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BSO Board

The Health Minister, Robin Swann reappointed the Non-Executive Chair and four Non-Executive Lay Members to the Business Services Organisation (BSO) in December 2020.

Mrs Julie Erskine has been reappointed as Non-Executive Chair from 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2024. The Non-Executive Lay Members reappointed are as follows: Mr Robert Bannon and Professor Dorothy Whittington from 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2024; Miss Patricia Gordon from 12 December 2020 to 11 December 2024; and Mr Mark Campbell from 9 January 2021 to 8 January 2025.

Newly appointed Non-Executive Lay members Mark Lowry, Maynard Mawhinney and Frederick Smyth commenced their appointments on 15 January 2024.

These appointments were made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland.


Julie Erskine is the Chair of the Board of the Business Services Organisation

Julie Erskine

Mrs Julie Erskine is also a member of the Board of the Probation Board Northern Ireland and a Committee member of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council and the Northern Ireland Local Government Superannuation Scheme, and an Audit Committee Member for the Commissioner for Older People.  Julie has worked in the Healthcare Sector for over 35 years.  She was a Board member and Acting Chair of the Public Health Agency and held the positions of Support Services Director and Operations Director with a Belfast based Healthcare Company.

Chief Executive

Karen Bailey

Karen Bailey was appointed in June 2022 as Chief Executive for the Business Services Organisation (BSO) which provides a wide range of professional and transactional business services to Health & Social Care & Public Safety (HSC) organisations. In this capacity she is also SRO for the regional programme for finance, HR and Procurement systems (Equip) and SRO for the Digital Workplace technical enablement project (TEP)

Prior to this, she served as Director of Customer Care & Performance in BSO from 2010 delivering strategic planning, performance management and customer relations for the BSO.

In this role she also held operational responsibility for the regional Information technology service (ITS) responsible for digital support programmes such as Theatre Management system, Health & Care Number (HCN), NI Electronic Care Record (NIECR) and NI Picture Archiving (NIPACS) Her portfolio also included the regional Office of Research & Ethics (OREC) and the delivery of an Equality & Human Rights service for the BSO, HSCB, PHA and HSC smaller bodies.

In 2012 she led the creation of the regional Honest Broker Service to assist researchers in gaining controlled access to the quantum of health data held by BSO and was instrumental in the development of initiatives such as the highly successful Disability Employment scheme working in tandem with the Third sector.

She has circa thirty years HSC experience beginning her career in Finance and IT in Down Lisburn Trust followed by roles in South Eastern Trust, the Service Delivery Unit (SDU) and the Health and Care Board (HSCB).

Karen holds an MBA from UU, an MSC in Computing Science and BA from QUB along with professional qualifications from IOD and in Programme and Service Management.


Executive Directors

Simon McGrattan

Interim Director of Finance 


Karen Hunter 

Karen Hunter is the Director of Strategic Planning and Customer Engagement at the Business Services Organisation

Karen Hunter was appointed in February 2023 as Director of Strategic Planning and Customer Engagement at Business Services Organisation

Prior to this, Karen worked  Leadership Centre from February 2018. She held the portfolio for transformation and change, and led the Digital Consultancy.

Karen is an experienced leadership development consultant, having worked in both the public and private sectors for the past 30 years. She was Head of the Management Development School for the Metropolitan Police Service, Director of Studies in the Leadership Academy of the National Policing Improvement Agency, and ran her own Management Consultancy, Muika Leadership. She was Managing Partner with The Living Leader LLP, and worked with PwC as a Senior Leadership and Change consultant immediately before joining the HSC Leadership Centre.

Within the Leadership Centre Karen was responsible for the regional leadership programme Proteus, aimed at Assistant Directors, and co-designed Acumen, aimed at Directors. She was involved in a number of large transformation projects, including the design of a regional framework for Domiciliary Care, as well as team development for executive leadership teams within HSC and other public sector authorities.


Paula Smyth

Paula Smyth, Director of People and Place

Paula Smyth has a degree in Political Science and Sociology and started her career as a manager in retail before moving into Human Resources and qualifying as a HR Professional (currently is a Chartered Fellow in her Professional Institute). Paula spent a number of years in retail, manufacturing and the voluntary sector before moving to Health in 2004.

Paula was employed by EHSSB was transferred into BSO during RPA in 2009.

Paula took up the Interim Director of HR &Corporate Services Post in September 2019 ( Now Directorate of People and Place) and was appointed on a permanent basis in February 2020.

This Directorate provides key Human Resources and Corporate Services functions as well as strategic and practical planning throughout the year for the wider BSO and a number of Arm’s Length Bodies (ALB’s).


Lesley Young 

Lesley Young is the Director of Operations at the Business Services Organisation

Lesley joined BSO in April 2023 as Director of Operations.  She bring 30 years experience of health service management in HSC and NHS and a graduate of the NHS Management Training Scheme.  She began her career across a number of roles in the Western Health & Social Care Trust area.  She has spent the last 15 years working in the NHS in London and Director roles in National and International Charities.  She joins BSO from Chelsea & Westminster Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where she held senior roles in Digital Operations and Women’s Services.


Ben Doran 


Ben Doran. Male with beard, wearing suit and tie

Ben Doran was appointed in June 2023 as Director of Digital at the Business Services Organisation.

Ben has led several regional projects and programmes within HSC, such as the Digital Workplace Technical Enablement Project and the procurement of the public sector Data Centres.  Ben is an expert in ICT procurement and led or partaken in several major procurements for HSCNI, including the Microsoft Licence Solution Provider (£200m), Client Device Refresh (£72m), Technology Framework Agreement (400m), Regional Infrastructure Framework (£24m) and NI Digital Identity Service.

