Patient and Client Council announces appointment of new Chair

4th May 2023

The Patient and Client Council welcomes its newly appointed Chair Ruth Sutherland CBE following an announcement by the Department of Health.

Ruth is Chair of Social AdVentures, a public health social enterprise based in Salford, and Vice chair of Lloyds Bank Foundation, passionate about health and social care and social justice. Ruth began her career as a registered general nurse and progressed to work mostly in public health roles. Following a forty-year career in health and social care, public and voluntary sectors, Ruth stepped down as Chief Executive of Samaritans, UK and Ireland in Nov 2020 to pursue a portfolio career involving non-executive roles, volunteering, executive coaching and consultancy.

Ruth has held senior leadership roles in the voluntary sector, working with Children, adults and older people many living with complex needs. Prior to joining Samaritans in 2015, Ruth was CEO of Relate and previously held senior executive leadership roles at the UK charities Rethink, Alzheimer’s Society and Scope.

Ruth was awarded the CBE for services to vulnerable people in 2019 and the Royal College of Psychiatrists Presidents medal for services to people with mental illness in 2019. Ruth was awarded The Daniel Phelan award for outstanding achievement at the UK Charity Awards in 2022.

Ruth takes over the position from Mr Stephen Mathews OBE who has been the Council’s Interim Chair since October 2022. Following the news of her appointment, Ruth says: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to be the non – executive chair of the Patient Client Council. The voices and actions of people and their communities are vital to achieving the best health and social care outcomes. I look forward to working collaboratively with all sectors to ensure the best possible health and care is delivered for everyone

Meadhbha Monaghan, Chief Executive of the Patient and Client Council says: “We welcome Ruth to the role of Chair and know that she will bring her expertise and years of experience to the Patient and Client Council in these challenging times for health and social care in Northern Ireland.

We would also like to acknowledge and thank the Council’s outgoing Interim Chair, Stephen Mathews OBE whose insight and leadership supported the ongoing work of the PCC in recent months.”


Media information, contact Maurica Mackle,, 07880804003.