Meet the team

Dr Matthew Walmsley

GP Chair

Matthew trained in the north east and has spent over twenty years working in the region. He has been a partner at Marsden Road Health Centre for 17 years with clinical interests in mental health, substance misuse and safeguarding.

Matthew has chaired South Tyneside CCG since its inception. His time in post has seen the CCG gain a growing reputation for innovation and integration, overseeing significant service reconfiguration in areas such as mental health, urgent care, paediatrics and maternity.

Dr Neil O’Brien

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 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.

Jeanette Scott

Director of nursing, quality and safety

Jeanette is passionate about the quality and safety of care experienced by patients.  Jeanette trained as a nurse in South Tyneside and has held a number of senior positions in both provider and commissioning organisations during her 39 years NHS experience.

She is a qualified Nurse and Health Visitor and has completed an Executive MBA as well as numerous leadership programmes. Jeanette is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Sunderland.

When not at work Jeanette enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and is an avid reader and follower of The Archers.

Matt Brown

Director of operations

Matt is passionate about working to improve services and outcomes for patients, having spent 15 years working in the NHS around the country, particularly in Cumbria and the North East.

During that time, Matt has worked for a number of commissioner and provider organisations, across a range of strategic and operational roles, latterly as Head of Primary Care and Head of Strategic Planning for NHS England.

Following a degree in Actuarial Mathematics, Matt undertook an Executive MBA and an MSc in Public Health, before becoming a graduate of the Nye Bevan Executive Healthcare Leadership programme.

As Executive Director of Operations, Matt is responsible for the day-to-day running of the CCG and delivery of its commissioning, system leadership, partnership and integration functions.

Kate Hudson

Chief finance officer

Kate has worked extensively in the NHS; most recently as Head of Finance for NHS South of Tyne and Wear working on behalf of Sunderland Teaching PCT, South Tyneside and Gateshead PCTs.

Prior to this Kate was based in Essex and was Joint Acting Director of Finance for Epping Forest Primary Care Trust for four years.

Paul Cuskin

Lay member

Paul had a 30 year career with the UK Civil Service during which time he worked with both the public and private sectors in the development of Employment & Skills to deliver Welfare to Work, and between 1999 and 2011 worked as Strategic Director for the North-East Employer Coalition working with employers and agencies to tackle long-term unemployment.

Previously, Paul was the inaugural Chair of Healthwatch South Tyneside, and was appointed to the committee of Healthwatch England to help represent the views of patients, care users and the public at a national level.

Paul also chaired the multi-agency Local Quality Surveillance Group and was a previous board member of South Tyneside Health and Wellbeing and Integrated Health Boards.  Paul is a former international athlete representing Great Britain at road, cross-country and track racing.

He was also a dementia carer.

Tarquin Cross

Secondary care consultant

Tarquin moved from London to Newcastle in 1991 to study medicine and has stayed in his adopted North East ever since.

He has trained and worked in numerous hospitals across the region before taking up a consultant post in Elderly Medicine with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in 2007. He is currently Associate Head of Service for Acute Elderly Medicine and is involved in the development of Northumbria’s new Specialist Emergency Care Hospital and base sites project.

He has a young family and in the small amount of remaining time he enjoys playing football, running and snowboarding.

Pat Harle

Lay member

Pat has over 40 years NHS experience, the last 18 years at board level in NHS commissioning and provider services. Most recently she was a Non Executive Director at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust prior to joining Sunderland NHS CCG. Pat has held a number of national offices, including former President and Chair of the British Association of Dental Nurses; Training Advisory Board Chair, ( a national training accreditation organisation), and Deputy Chair of an examining board.

Pat was awarded a ‘Probe Lifetime achievement award ‘, and presented with a Medal of Distinction from the British Dental Association.

Pat is committed to ensuring high quality NHS services for patients.

Louise Lydon

Primary Healthcare Professional Member

John Whitehouse

Lay Member - Governance