Council Members

Council Members

The Patient and Client Council has a Council made up of a Chair and Council Members, recruited from across Northern Ireland under the Public Appointments Process. The Council is responsible for setting the policy and direction for the Patient and Client Council and for monitoring progress and performance.

Patient and Client Council Council Members are chosen from a wide range of disciplines and represent numerous areas of expertise.

Our Council is responsible for:

  • Setting our strategic direction.
  • Monitoring our performance.
  • Ensuring the highest standards of corporate governance and personal behaviour.
  • Ensuring proper financial stewardship.
  • Appointing and appraising senior officers.
  • Giving account to local communities.

The PCC Council currently consists of 6 members. You can read each member’s profile below:

Ruth Sutherland (Chair)
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.
Mr Alan Hanna

Alan has held several senior management positions in the voluntary sector. He is currently a freelance Consultant working primarily in the voluntary sector. He has also served on a number of public boards as a Non-Executive Director including the HSC Business Services Organisation and the NI Fire and Rescue Service. Much of Alan’s work has been in the area of learning disability and he has long personal experience of supporting a close family member with autism and learning disability. Alan has an honours degree in Modern History and an MSc in Organisation and Management. For the past several years he has undertaken a range of interim Executive appointments with voluntary organisations including Diabetes UK, Children’s Heartbeat Trust and Belfast Community Circus.

Mr Patrick Farry

Patrick (Paddy) Farry graduated from Queens University Belfast with a degree in Business Administration. Following Post Graduate studies, he qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant in 1987 and has worked in professional practice ever since. Since 1992 Patrick has been a partner in HLB McGuire + Farry, Chartered Certified Accountants and business advisors based in Carryduff, Belfast. Patrick specialises in taxation and general business advisory across a wide spectrum of business sectors.

He is a Non-Executive Director of Keys Premium Finance Limited, a finance company operating throughout UK and Ireland.

From 1994 to 2017 Patrick was Honorary Treasurer of NIACRO, a voluntary organisation working to reduce crime and its impact on people and communities.

For six years, retiring in 2016, Patrick was a member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Commission for Victims and Survivors.

He is a Director of Craigowen Housing Association which provides housing and related amenities for adults with learning difficulties. He holds no other public appointments.


Mr Paul Douglas

Mr Paul Douglas has 15 years’ experience as a senior manager within the Police Service of Northern Ireland prior to his retirement in 2010. He has extensive experience in developing strategic partnerships and change management within various organisations. He currently serves as a Lay Commissioner with the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission, is a Non-Executive Director with the Probation Board for Northern Ireland and a Non-Executive Director within the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Cllr Martin Reilly

Martin Reilly

Cllr Martin Reilly is originally from County Fermanagh and now lives in Derry. He is an elected representative of Derry City and Strabane District Council.  Cllr Reilly first joined Derry City Council in 2004 and was Mayor of Derry in 2013-2014, during the City of Culture celebrations. He is currently SDLP Group Leader on Council and has chaired various Council committees and represents the Council on a number of outside bodies. In 2016 he was the National Chair of the Association of Public Sector Excellence (APSE). He currently works for the Alzheimer’s Society as their NI Public Affairs and Campaigns Officer.

Cllr Reilly graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2000 with a BA Hons in History and Politics. He was elected by his fellow students as a Sabbatical Officer for Education. A survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Cllr Reilly retains a keen interest in improving cancer services for people across Northern Ireland. Cllr Reilly is a member of the SDLP and holds no other public appointments.

Mr Tom Irvine

Coming soon…


Council Meetings

The PCC is committed to conducting its business and its meetings as publicly and openly as possible and members of the public have the right to speak or ask to present at our Council meetings. Any requests to speak or present should be made at least five working days before the meeting date and should include a summary of the subject matter for consideration by the Chair. The Chair will review requests received within the appropriate notice period and will confirm any requirements or instructions in advance of the meeting – normally this will be confined to the making of a short statement or presentation (and making copies of any presentations available in advance of the meeting).

As Council meetings are currently being carried out remotely via Zoom, notice of requests to speak or present can be provided by contacting Carol Collins (Business and Governance Manager) via email or phone 028 9536 3995.

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Council Documents

Here you can find the agendas and papers for past and upcoming Council meetings.