Ben has worked within the health service for eighteen years.  Ben holds a BENG in Computer Science and has completed professional qualifications in Project, Programme and Portfolio Management, as well as being a certified ITIL Expert, and Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Specialist.

Non-Executive Directors

Robert Bannon

Robert Bannon is a Non-Executive Director of the Business Services Organisation

Mr Robert Bannon has spent almost 30 years in the Insurance industry gaining extensive experience in sales, resource and administrative management, strategic planning, business development and budget management. In recent years he has successfully developed his own consultancy practice specialising in human resource management, organisational development, coaching, mentoring, recruitment and selection. Robert is currently a Lay Assessor with the Commissioner for Public Appointments N. Ireland and a Lay Representative with the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency. Mr Bannon has declared that he has not engaged in any political activity during the last five years.


Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell is a Non-Executive Director for the Business Services Organisation

Mr. Mark Campbell is a qualified registered social worker with over 30 years’ experience.  He established, led and managed the Psychiatry of Old Age Team in North Down and Ards 1994 – 1999 implementing Community Care reforms before appointment to Newry where he managed and further developed dementia services in Down and South Armagh.  Mark worked in care regulation as an inspector with the Eastern Health and Social Services Board and Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority from 2001 – 2012 during which time he was awarded an MBA in Health and Social Care Management and the Advanced Award in Social Work.  In 2012 he was appointed Head of Regulation and Inspection by the Isle of Man Government designing and implementing a proportionate and risk-based model of care regulation.  In 2015 he was appointed to judicial office as an Experienced Member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal for NI.  Mr Campbell was appointed a Council Member with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland in 2016.  Mr Campbell has declared that he has not engaged in any political activity during the last 5 years.


Dorothy Whittington

Prof Dorothy Whittington is a Non-Executive Director for the Business Services Organisation

Professor Dorothy Whittington is Emeritus Professor of Health Psychology in the University of Ulster. She has published extensively on communication, social skill and quality assurance in health care and other contexts. She has held executive and non-executive board level posts in the Higher Education Academy, in North Bristol NHS Acute Care Trust and in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland.  She is an Education Associate of the General Pharmaceutical Council and acts as a lay member of the Council’s panel for the accreditation of University courses leading to qualification in Pharmacy.  Professor Whittington has declared that she has not engaged in any political activity during the last five years.


Sean McKeever

Sean McKeever is a Non-Executive Director for the Business Services Organisation

Sean is a Chartered Accountant who retired in 2015 after spending his whole career in NI Health and Personal Social Services and the NHS. He has over 30 years’ experience as Director of Finance and Chief Executive. He was the first Chairman of the NI Civil Service Pensions Board from 2015 to 2020. He is a non-executive Director of the Business Services Organisation and Chairman of the Audit Committee.


Mark Lowry

Image shows Mark Lowry, male with glasses

Mark Lowry studied civil engineering at QUB and, after graduating in 1982, spent 4 years working in South Africa before returning to start what was to become a 32-year career with the CRH group (the world’s largest building materials group, headquartered in Dublin). During his time with CRH, he rose through the ranks to become MD of Farrans Construction, then CEO of Northstone, both based in Belfast, before taking up the reins as Country MD for CRH Poland, living in Warsaw for 4 years. In 2016, he became the CRH group Sustainability Director, based in Amsterdam and Dublin for 3 years. In 2019 he returned to Northern Ireland as CEO of The McAvoy Group, excited by MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) and its opportunities. He semi-retired in 2022 and is now a Non-Executive Director with McAvoy and Thomas Telford, and an Independent Non-Executive Board Committee Member with the NIHE, as well as proudly being a STEM ambassador with the ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers). In his career, Mr Lowry was also a Past-President of the CEF (Construction Employers Federation), a Past-Chair of the ICE (NI) and a Board Committee Member of the CBI (NI). He is also a Fellow of the ICE.


Maynard Mawhinney

Image shows Maynard Mawhinney, male

Maynard Mawhinney is an experienced Board member having served on the South-Eastern HSC Trust Board where he Chaired the Finance & Performance Committee; the Health & Safety Executive Board; and in the private sector as a Non-Executive Director with Around Noon Ltd a company with operations in Northern Ireland, Ireland and England. Prior to that he was Director of Food & Commercial Tourism with Invest NI. He currently serves as Independent Chair of the Review of Roles and Responsibilities of NI Councillors with the Department for Communities. Mr Mawhinney has two other public appointments with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA); the first as Chair of the College Advisory Group to CAFRE. This appointment which commenced in July 2021, attracts a daily fee of £370, and has a time commitment of 5 full days per annum. The second appointment is as a Board member with the NI Fishery Harbours Authority (NIFHA) which commenced on 18 December 2023. This position attracts an annual remuneration of £5099 with a time commitment of 16-18 days.


Fred Smyth

Image shows Fred Smyth, male in a shirt and jacket

Fred Smyth is a Chartered Accountant and experienced finance consultant with significant non-executive experience in the public, voluntary and private sectors. He held a range of senior roles in his Corporate and Business Banking career, leading teams through significant change and was responsible for overall business performance and risk management. He is a board member of the charity Include Youth, who work with disadvantaged young people and was previously a Board member of NIGALA, who represent the interests of children and young people through the family courts and a former Vice–Chair of the Simon Community. Mr Smyth coaches a wide range of businesses, is an independent board observer for Kernel Capital and is an accredited mediator developing collaborative relationships for people, organisations, and communities. Mr Smyth hold one other public appointment as a Member of the North-West Regional College Governing Body. This appointment which commenced in July 2022, attracts a fee of £250 for a Governing Body meeting and £150 for a committee meeting or event and requires a time commitment of around 1 day per month.

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