Meet the Executive Committee

Our Executive Committee provides day-to-day management for the commissioning of local NHS healthcare services

Dr Neil O’Brien

Chief Clinical Officer and Accountable Officer

Dr O’Brien has been a GP in Chester-le-Street for over 20 years. He has a special interest in cardiology and previously worked as a GP with special interest in this area. Neil is a practising clinician, which strengthens his influence with local practices and other clinicians.

Neil is also Clinical Accountable Officer for Sunderland and South Tyneside CCGs. He is a member of the Integrated Care System (ICS) Management Group for the North East and North Cumbria.

During the past year Neil has chaired the ICS vaccination board, overseeing the rollout of the flu and Covid-19 vaccine programmes. Neil is also a member of the national clinical advisory group on the national Covid vaccination rollout.

David Chandler

Chief Officer and Chief Finance Officer

David Chandler is the Chief Officer and Chief Finance Officer for Sunderland CCG.  He has worked in the NHS at a senior level for over 20 years and has experience in most sectors including acute care, community, mental health and commissioning within the areas of Gateshead, County Durham, Darlington and Sunderland.

He is also the chair of the Northern Branch of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), a trustee of the National and a non-executive director for Northern Saints in the education sector.

Ann Fox

Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Safety

Ann is a registered nurse with a long career working in a number of areas in the NHS since 1984. Ann trained in and has lived in Sunderland all her life. Ann has always been an advocate for improving the quality of patient care, safety and the overall patient experience.

She has been instrumental in developing new services and clinical pathways in many areas including haematology/oncology and palliative care throughout her career and in her role as Nurse Director for the North of England Cancer Network. During this time Ann was a founder board member of the United Kingdom Oncology Nursing Society, (UKONS).

From 2009, Ann was Director of Clinical Care and Patient Safety (Executive Nurse) at the North East Ambulance Service NHS FT. Ann has been the Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Safety for the CCG since 2013 and is a visiting professor at the University of Sunderland in the department of nursing and health sciences.

Dr Ian Pattison Chair

Dr Ian Pattison

Executive GP and Clinical Chair

Passionate about ensuring patients receive the best care available, Dr Pattison has been a GP at the Southland Medical Centre in Ryhope since 2001.

With previous commissioning experience gained at Wearside Commissioning Group, Ian was elected to the CCG as chair in 2011. He is a member of the Governing Body, Executive Committee and also Vice Chair of Sunderland Health and Wellbeing Board.

Dr Tracey Lucas

Sunderland West Locality GP Lead

Dr Lucas moved to the North East  after graduating from Glasgow in 1999  to pursue a career in paediatric medicine. She qualified as a GP in in 2005 and now works as a partner and GP trainer in a teaching practice in Washington.

She acted as clinical lead for Sunderland’s NHS 111 service before being elected to the CCG Governing Body and Executive Committee in 2014.

PM Eric Harrison

Eric Harrison

Executive Practice Manager

Born in Durham in 1961, Eric joined the forces in 1977 and saw active service in the Falklands and Northern Ireland before becoming transport manager for Durham Constabulary.

Eric joined Deerness Park Medical Group in 2002, and became a partner in September 2016. He has an MBA, first class honours degree in business and management, qualified accountant CIPFA and postgraduate diploma in advanced NHS commissioning.

Dr Fadi Khalil

Sunderland West Locality Executive GP Lead and Clinical Vice-Chair

Dr Khalil is  an experienced GP trainer and partner at the Broadway Medical Practice. He moved to the North East after graduating in Egypt in 2002. He has been part of the team leading on Sunderland’s Vanguard Programme and the development of the All Together Better Alliance.

He was appointed to the CCG’s Governing Body in 2015, and subsequently elected in 2016, and is currently the Clinical Vice-Chair of Sunderland CCG and the Medical Director of ATB.

Dr Khalil is passionate about integrated care and providing high quality, seamless, proactive care to the people of Sunderland. He has led on multiple initiatives such as the establishment of GP federations, development of the enhanced health in care homes programme and alignment of practices to care homes.

He successively implemented wound care hubs across the city with partners, and has been the clinical lead for primary care within the CCG for a number of years.

He continues to support the various General Practice and PCN initiatives, and has spearheaded the primary care response to the COVID pandemic and the successful COVID vaccination programme. Dr Khalil is currently leading on community mental health transformation in Sunderland.


Joanne Hilton

Executive Strategic Nurse

Joanne was born in and and lives in Sunderland, and truly loves the city. She has worked in the NHS for 31 years, and currently works at Southlands Medical Group in Ryhope as Advanced Nurse Practitioner lead nurse.

She started working for the CCG two years ago to support workforce planning. In September 2020, Joanne took on the role of Strategic Practice Nurse on the Executive Board, supporting nurses in the city with training and development to ensure Sunderland patients receive the very best care.

Dr Raj Bethapudi

Washington Locality Executive GP Lead

Dr Bethapudi has been a GP since 2009 and currently works as a partner at Galleries Medical Practice, Washington. He is a postgraduate GP trainer, appraiser and local Macmillan GP.

Raj has been a member of the Governing Body since April 2016. He is passionate about development of seamless care closer to home and making general practice more sustainable.

Effective commissioning of services to improve health outcomes and medical education are his areas of clinical interest. Raj also serves as Chief Clinical Information Officer, a role in which he helps to implement NHS digital strategy, and represents the Royal College of GPs North East as a faculty board member.

Dr Saira Malik

Executive GP

Dr Malik has been a GP in Sunderland since 2013 and currently works with local GP practices providing clinical stability and support in transitioning practices.

She moved back home to the North East after graduating from Bart’s and The London and has been working in the local NHS for over 12 years, bringing previous experience of national representative roles in the BMA. Other roles include working with the national GP health programme in supporting doctors in difficulty and setting up a local GP Balint group.

She was appointed as a Sunderland CCG GP executive body member in April 2018 and currently leads on Respiratory, Musculoskeletal and Falls and Rehabilitation improvement areas for the CCG.