The Governing Body is responsible for ensuring that the CCG has appropriate arrangements in place to exercise its functions effectively, efficiently and economically, and in accordance with the principles of good governance. In the CCG, the Governing Body is responsible for the CCG’s £504 million budget which is spent as efficiently as possible to provide high quality healthcare for the local population.
Governing Body Member profiles
Dr Jonathan Smith
Living in the North East all of his life and originally from Stockton-on-Tees, Jonathan went to Medical School in Newcastle, and qualified in 2003. During his work as a hospital doctor and GP trainee he has spent time in most of the hospitals in our region. As a GP trainee Jonathan worked in practices in Gateshead, Derwentside, Sunderland and Durham Dales. He has been a full time GP Partner in South Hetton since 2008, and has been involved in Medical student teaching and research as well as clinical work during this time. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his young family, and tries to keep fit running and rowing.
Lay Member on the Governing Body
Andrew worked in local government for over 25 years. For the last 14 years he was Assistant Chief Executive for Hartlepool Borough Council with a focus on performance management, effective governance and leading major change programmes in the Council. Andrew is committed to making all services to the public the best they can be.
Lay Member, Patient and Public Involvement
Feisal has worked in both the NHS and Local Government for over 30 years. His NHS career began in operating theatres where he worked as a paramedic supporting both anaesthetists and surgeons in theatre procedures. He moved into public health and developed his public health career by working in local government pursuing healthy public policy. He moved to work for Durham County Council in 2006 where he led and managed the Overview and Scrutiny process. Feisal is committed to reducing health inequalities and improving the health and health care services for local communities. He is passionate about involving people in decisions about their health.
Dr Ian Spencer
Secondary Care Clinician
Ian Spencer was a Consultant Anaesthetist for almost 30 years before retiring in 2011. Initially his medical career was in the Royal Air Force, where he was promoted to Group Captain and was made the RAF Consultant Adviser for his specialty. Following the closure of military hospitals, he became a NHS Consultant in 1995 and worked thereafter at CDDFT (formerly Dryburn Hospital) in Durham. Additionally, he was an Examiner for the Royal College of Anaesthetists for 13 years, Chairman of his hospital’s Medical Advisory Committee and also its BMA Representative. Since retiring he has worked as a Volunteer for the CAB, dealing with clients who wish to claim medically-related benefits, and enjoys walking and his new pastimes of bowls and ukulele. In his role in the CCG he hopes his wide experience in Secondary Care, as well as risk management, quality and audit, will be of benefit to the Governing Body.
Lay Member Governance and Audit
John is a qualified public finance accountant. In a career spanning 37 years he has worked in local government, the private sector and the NHS. Within the NHS he held a number of senior roles in finance but most significantly in internal audit. He lives in Hartlepool with his wife. He has two daughters and a growing number of grandchildren with whom he spends a great deal of his time.
John is a member of the regional Executive Strategy Group for learning disabilities.
Dr Neil O’Brien
Clinical Accountable Officer
Dr O’Brien has been a local GP in Chester-le-Street for over 20 years. He has developed a special interest in cardiology and has previously worked as a GP with special interest in this area. Neil is a practicing clinician, which strengthens his influence with local practices and other clinicians.
Neil is also the Clinical Accountable Officer for two other CCG’s that work collaboratively within the Integrated Care Partnership – NHS South Tyneside CCG and NHS Sunderland CCG. Neil is a member of the Integrated Care System (ICS) Management Group representing the needs of local populations as Cumbria and the North East progress to become a shadow ICS.
Nicola was the acting Chief Executive for Hartlepool Borough Council and has previously held posts such as Director of Child and Adult Services. Nicola began her early career by training and working as a nurse in the NHS before moving to working in integrated services between the NHS and the Local Government in Cheshire. With over 20 years of working in a managerial and leadership capacity within health and Local Government she has had extensive experience of managing and leading organisations through change, developing integrated services and solutions and working at a senior board level. Nicola previously held the role of the shared Chief Operating Officer between North Durham CCG and DDES CCG prior to the development of the joint management arrangements for the five CCGs in the Southern Collaborative.
She is the Cumbria and North East Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for Learning Disabilities Transforming Care (LDTC) Programme and Chair of the Southern Collaborative Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Partnership Board with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr Stewart Findlay
Stewart was a GP Partner at Bishopgate Medical Centre in Bishop Auckland from 1983 and retired from clinical practice in August 2015. He has been involved in commissioning health care services for the local population for over 30 years. In addition to his current role as Chief Officer he is also Vice Chair of the County Durham Health and Wellbeing Board, Co-Chair of the County Durham and Darlington Local Accident and Emergency (A&E) Delivery Board and Co-Chair of the North East and North Cumbria Urgent and Emergency Care Operational Network.
