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Meet our Executive Team

  Clare Watson - Chief Officer for the Cheshire CCG's

Clare Watson started her role as Accountable Officer for the four Cheshire CCGs on 1 January 2019.

 Working in the NHS for over 25 years, Clare has a clear focus on integration and partnership working. Bringing her experience of transformation in Greater Manchester to commissioning in Cheshire, Clare has a passion for commissioning based on holistic health and wellbeing, making a real difference to local populations.

Since Clare’s appointment as interim Accountable Officer of NHS South Cheshire CCG and NHS Vale Royal CCG in September 2017 she has worked with GP Members and other partners to support primary care at scale, enabling general practice to thrive and transform. Her leadership of both CCGs delivered organisational and financial turnaround, leading the organisations out of special measures moving from inadequate to requires improvement IAF ratings in the first six months of her leadership.

Clare has brought her experience and passion for delivering place based integrated care and sustainability to her new role as Accountable Officer for the Cheshire CCGs. She will support the improvement of outcomes through developing Integrated Care Partnerships as well as leading the Working Together As Cheshire programme in order to make a real difference to the patients and public of Cheshire.

Support staff contact details:  01270 275213





Lynda Risk - Executive Director of Finance and Contracts

Lynda is a chartered accountant by profession and has worked in the NHS for over 25 years. Lynda has held various senior roles in health organisations in Cheshire and the North West starting in primary care finance and subsequently leading in finance, contracts and performance in Primary Care Groups and Primary Care Trusts in Cheshire.

For the past 6 years Lynda has worked as the Chief Finance Officer for NHS South Cheshire CCG and NHS Vale Royal CCG, which was a challenging but rewarding role, helping to develop services for patients in Central Cheshire. In June 2019, Lynda was appointed to the role of Executive Director for Finance and Contracting for the four CCGs and ultimately the single CCG for Cheshire. This is a role which Lynda has aspired to over many years. Lynda hopes that the merging of the Cheshire CCGs will give greater opportunities for working more closely with partners to improve the health and wellbeing of the population of Cheshire.


Support staff contact details:  01270 275213











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 the banking sector. Neil was recruited to the NHS through a national leadership development programme and initially worked in the acute sector in both operational and change management roles before moving to Central and Eastern Primary Care Trust in August 2009.

Neil was involved in setting up NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG and went on to take the role as Director of Commissioning. Within this role Neil led the CCG commissioning agenda including; contracting and performance, primary care and also took on the role of Turnaround Director leading on the development and delivery of the CCG QIPP programme.


Support staff contact details: /  01625 663764









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 NHS South Cheshire and NHS Vale Royal CCGs Executive Team in January 2018 as the Executive Director of Commissioning she went on to be appointed as the Executive Director of Strategy and Partnerships for the Cheshire CCGs in June 2019. Tracey brings over 20 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. 

Tracey is very proud to be mum to five fantastic children and step children. When not at work, Tracey is a keen gardener (winning second place in the local show for her roses!) She plays netball defence for Cheshire stars netball team and she volunteers as a befriender for a local organisation which reaches out to isolated individuals.

Support staff contact details: /  01270 275243







 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 1 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 NHS 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 is married with two children and lives in Macclesfield.



Support staff contact details: /  01625 663764










 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.

Support staff contact details: /  01244 385281






Dr Teresa Strefford, Executive Clinical Director

Teresa has been a GP in Cheshire since 2004, having moved here after completing her training in Yorkshire.
Teresa started off her commissioning career as Quality and Patient Safety Lead for Vale Royal CCG, subsequently being elected as Governing Body GP. In 2014 she became a Clinical Director working across South Cheshire and Vale Royal CCGs and in November 2019 she joined the Executive Team for Cheshire as Executive Clinical Director.
Alongside her executive role she continues to practice 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.

Teresa lives in Cheshire with her two girls and they enjoy horse riding together.

Support staff contact details: /  01270 275243