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Senior Leadership Team

The Senior Leadership Team, chaired by the Chief Executive, brings together senior Executives including the Executive Directors to the Trust Board.  It is responsible for the implementation of Trust’s strategies and policies and for key operational matters.

Non Executive Directors are appointed to the Board through a Public Appointments process. This role ensures that people from all walks of life, not necessarily with a career path in health or social care, have an opportunity to play a part in managing public organisations like ours. They have a duty to uphold the principals of public life and represent the Trust to the wider public.


  • Dr Maria O'Kane, Chief Executive

    Dr O’Kane took up post as Chief Executive on 1st May 2022, having been the Trust’s Medical Director since December 2018 and Interim Director of Mental Health and Disability from April 2021 to February 2022. With a background in Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and NHS Leadership, she brings a long of experience of Mental Health Services.

    She trained as a Scottish Patient Safety Fellow and Dartmouth Coach and has been Deputy Chair of the RCPsych in NI and a recent chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Invited Review Service

  • Heather Trouton, Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery, Allied Health Professionals and Support Services / Deputy Chief Executive

    Heather has worked in the Trust as a Nurse in a variety of roles since 1996. In 2009 she took up post as Assistant Director for Surgery & Elective Care in Acute Services and led in the provision of Surgical Services across the Trust for 7 years.

    In 2016 she moved to the position of Assistant Director for Integrated Maternity & Women’s Health and Cancer & Clinical Services. Heather has a wealth of experience across many service areas working closely with Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals who deliver excellent patient care to our patients and service users every day.

    Heather took up the role of Deputy Chief Executive in June 2023

  • Catherine Teggart, Executive Director of Finance, Procurement & Estates

    Catherine studied at the University of Ulster, graduating in 1999 with a degree in Business Studies with Accounting. On her gap year, during this time, she also completed an 18 month secondment in the USA working for the Washington Post.

    From 1999-2004 she trained as a Chartered Accountant with ASM Horwath Chartered Accountants in Belfast.

    Catherine has extensive public sector finance experience, working for 18 years for the Department of Justice (DOJ) in various roles. From 2004-2014 she held Senior Accountant positions in DOJ Policing Division and Financial Services Division.

    From 2012-2014 Catherine was Head of Finance and then Acting Head of Corporate Services for the Youth Justice Agency. She held the position of Head of Finance and Estates for the Probation Board for Northern Ireland from 2014-2021 as a member of the Senior Leadership team, responsible for financial planning, financial management, procurement, Estates and funding to the voluntary and community sector. Catherine is a Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and is an Independent Member of the Driver Vehicle Agency (DVA) Audit and Risk Committee.


  • Colm McCafferty, Director of Children and Young People’s Services / Executive Director of Social Work

    Colm has been the Director of Children and Young People’s Services / Executive Director for Social Work From 23rd September 2021. He has over 25 years’ experience in Social Services and over 10 years senior management experience. Prior to moving to his current role he was Assistant Director for Corporate Parenting in the Trust from 2015 – 2021.

    Mr McCafferty is a member of the Regional SBNI Safeguarding Board for NI and chairs the Southern Outcomes Group, established to take forward integrated planning and service delivery for children and families. Mr McCafferty is also a member of the Regional Public Protection Arrangements Northern Ireland (PPANI) Strategic Forum.  He has significant experience of service reform and has a particular interest in developing placement capacity and supports for Looked after Children in addition to improving the range and accessibility of preventative health and social care supports to children, families and communities.

    Colm became Director of Children and Young People’s Services / Executive Director for Social Work in March 2024.

  • Jan McGall, Director of Mental Health and Disability Services

    Jan holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Degree in Occupational Therapy and a Masters Degree in Public Administration.

    Jan was appointed Director of Mental Health & Disability Services in March 2022, having joined the Trust in 2020, as Assistant Director, Mental Health Services.

    Jan is an Occupational Therapist by profession and worked for over 15 years in a variety of clinical and managerial roles in the Belfast Trust.

  • Elaine Wilson, Director of Planning, Performance and Informatics
    Elaine Wilson commenced as the Trust’s new Director of Planning, Performance and Informatics on 19 June 2023.

    Elaine is a Chartered Accountant who has significant experience in public sector reform, capital development and management of change programmes.

    In her previous role as Programme Director for Primary Care Infrastructure Development, within the Strategic Planning & Performance Group of the Department of Health, Elaine led a programme of significant investment to enable strategic reform within primary and community care to support the delivery of Health & Social Care strategic priorities.

