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BSO Board

The Health Minister, Robin Swann reappointed the Non-Executive Chair and four Non-Executive Lay Members to the Business Services Organisation (BSO) in December 2020.

Mrs Julie Erskine has been reappointed as Non-Executive Chair from 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2024. The Non-Executive Lay Members reappointed are as follows:  Mr Robert Bannon and Professor Dorothy Whittington from 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2024; Miss Patricia Gordon from 12 December 2020 to 11 December 2024; and Mr Mark Campbell from 9 January 2021 to 8 January 2025.

These appointments were made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland.




 Julie Erskine

Mrs Julie Erskine is the Chair of the Board of the Business Services Organisation and was appointed in December 2016.  She has previously held a number of non-executive positions for example the Probation Board Northern Ireland, Public Health Agency, Committee member of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, Committee member for the Commissioner for Older People and the Commissioner for Children and Young People.  Julie has worked in the Healthcare sector for over 35 years. This has included the Private, Public and Voluntary Sector.

Chief Executive



 Karen Bailey

Karen Bailey is the Chief Executive for the Business Services Organisation (BSO). BSO provides a wide range of professional and transactional business services to Health & Social Care & Public Safety (HSC) organisations. In this capacity she is also SRO for the regional programme for finance, HR and Procurement systems (Equip) and SRO for the Digital Workplace technical enablement project (TEP)

Prior to this, she served as Director of Customer Care & Performance in BSO from 2010 delivering strategic planning, performance management and customer relations for the BSO.

In this role she also held operational responsibility for the regional Information technology service (ITS) responsible for digital support Programmes such as Theatre Management system, Health & Care Number (HCN),  NI Electronic Care Record (NIECR) and NI Picture Archiving (NIPACS)  Her portfolio also included the regional Office of Research & Ethics (OREC)  and the delivery of an Equality & Human Rights service for the BSO, HSCB, PHA and HSC smaller bodies.

In 2012 she led the creation of the regional Honest Broker Service to assist researchers in gaining controlled access to the quantum of health data held by BSO and was instrumental in the development of initiatives such as the highly successful Disability Employment scheme working in tandem with the Third sector.

She has circa thirty years HSC experience beginning her career in Finance and IT in Down Lisburn Trust followed by roles in South Eastern Trust, the Service Delivery Unit (SDU) and the Health and Care Board (HSCB).

Karen holds an MBA from UU, an MSC in Computing Science and BA from QUB along with professional qualifications from IOD and in Programme and Service Management.

Executive Directors


Karen Bryson

Karen Bryson was appointed in January 2020 as Director of Finance for the Business Services Organisation (BSO) which provides a wide range of professional and transactional business services to Health & Social Care & Public Safety (HSC) organisations

Prior to this, she served as Assistant Director of Finance responsible for Financial Management in the Western Trust from 2007 providing specialist financial management advice to senior leaders and staff within the Western Trust. This post required working at a senior level contributing to the development, delivery and achievement of the Trust corporate plan, including the annual and regional financial plan and the achievement of the financial break even target. This role required her to deputise for the Director of Finance as required at Trust Board and other key meetings. She also was the Interim Director of Finance in 2007 for Foyle Health and Social Care Trust pre the Review of Public Administration (RPA) and again in 2019 for the Western Health and Social Care Trust. She also held the role as Head of Finance, Litigation and Information Technology with Westcare Business Services.

She has circa thirty years HSC experience beginning her career in Finance in Altnagelvin Group of Hospitals followed by roles in Foyle Health and Social Care Trust, Westcare Business Services and her current role in the Regional Business Services Organisation.

Karen is a Fellow member with “The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants”(ACCA). She is also a member of the “Healthcare Financial Management Association” (HFMA) in Northern Ireland. 

Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley has over 30 years’ experience working in Health and Social Care. He has worked across Secondary Care, Primary Care, Social care Regulation and since 2017, within the Business Service Organisation. In his current role, which he has held since October of 2020. Mark is responsible for a range of the Corporate, Governance, Planning and IT areas. In particular, he carries responsibility for Corporate and Business Planning, Risk management, Equality Unit, Office of Research Ethics.

