Chief Operating Officer
Tel: 0191 3713220
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 now works as a shared Chief Operating Officer between NHS DDES CCG and NHS North Durham CCG.
Director of Commissioning
Tel: 0191 3713234
Sarah has worked in the public sector for 20 years, with the past 15 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. Sarah lives in Durham with her husband and two young sons.
Dr James Carlton
Tel: 0191 3713225
James is a GP. He is the Medical Director to DDES CCG supporting clinical input to the CCG on the wide range of responsibilities in the CCG remit, with particular emphasis on clinical quality and clinical leadership. James is a GP in Bishop Auckland and Evenwood working 2 days a week in practice.
Director of Primary Care, Partnerships and Engagement
Tel: 0191 3713235
Joseph joined the NHS in 1996 as a Practice Manager in Easington. He led on GP Fundholding within his practice, which developed his interest in commissioning. He has always worked collaboratively within in his locality which lead to working with the GPs in developing his local GP Out of hours co-operative from 1998-2004. He subsequently brought together GPs that have developed new Health Centre premises between 2001 and 2015 owned by GPs.
Joseph was elected as the Chair of Easington Practice Based Commissioning Group from 2005 to 2012, which was traditionally a clinical post. During this time in 2011 he was appointed as Director of Practice Based Commissioning for Durham Primary Care Trust (PCT) for 12 months before the introduction of Clinical Commissioning Groups. In 2012 Joseph founded one of the GP Federations which now exists as South Durham Federation.
In 2013 Joseph was appointed as Director of Performance for DDES CCG before being appointed as part time Director of Primary Care in 2014. Joseph took up the role of part time Director of Primary Care (non-clinical) for North Durham CCG in April 2016 also and is now working across both CCGs in this shared role.
Joseph has been a non-clinical partner in four GP practices until recently and he remains the Management Partner in two local East Durham GP practices. Joseph holds an MBA and has extensive experience in Organisation Development, Estates, information and technology (IM&T, Clinical and Patient engagement and Care closer to home.
Dr Neil O’Brien
Clinical Chief 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 the Senior Responsible Officer lead for the regional demand management work stream and Breast Cancer. Neil is a practicing clinician which strengthens his influence with local practices and other clinicians. Neil is also the Chief Clinical Officer for 4 other CCG’s that work collaboratively as part of a shared management arrangement in County Durham and the Tees Valley. Neil is a member of the ICS management group representing the needs of local populations as Cumbria and the North East progress to become a shadow ICS.
Dr Stewart Findlay
Executive Assistant: Margaret Coyle
091 371 3220
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 25 years. In addition to his current role as Chief Clinical Officer he is also Vice Chair of the County Durham Health and Wellbeing Board, Vice Chair of the County Durham and Darlington Local A+E Delivery Board and Co-Chair of the North East and North Cumbria Urgent and Emergency Care Network. He is also a member of the national Technical Advisory Group for Primary Care Home.
Role: Director of Nursing
Lead officer for any issues relating to e-safety and safeguarding concerns
Tel: 0191 3713225
Gill has held various nursing posts in the community, secondary and tertiary care settings. Recent posts have included Associate Director of Nursing at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust covering safeguarding, risk and clinical governance, a spell at the North East Leadership Academy and working in North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust as 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 20 years.
Director of Integration
Chief Finance Officer
Tel: 0191 3713221
Mark is a qualified accountant, a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), a member of The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and has a master’s degree in Applied Financial Management.
He has worked in finance and performance for a variety of NHS and Local Government organisations over a 27 year career (with 17 years spent working in the NHS in County Durham), covering various sectors including healthcare commissioning, acute secondary care, mental health services and community care. Mark lives in Washington with his wife and son.