Council Members

NISCC is a non-departmental public body (NDPB). The NISCC Chair is directly accountable to the Minister for Health. The Council is made up of a Chair and 12 non-executive members. The members represent a wide range of interests in the field of social care.

Council Membership is split equally between:

  • Lay members - people who have direct experience as users of services, carers or voluntary workers
  • Stakeholder members - people involved in service delivery/commissioning, trade unions, education/training, professional bodies, or allied professions
  • Registrant members - people who are employed as social care workers

Council meetings are held at least four times a year. Information about meetings and copies of approved minutes are available in the ‘How We Make Decisions; section>>>.

NISCC Council Members

Chair - Mr James Perry (MSc FCA) -  Lay Council Member

NISCC Chair - James Perry

Mr Perry was appointed as a Lay Member of the Council in October 2007. Health Minister, Edwin Poots appointed Jim as Non-Executive Chair of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council for a four year term from 15 April 2013 to 14 April 2017. Jim is a Chartered Accountant and is Chair of Ulster Supported Employment Ltd; a Council member of the Pharmaceutical Society NI and Vice Chairperson of Ballymena Business Centre. He has recently been appointed High Sheriff for the County of Antrim (2016) by the Secretary of State

Mr Joe Blake (CQSW) - Registrant Council Member

Joe Blake - Council MemberMr Blake is a qualified social worker and is a self-employed Training and Evaluation consultant. He has carried out inspection work in the statutory and voluntary sectors on behalf of the Department’s Social Services Inspectorate, Comic Relief and Co-operation Ireland among others.

Mr Neil Bodger - Lay Council Member

Neil Bodger - Council MemberMr Bodger has business experience in Corporate Governance, Finance, Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Marketing and Public Relations. He previously worked for BT (NI) in Market Intelligence and as Marketing and Project Manager. Prior to this, he was Head of Global Sales and Business Development with Total Sigma Ltd (2002-2003) and Head of Projects with Primary Holdings Ltd (2000- 2002). Neil is currently a Governor of South Eastern Regional College. He is the independent Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is as well as being Vice-Chair of the Audit Committee at South Eastern Regional College.

Mrs Geraldine Campbell (BSc. MSc.) - Lay Council Member

Geraldine Campbell - Council MemberMrs Campbell chairs the NISCC Participation Partnership for Service Users and Carers. Geraldine has played a key role in developing the service user and carer agenda at NISCC. She has a particular interest in progressing the service user/beneficiary engagement agenda and advising how it can lead to better decision making. Geraldine has worked across the private, public and voluntary sectors in a number of senior roles. She is currently a Council member of The General Dental Council, a member of the Northern Ireland Committee of The Big Lottery Fund and a member of the Northern Ireland Steering group of the Social Care Institute of Excellence.

Mrs Julie Erskine (BA (Hons), MSc. Chartered FCIPD) - Stakeholder Council Member

Julie Erskine - Council Member

Mrs Erskine chairs the NISCC Workforce Development Committee. Julie has worked in the healthcare service industry for over 25 years before retiring as Operations Director in 2007. She brings to the role a wealth of experience across the public, private and voluntary sectors and has extensive experience in chairing audit and risk committees. Julie is an Audit Committee member with the Commissioner for Older People and is also Chair of the Audit Committee with the Commissioner for Children and Young People. She is a member of the Northern Ireland Local Government Superannuation scheme, the Probation Board of Northern Ireland and is a Non-Executive Director of the Public Health Agency.

Mrs Ruth Lavery (BCL (Oxon) LLB BL) - Stakeholder Council Member

Ruth Lavery - Council Member

Mrs Lavery chairs the NISCC Audit and Governance Committee. Ruth was formerly a Senior Lecturer in Law at Queen’s University Belfast. She is currently a Chair of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and is a Chair of the Mental Health Review Tribunal. She was previously a non-executive board member of both the Western HSS Board and Down Lisburn HSS Trust. Ruth served as an Equality Commissioner for six years until 2005.