He is currently focused on integrating health and social care in County Durham. He is also responsible for developing Primary Care Networks and their integration with community and mental health services.
Director of Comissioning Strategy and Delivery
At a strategic level Mike has worked with both the public and private sector and assignments have ranged from leading a large Informatics service to implementing strategic planning frameworks and the development of organisation wide strategic plans. Mike is an experienced senior programme manager and has strong leadership skills and stakeholder and relationship management experience; with an ability to achieve results in complex environments. He has led numerous large scale change and redesign programmes, as well as short high intensity projects. Mike holds an MBA and has extensive experience in change management, supporting teams and individuals to implement whole system redesign programmes. Mike enjoys various sports and lives with his wife and family in Escomb outside of Bishop Auckland.
Joint Head of Integrated Strategic Commissioning
Sarah has worked in the public sector for over 20 years, with the past 17 years in the NHS. During her time in the NHS, Sarah has worked in a range of roles including performance management, intelligence, contract management and commissioning. She has led a number of complex service changes programmes and works across both the CCG and Durham County Council. Sarah lives in Durham with her husband and two young sons.
Dr James Carlton
James works as a Salaried GP three days a week in Bishop Auckland and Evenwood. He has been a GP in County Durham and Darlington since 2002; prior to this he was a Doctor in the Army. James supports clinical input on the wide range of responsibilities of the CCG, with particular emphasis on clinical quality and clinical leadership.
Director of Primary Care
Joseph joined the NHS in 1996 as a Practice Manager in Easington. He led on GP Fundholding within his practice and developed his local GP Out of hours co-operative from 1998-2004. He was elected Chair of Easington Practice Based Commissioning Group from 2005-2012. In 2011 he was appointed Director of Practice Based Commissioning for Durham Primary Care Trust (PCT). In 2012 Joseph founded South Durham Federation. In 2013 he was appointed as Director of Performance for DDES CCG before being appointed as Director of Primary Care in 2014. Joseph took up the role of Director of Primary Care for North Durham CCG in April 2016 also and worked across both CCGs in this shared role. Joseph was non-clinical partner in four GP practices until recently and now remains the Management Partner in two local East Durham GP practices. Joseph is also a GP surgery property developer.
Dr Ian Davidson
Dr Davidson has been a GP Principal at Lanchester Medical Centre since 2003. He currently chairs the Northern Treatment Advisory Group and County Durham and Tees Valley Area Prescribing Committee. He is also a member of the Regional Medicine Optimisation Committee.
Dr Davidson was awarded a fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2011.
Director of Nursing and Quality
Gill has held various nursing posts in community, secondary and tertiary care settings. Recent posts have included Associate Director of Nursing at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT) covering safeguarding, risk and clinical governance, a spell at the North East Leadership Academy and working in North East Ambulance Services NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) as Accident and Emergency (A&E) Business Manager. Gill trained as a Registered General Nurse and Registered Sick Children’s Nurse at Great Ormond Street hospital in London. Following a period of time as a research nurse at St James’s hospital in Leeds, she moved to the North East and has lived here for over 20 years.
Chief Finance Officer
Richard is a qualified accountant (ACA) and brings significant financial experience to the CCG from a broad range of private and public sector organisations. Richard trained as an auditor with Deloitte LLP, working with a variety of organisations, before joining the NHS in a senior finance role at County Durham Primary Care Trust and as Chief Finance Officer of NHS North Durham CCG.
Dr Chris Markwick
Elected Health Care Professional (GP)
Chris is a GP working in Middleton-in Teesdale. He joined the Governing Body of the newly established County Durham CCG in April 2020 as an elected Health Care Professional representing our member practices.
Head of Commissioning, Durham County Council
A nurse by background Denise has worked in health and social care for over 40 years across both acute, and community settings. Eighteen of those years being worked in County Durham.
Director of Public Health, Durham County Council
Amanda took up the role of Director of Public Health in County Durham in May 2017 and is committed to improving and protecting the health of local residents. She is Chair of the Association of Directors of Public Health for the North East and involved in public health at a local, North East and national level. Amanda is the Senior Responsible Officer for the Prevention Board of the Integrated Care System, Cumbria and North East.