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Meet our Executive Team

  Clare Watson - Chief Officer for NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG, NHS South Cheshire CCG, NHS Vale Royal CCG & West Cheshire CCG


 Clare has worked in the NHS since 1993, starting in East Cheshire Health Authority as a management trainee and moving across the county through various organisational   mergers and different commissioning roles before leaving Chester in 1999 to move to Stockport Health Authority and East Stockport PCG as Head of Primary Care. Clare   worked in primary care, children’s commissioning, community services and integrated commissioning, finishing as Acting Executive Director of Primary Care and   Partnerships before moving to Tameside & Glossop in 2008. She held positions as Director of Transformation and Commissioning for the PCT and CCG before taking on a   role as Executive Director of Strategic Commissioning for the Integrated Commissioning function, which was a merger of the Executive Director teams of the CCG with   Tameside Borough Council. This offered Clare the opportunity to take on a much broader place-based commissioning brief, including estates, health and work, as well as working with the new Greater Manchester Devolution team. Clare came to South Cheshire & Vale Royal CCGs in September last year and is proud to lead the   organisations forward. Clare lives in Hale with her husband Mike, two children Matthew, 15, Rebecca, 13 and two very spoilt cats, Oscar and Barney.






 Neil Evans -  Executive Director of Performance and Delivery 


Neil joined the NHS in 2008 having previously worked in a variety of operational, planning and change roles in Financial Services. Neil was recruited to the NHS through a national leadership development programme and initially worked in the Acute Sector in both Operational and Project Management roles before moving to Central and    Eastern Primary Care Trust in August 2009. Neil has been involved in NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG since its inception.










Tracey Cole  - Executive Director of Strategy and Partnerships


 Tracey started her career as an NHS management trainee in Wales and went on to work in a number of acute and specialist trusts across the North West of England as a     general manager. She has qualifications in project management, patient and public involvement, NHS management and executive leadership. Tracey sits on a national     committee for NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) which makes clinical and cost effectiveness decisions on new treatments and technologies. Joining   the Executive Team in January 2018, she brings 19 years of NHS and third sector senior management experience with her along with a passion for leadership development   and a track record of delivering clinically led service improvements.










  Matthew Cunningham - Director of Governance and Corporate Development 

Matthew started his role as Director of Governance and Corporate Development for the four Cheshire CCGs on 01 June 2019. Prior to this Matthew has worked in both local authority and NHS organisations for over 17 years in a variety of roles. The early part of his career was focused on the planning and delivery of health promotion and public health initiatives across Stockport and Eastern Cheshire before taking on more senior roles within Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust, including the role of Assistant Director of Public Health. Matthew joined NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG in 2012 and has been responsible for the oversight and delivery of corporate services since then, including undertaking Board/Governing Body secretary responsibilities, and executive lead for communications and engagement. Matthew has been for over 5 years an Independent Board member of Peaks and Plains Housing Trust, a registered social housing landlord, that covers the East Cheshire area. Matthew is married with two children and lives in Macclesfield.









Paula Wedd  Executive Director of Quality and Patient Experience 

 Prior to moving into commissioning 10 years ago Paula worked for 20 years in clinical services, both as an occupational therapist and a clinical manager. She has   delivered and managed health care services in many of the NHS providers across Wirral and Cheshire and in social services too. Paula is responsible for securing   continuous quality improvements in the care delivered by providers of NHS care;  including primary care, community, mental health, learning disabilities and acute hospital   services. She is a passionate advocate of using patient and carer experiences to improve care. Paula is also the lead executive director responsible for the statutory duties   of the NHS to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and the protection of adults at risk from harm. Alongside this quality and safeguarding role she is the lead   Allied Health Professional in commissioning and promotes the involvement of therapy staff in commissioning work streams. Paula is responsible for commissioning the   kind of care we want for ourselves and holding providers to account for achieving that standard










  Lynda Risk - Executive Director of Finance and Contracts


 Lynda is a chartered accountant by profession and has worked in the NHS for nearly 20 years. After qualifying, Lynda moved to the NHS in Wales initially in audit and then   as Associate Director of Finance, looking after the financial accounts, a number of secondary care contracts and GP fund holding. After a period of 4 years Lynda moved to   the North West Regional Office as the primary care finance lead for the North West region, and became the North West Red Book expert! With the changes of government   Lynda became involved in the development of many primary care initiatives including PCGs, PMS, PDS and ultimately PCTs. Feeling the need to get back to the coal face,   Lynda moved to South Cheshire and became the Head of Finance for the Central Cheshire and Crewe and District PCGs, this involved managing a devolved PCG based   financial budget and a contract portfolio including Mid Cheshire NHST. After the advent of PCTs, Lynda moved into the commissioning team, taking on performance,   information and contracting and their related management accounting functions. This ultimately involved the development and implementation of payment by results. As the   contracting function became more complex and the PCTs in East and Central Cheshire merged, Lynda became more focused on the contracting agenda.


Dr Teresa Strefford - Clinical Executive Director

Teresa has been a GP in Cheshire since 2004, having moved here after completing her training in Yorkshire.


She started off her commissioning career as Quality and Patient Safety Lead for NHS Vale Royal CCG, subsequently being elected as Governing Body GP. In 2014 she became a Clinical Director working across NHS South Cheshire and Vale Royal CCGs. She joined the Executive Team for Cheshire in October 2019 as Executive Clinical Director.


Alongside her executive role she continues to practise as a GP partner in Northwich. She passionately believes in the importance of clinical leadership and feels hugely privileged to be able to make a difference not just to her patients in practice but to the population of Cheshire as a whole.