboratories Services.  Caroline in recent years has been Co-Director for Surgery and Co-Director for Cancer and Specialist Medicine and has over 30 years’ experience in NHS management in a variety of organisations.

Director of Children’s Community Services & Executive Director of Social Work

Carol Diffin

Carol took up post as Executive Director of Social Work/Children’s community Services on the 1st September 2018.

She is responsible for Children’s Social Care/Social Work Services, Community Child Health Services and the Regional Emergency Social Work Service.

Carol is a qualified Social Worker and has worked in Health & Social Care Children’s Services for 34 years.

Director of Nursing and User Experience

Brenda Creaney

Brenda was appointed as Director of Nursing and User Experience in January 2010. She is responsible for Nursing and Client support services within the Trust.

Brenda trained at the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast from 1984 before moving to London in 1989 where she undertook a range of roles in Neonatal and Paediatric care at the Royal London Hopsital and the Chelsea & Westminister Hospital.

Brenda returned to Northern Ireland in 2000 to the Royal Group of Hospitals working as a Directorate Manager in both Royal Victoria Hospital and the Children’s Hospital.

Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development

Jacqui Kennedy

Jacqui was appointed Interim Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development in February 2018. She was previously Co-Director of Human Resources in the Trust with responsibility for Recruitment, Pay & Conditions, Pay Modernisation, Health and Wellbeing, Attendance Management, Equality, Medical HR and Employment Law. Prior to that Jacqui held a number of senior HR posts in the Business Services Organisation and the Royal Group of Hospitals. Jacqui began her career in the private sector and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Director of Performance, Planning and Informatics

Charlene Stoops

Charlene was appointed as Director of Planning, Performance & Informatics in May 2019. Charlene was previously the Assistant Director of Corporate Planning in the Southern Trust.

Charlene has worked for 17 years in a number of senior manager posts within the areas of corporate and capital planning, service transformation and performance management in both commissioner and provider organisations. Previously held posts included Assistant Director of Planning at the former Armagh and Dungannon Health & Social Services Trust and other posts in both planning and finance.

Medical Director

Chris Hagan

Chris took up post as Medical Director in 2020.  Chris has occupied a number of senior leadership roles in the Trust including Chair of Division and Deputy Medical Director.

Chris is from Belfast and graduated from Manchester University in 1990. He completed post-graduate training in Glasgow, Belfast and Dublin and was appointed as Consultant Uro-oncology and Renal Transplant Surgeon in 2004 in Belfast. He has always been focused on patient safety and improving outcomes for patients in Northern Ireland.

Director Unscheduled and Older People’s Services

Dr Brian Armstrong 

Brian took up post as Interim Director of Unscheduled Care and Older People Services on 14th October 2019. He is responsible for the Adult Emergency Departments, and Acute Medicine Specialties.

He is also responsible for hospital-based care of Older People, and Stroke Services. Brian in recent years has been Co-Director for Unscheduled and Acute Care and Co-Director for Surgery and has over 30 years’ experience in NHS management.

Director of Adult Community and Older People’s Services

Gillian Traub

Gillian took up post as Interim Director for the former Directorate of Adult, Social and Primary Care Services in June 2020 with responsibility for learning disability services, psychological services and adult community services. In August 2021, Gillian became Interim Director for the Adult Community and Older People’s Directorate.

Gillian previously held the post of Co-Director for Cancer and Specialist Medicine in the Trust for five years and prior to that held a number of management positions in the NHS in both Northern Ireland and England. Gillian started her career as an NHS Graduate Management Trainee in England and has worked in the NHS for over twenty years.

Interim Director of Child Health & NISTAR services

Paula Cahalan

Paula took up post as the Interim Director of Child Health & NISTAR services on 16 August 2021. Paula was previously the Co-Director and Professional Lead for Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) in the Trust and is a qualified Dietitian / AHP. She has 30 years’ experience in Health and Social Care, working with teams across all age ranges and specialties in both acute and community services.

Interim Director Acute Services 

Janet Johnston

Janet took up post as Interim Direct in 2020, responsible for Anaesthetics, Critical Care, Theatres and Sterile Services (ACCATS) and Specialist Surgery.

Interim Director for Mental Health & Intellectual Disability Services

Moira Kearney

Moira took up post on 16 August 2021 and is responsible for Mental Health, Intellectual Disability and Psychological Services.

Previously, Moira was Co-Director for Child Health and Northern Ireland Specialist Transport and Retrieval (NiSTAR) Services from 2017 and Interim Co-Director and Associate Director of Nursing for Trauma, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation one year prior to this.  Moira has worked in the NHS for over 30 years.

Interim Director for Trauma, Orthopaedics, Rehab Services & Maternity, Dental, ENT & Sexual Health

Heather Jackson

Heather took up post as Interim Director for Trauma, Orthopaedics, Rehab Services and Maternity, Dental, ENT and Sexual Health on 16 August 2021.

In 2017 Heather was appointed as Divisional Nurse for Unscheduled Care and remained there until taking up post as Co-Director for Neurosciences, Imaging, Medical Physics and Medical Illustration in December 2019.