Executive Directors

Stephen Eames.jpgChief Executive 

I was appointed as Chief Executive in September 2017. I’m a public service leader with over 25 years' experience as a Chief Executive.

I have a wealth of experience in partnership working with NHS institutions, local authorities, the private sector and other agencies.

I've worked in a coaching capacity as a consultant for the NHS Performance Support Unit and the Leaders UK programme sponsored by the National School of Government.

As CEO of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, I led a substantial multi-site hospital reconfiguration and secured a major acquisition of community services. In 2007 I was awarded Public Service Turnaround Leader of the Year by the Society of Turnaround Professionals.

In 2012, I was drafted into Mid Yorkshire Hospitals where I spent 3 years overseeing major changes and improvements to services. I was awarded Turnaround Performance of the Year by the Management Consultants Association in 2013.

John Howarth.jpgDeputy 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.

Vince Connolly.jpgSystem Medical Director 

I joined the Board in April 2019 and my post covers North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) and the wider North Cumbria Health and Care System. I'm also the current President of the British Association of Ambulatory Emergency Care.

I was previously Regional Medical Director (North) at NHS Improvement, and a Consultant Physician in acute medicine at the James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough.

I have published papers on diabetes epidemiology and ambulatory emergency care. I’ve also held positions as Medical Director for the Emergency Care Improvement Programme, Clinical Lead for the Emergency Care Intensive Support Team and was a Clinical Advisor to the Ambulatory Emergency Care Delivery Network.

I was also a recipient of the Hospital Doctor Acute Medicine Team of the Year Award in 2004.

Michael Smillie.jpgExecutive 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.

Alison Smith.jpgSystem Executive and Chief Nurse

I joined the Board in 2018 and my post covers NCIC and the wider North Cumbria Health and Care System. I've been a registered nurse for 34 years and have worked in a variety of clinical, managerial and educational roles.

I worked at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for a significant part of my career, including Assistant Director of Nursing and Children’s Lead.

After leaving South Tees, I spent 5 years working in wider health system roles. First as Deputy Director of Nursing and Quality at NHS England and then for the North East and Cumbria as Senior Clinical Lead at NHS Improvement, taking the lead role for the quality agenda.

In both of these roles with NHS England and NHS Improvement, I worked closely with colleagues in the NHS in Cumbria.

Mandy Nagra.jpgSystem Executive Chief Operating Officer 

I joined the Board in 2018 and my post covers NCIC and the wider North Cumbria Health and Care System.

I was previously the Delivery and Improvement Lead for NHS Improvement in Cumbria and the North East. I've been instrumental in improving patient flow across the system and embedding the first phase of integrated care communities.

I've worked in the health and social care system for 24 years in a range of roles, including clinical and managerial, both nationally and regionally.

I bring experience from my work with NHS Improvement and NHS England where a key part of my role was to support North Cumbria.

Ramona Duguid.jpgSystem 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.

Peter Rooney.jpgExecutive Director of Improvement for the Integrated Health and Care System

I joined the Board in September 2019 in a seconded role to support sustainable improvement initially in elective care and cancer services.

I was previously Chief Operating Officer for NHS North Cumbria CCG and have been involved in developing our wider North Cumbria Health and Care System.

I've lived and worked in Cumbria for more than 18 years, including Director level roles in the CCG and former Primary Care Trust, and am deeply committed to improving services for the benefit of people living across our county.


Non-executive Directors

Robin Talbot.jpgChair 

I was appointment in 2017. I'm also the Chair of the North Cumbria Health and Care System Leadership Board.

I spent 26 years working in higher education and the NHS in Cumbria and Lancashire.

I've held NHS roles include chairing the Doncaster Family Practitioner Committee, the Lancaster and Morecambe Community Health Council, the Lancaster Primary Care Group and the Cumbria and Lancashire Workforce Development Confederation.

I chaired the Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust until 2004, and I’ve since had governing body roles within the NHS including Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust from 2009 to 2016.

I was Executive Dean at St Martin’s College and the University of Cumbria, with a particular focus on health, social care and wellbeing.

Outside the NHS and higher education, I'm a member of the Board at Lakes College in west Cumbria and a member of Independent Monitoring Board for HM Prisons.

I also chair the Health and Education Co-operative, a social enterprise hosting and producing online learning materials for universities and the health service.

Non-executive Director

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.

Malcolm Cook.jpgNon-executive Director 

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.

George Liston.jpgNon-executive Director 

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.  

Louise Nelson.jpgNon-executive Director 

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.  

Jeff ONeil.jpgNon-executive Director

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.