    Prior to this, Elaine spent 15 years as a Management Consultant within Deloitte LLP where she specialised in public sector reform and change management, including significant time spent working across health and social care in Northern Ireland and the wider UK.

    Elaine is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

  • Margaret O’Hagan, Director of Transformation and Improvement

    Margaret has recently been appointed as Director of Transformation and Improvement in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

    Margaret has a wealth of experience as an operational manager. She has undertaken a number of management roles delivering the full range of acute hospital services and has built extensive knowledge and skill as well as a significant network in doing so.   In 2013, Margaret was appointed as Director of Acute Services in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, then following a reorganisation in 2016, became the Director of Surgery and Clinical Services.

    In May 2022, Margaret came to the Southern Trust on secondment to support the then ongoing Urology Lookback Review and provide support with the Trust’s response to the Urology Services Inquiry.

    Margaret is a nurse by profession and has worked in a number of professional roles in Health and Social Care including working for the Department of Health as a Nursing Advisor for secondary care and cancer services. Margaret is also an alumni of the Health Foundation haven undertaken a Leadership Fellowship with the Health Foundation in the past.



  • Vivienne Toal, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development

    Mrs Vivienne Toal was appointed as the Trust’s Director of Human Resources & Organisational Development in September 2016.

    Vivienne brings to her new role a wealth of HR experience, gained over 18 years in the Southern Trust and previously in Craigavon Area Hospital Group Trust. Her experience extends across a range of areas, most recently Employee Relations, Organisational Development and Resourcing. Vivienne was also the designated Deputy Director of HROD in the Trust prior to taking up her new position and is a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

  • Brian Beattie, Director of Adult Community Service

    Brian was appointed as Director of Adult Community Service in October 2022. Prior to this he was Interim Director of Older People and Primary Care (OPPC) since June 2019. He was also the Assistant Director of Primary Care since the inception of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust in April 2007.

    Brian has worked in Health and Social Care (HSC) in Northern Ireland since qualifying as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 1986 and has held a range of clinical and managerial posts. He managed Physiotherapy Services within the Craigavon Area Hospital Group Trust, from 1991 until March 2007.

    Brian has over 35 years of experience working collaboratively with a range of HSC staff, including Allied Health Professionals. His work entails the development of new and innovative services, as well as management and oversight of operational delivery of clinical and social care services. This requires close working with stakeholders, both internal and external to the Trust, including Independent Sector Providers, Community and Voluntary Partners internal and Service the Trust, including Independent Sector Providers, Community and Voluntary Partners internal and Service.

  • Dr Stephen Austin, Executive Medical Director

    Dr Austin took up post as Executive Medical Director on 7th November 2022. Dr Austin is new to Southern Trust and trained as a consultant in Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine. He brings a wealth of experience having previously worked in a succession of medical leadership roles at Belfast Trust and also has worked for the General Medical Council and the British Medical Association during earlier stages of his career.

    Dr Austin has a particular interest in medical leadership in healthcare and is a strong advocate of a learning culture which promotes improvement in the safety and quality of care.

  • Trudy Reid, Director of Medicine and Unscheduled Care.

    Trudy Reid is the new Director of Medicine and Unscheduled Care. Trudy was previously Interim Director of Surgery & Elective Care, Cancer & Clinical Services and Integrated Maternity and Womens Health.

    Trudy is a registered general nurse with over 30 years’ experience across different specialities, Trudy trained at the start of her career in the Southern Area College of Nursing.
    She brings to the role significant clinical, operational and governance experience from working across a number of organisations.
    Trudy was awarded an MBE (Members of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2021 for services to infection prevention and control during the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Cathrine Reid, Director of Surgery and Clinical Services.

    Cathrine Reid is our new Director of Surgery and Clinical Services.

    From January 1, 2023 Cathrine was Interim Director of Surgery and Elective Care, Integrated Maternity and Women’s Health, Cancer and Clinical services.

    Cathrine was previously Interim Director Medicine and Unscheduled Care.
    Cathrine qualified as a nurse within the Southern Trust in 1990 and has worked in various clinical roles both in the hospital and in the community as a Health Visitor.

    Cathrine has also held roles within service improvement projects, governance and management.
    Cathrine has experience within Unscheduled and Primary Care as Head of Service GP OOHs and more recently as Interim Assistant Director of Primary Care .