In addition to this, Mark is also responsible for the Regional IT Services, which supports HSC IT through BSO ITS.

Mark has a BA honours from QUB 1989 and MSC awarded from UUJ in  2003

Paula Smyth

Paula Smyth  has a degree in Political Science and Sociology and started her career as a manager in retail before moving into Human Resources and qualifying as a HR Professional (currently is a Chartered Fellow in her Professional Institute). Paula spent a number of years in retail, manufacturing and the voluntary sector before moving to Health in 2004.

Paula was employed by EHSSB was transferred into BSO during RPA in 2009.

Paula took up the Interim Director of HR &Corporate Services Post in September 2019 and was appointed on a permanent basis in February 2020.

 The Director of HR & Corporate Services  role in Business Services Organisation, Human Resource Department and Corporate Services, commonly known as BSO HRCS, provides key Human Resources and Corporate Services functions as well as strategic and practical planning throughout the year for the wider BSO and a number of  Arm’s Length Bodies (ALB’s).




Non-Executive Directors


 Patricia Gordon

Mrs Patricia Gordon had a career in the Health and Social Care sector in Northern Ireland where she worked in strategic planning, information and general management roles. Patricia was CEO of the Mater Hospital Trust from 1995 - 2003 and the CEO of the South and East Belfast Trust from 2003 - 2007. Patricia was the NI Director for the Multiple Sclerosis Society from 2008 - 2018.

Patricia has served as a member of the Governing Body of Queen's University Belfast; was a member of the Business in Community Board; a Non-Executive Director in the NI Prison Service and a Trustee of Action for Children. She is currently a lay member of the Tax Tribunal, a member of the Board of Governors at Strathearn School, an Associate Consultant with the HSC Leadership Centre and a member of the NHS Pay Review Body.


 Robert Bannon

Mr Robert Bannon has spent almost 30 years in the Insurance industry gaining extensive experience in sales, resource and administrative management, strategic planning, business development and budget management. In recent years he has successfully developed his own consultancy practice specialising in human resource management, organisational development, coaching, mentoring, recruitment and selection. Robers is currently a Lay Representative with the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency. Mr Bannon has declared that he has not engaged in any political activity during the last five years.


 Mark Campbell

Mr. Mark Campbell is a qualified social worker having worked in child protection and mental health. He established, led and managed the Psychiatry of Old Age Team in North Down and Ards implementing Community Care reforms before appointment to Newry where he managed and further developed dementia services in Down and South Armagh.

Mr. Campbell was an inspector with Eastern Health and Social Services Board and Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority from 2001 to 2012. Awarded and MBA in Health and Social Care Management, the Advanced Award in Social Work and LLM Master of Laws (QUB). In 2012 he was appointed Head of Regulation and Inspection by the Isle of Man Government designing and implementing a proportionate, targeted and risk-based model of health and social care regulation.

Appointed to judicial office as an Experienced Member with the Review Tribunal (2015) and as an adjudicator with Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel (2019). Served as Council Member with Pharmaceutical Society NI from 2016 to 2020.

He has declared that he has not engaged in any policial activity during the last 5 years.


Dorothy Whittington

Professor Dorothy Whittington is Emeritus Professor of Health Psychology in the University of Ulster.  She has published extensively on communication, social skill and quality assurance in health care and other contexts.  She has held executive and non-executive board level posts in the Higher Education Academy, in North Bristol NHS Acute Care Trust and in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland.  She is an Education Associate of the General Pharmaceutical Council and acts as a lay member of the Council's panel for the accreditation of University courses leading to qualification in Pharmacy.  Professor Whittington has declared that she has not engaged in any political activity during the last five years.  

Sean McKeever

Sean is a Chartered Accountant who retired in 2015 after spending his whole career in NI Health and Personal Social Services and the NHS.  He has over 30 years’ experience as Director of Finance and Chief Executive. He was the first Chairman of the NI Civil Service Pensions Board from 2015 to 2020. He is a non-executive Director of the Business Services Organisation and Chairman of the Audit Committee.