Senior directors who attend the board

Caroline Docking

Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs

Caroline joined the Trust in October 2018.

Her role encompasses ensuring that the Trust communicates well with our patients, staff and other stakeholders. She is also responsible for External Affairs and the Trust's Charity.

Previously, Caroline has extensive experience of partnership working, communications, public involvement and NHS governance. She has worked in the private and voluntary sectors as well as NHS commissioning and mental health provider organisations.

Christine Brereton

Chief People Officer

Christine brings 20 years of extensive public sector leadership experience, having served in Director level roles in the police and probation services, as well as in higher education and most recently in the NHS.

She is a fellow of the CIPD and was previously Director of People and Organisational Development at North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust.

In her new role, Christine will be responsible for leading the workforce, organisational development and education functions across Newcastle Hospitals, one of the biggest and most successful NHS trusts.

Shauna McMahon

Chief Information Officer

Shauna joined Newcastle Hospitals as Chief Information Officer in January 2024 to oversee digital technology and innovation across the trust.

As a member of the Executive Team and Trust Board, she is responsible for developing and delivering Newcastle’s information and technology strategy, as well as leading digital innovation and service change throughout the organisation.

Shauna has held a number of senior roles in healthcare for the last 20 years and spent the earlier part of her career in Canada, where she worked for an international consulting firm and served as Chair of the Board of Directors at Credit Union Atlantic before joining Capital District Health Authority in Nova Scotia.

In 2015, she left Canada to become Chief Information Officer at Frimley Health Foundation Trust, later moving to NHS South Central & West CSU to lead on complex digital transformational change programmes.

Most recently she was Group CIO and Senior Risk Owner (SIRO) for Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS F Trust and Hull University Teaching Hospitals.

Angela O'Brien

Director of Quality and Effectiveness

As Director of Quality and Effectiveness Angela reports to the Medical Director with overall responsibility for the development and delivery of the Trust's Quality Strategy and Quality Account, patient safety and risk management, clinical governance and clinical risk management, health and safety, quality assurance and quality improvement, clinical audit and effectiveness, and legal services.

Rob Smith

Director of Estates

Rob, a Chartered Engineer, joined the Trust in January 2017. As Director of Estates, he is professionally accountable for hospital facilities, its infrastructure and the built environment.

As well as engineering and building, his estates portfolio includes healthcare planning, construction, renovation, electro-medical engineering, emergency planning, sustainability and environmental services, transport and fire safety.

Rob has significant senior level experience in Estates Management both in the UK and abroad and he is a member of IHEEM (Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estates Management) and EFM (Estates Managers) Group, in which he actively participates.

Rob has worked with clinical directorates, business development, finance and other colleagues to develop the five-year Estates Strategy with planned investment of over £350million.

Annie Laverty

Director of Patient and Staff Experience

Annie joined the Trust as Executive Director of Patient and Staff Experience in February 2024.

This is a new senior leadership role for Newcastle Hospitals, designed to ensure visibility and momentum for a trust-wide patient and staff experience programme.

With more than 30 years’ experience of working in the NHS, Annie enjoyed 15 years of senior clinical leadership responsibilities as clinical director of the award winning, Stroke Northumbria service, as well as Allied Health Professional lead for the North East Cardiovascular Network.

Annie is a speech and language therapist, qualified mediator, teacher, and senior lecturer.