Mrs Maire McMahon (CCETSW) - Registrant Council Member

Maire McMahon - Council MemberMrs McMahon chairs the NISCC Professional Issues Group. Maire is a qualified social worker and has worked in the profession for over 50 years. She retired early 2006 from her post as Assistant Chief Inspector of Social Services with the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, where she worked for 10 years in the development of policy, setting standards and inspecting adult and children’s services. Prior to this Maire was employed as the Head of the NHSSB Registration and Inspection Unit and as a social work trainer in the education and training of social workers and social care staff. From her retirement she has worked part-time as a self-employed consultant and as an Independent Social Work Advisor to the Complaints Ombudsman N Ireland with a focus on safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

Ms Catherine McPhillips - Registrant Council Member

Catherine McPhillips - Council MemberMs McPhillips chairs the NISCC Professional in Practice (PiP) Partnership Committee. Catherine is a qualified social worker and has worked in the profession for over 30 years. She has had extensive experience in a range of professional and managerial posts up to her retirement from her post as Head of Primary Mental Health Care for the Southern Health & Social Care Trust in October 2012. Catherine has played a key role towards the development of social work expertise in Mental Health Services. She was an Approved Social Worker and was involved in the training and development of Approved Social Work candidates. Catherine is a voluntary member of the Cruse Bereavement Southern Area Management Committee.

Ms Brenda Maitland(BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Hons)) - Lay Council Member

Brenda Maitland - Council MemberMs Maitland worked for BT Northern Ireland for over 25 years in various roles, most latterly as senior HR Business Partner. She is a Charity Commissioner and is a External Assessor for a number of schools. She is also member of Saintfield Community Association and is a school governor. Brenda has previously held a number of appointments including a Board Member of Ulster Supported Employment Ltd (USEL). She has also has held appointments as Vice Chair of the Labour Relations Agency, Lay member of the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC), Chair of the NMC Appointments Board, Board Member of the Health & Safety Executive NI and Honorary Secretary for War on Want NI. She is a Chartered member of CIPD.

Ms Anne O'Reilly (OBE) - Stakeholder Council Member

Anne O'Reilly - Council MemberMs O'Reilly has over 25 years experience in the voluntary and community sector. Anne worked in the age sector for over 20 years both as CEO of Age Concern and AgeNI, managing a range of care services and community based programmes for older people throughout that period. She also has extensive experience in the women’s sector; as Chair of NIRWN (NI Rural Womens Network), Vice Chair of WRDA (Women’s Resource and Development Agency), and as a board member of the Rural Community Network. She is also active in CO3 an organisation to develop third sector leadership; is a member of the voluntary and community sector Joint Forum working to develop stronger working relationships between government and the sector. She works currently for Women’s Aid Federation NI; she is supporting the development of a new organisation Connect With Care to develop a number of Retirement Villages across NI to offer more choice and options for people planning ahead for retirement and into later life. Anne is also a short term professional foster carer with Barnardos.

Dr Trevor Spratt - Stakeholder Council Member

Trevor Spratt - Council MemberDr Spratt is a qualified social worker and is Professor in Childhood Research at Trinity College Dublin. Prior to this he was a Senior Lecturer at QUB and a Social Work lecturer at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown. Trevor practised in Family and Childcare Social Work for ten years and has focused on this area in his research.

Mr Lee Wilson (BA MA PgDip) - Lay Council Member

Lee Wilson - Council MemberMr Wilson has over 20 years experience in Health Service Finance. He is currently a Board and Audit Committee member of both the Consumer Council for NI and the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency. He also volunteers with the Patient and Client Council and Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke.


Appointment of Council Members

Council Members are appointed by the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety. If you are interested in serving on the Board of a public body and are unsure how to go about it the office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister has published an information booklet entitled 'Make Your Mark - A Guide to Public Appointments in Northern Ireland'. This guide explains the different types of public bodies currently in existence and how the appointments process works in practice. Details are available from or telephone the Central Appointments Unit on: 028 9052 8193.

Associated Resources