Northern Ireland consultants committee

The Northern Ireland consultants committee represents all consultants working in Northern Ireland. Find out more about our priorities, meetings and membership.

Location: Northern Ireland
Audience: Consultants
Updated: Thursday 15 February 2024
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The NICC (Northern Ireland consultants committee) is a standing committee of the BMA and represents all consultants working in Northern Ireland.


Our priorities


Consultants in Northern Ireland must be recognised properly for the work they do. More than any other group of healthcare workers, NHS consultants have been hit hardest by years of below inflationary pay “rises” from successive governments.

Read more about our campaign to fix pay for consultants in Northern Ireland.

Read our FAQs about consultant pay in Northern Ireland

​Recruitment and retention

The ongoing high rates of vacancies in our health service are a huge concern for doctors.

We made a number of freedom of information requests to HSC (Health and social care) organisations in Northern Ireland to examine this issue in more depth.

Our report outlines the results of these requests and explores the factors that could be leading to an under-reporting of consultant vacancies. 



BMA Northern Ireland welcomed the pension taxation changes introduced in 2023, which saw the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) scrapped and the Annual Allowance (AA) increased to £60,000. These are positive changes that can help retention of doctors in Northern Ireland in the short term.  

However, despite these reforms, pension-related issues continue to lead doctors to cut their HSC commitment or retire. This has a negative impact on retaining consultants in Northern Ireland, which is a key issue for NICC. 

Some consultants will still be impacted by the annual allowance and in particular by the tapered annual allowance. This means they will still need to think carefully before taking on additional shifts or doing overtime. 

Moreover, if the AA limit is not kept regularly under review and left to erode in real-terms, then we will be back in a situation in few years’ time when consultants in Northern Ireland are looking to further reduce their HSC commitments or leave the health service altogether.  

Pension flexibilities  

Whilst pension flexibilities, such as partial retirement and pensionable reemployment, are already in place in England, Scotland Wales, the Department of Health in Northern Ireland is yet to introduce such provisions.  

BMA Northern Ireland responded to a consultation on these issues in October 2023, calling for crucial scheme flexibilities to brought forward as a matter of urgency. The Department of Health has since indicated its intention to bring these forward in advance of April 2024, subject to the findings of the consultation, and some further proposed changes to pension regulations.


The remedy to address the unfair discrimination in the pension scheme, known as the McCloud remedy, is also an important issue that impacts consultants in Northern Ireland.

With all members moved into the 2015 scheme from April 2022 for future accrual, and remedial service for members in scope rolled back to their relevant section of the legacy scheme, the Department of Health is now working through the implications of the rollback.

This is a complex exercise and was subject to a 2023 Department of Health consultation, to which BMA Northern Ireland issued a detailed response on behalf of members. It’s vital that impacted members are put back into the position they would have been in, if the discrimination hadn’t happened – this includes compensation for any overpaid pension tax, as well as the opportunity to revise any decisions members made that were contingent on the discrimination they faced.  

We will keep all members up to date with developments as the remedy is implemented.  

Working for consultants in Northern Ireland

NICC represents the views and priorities of consultants in Northern Ireland on a range of other BMA committees and external bodies with the aim of recruiting and retaining consultants, and making Northern Ireland an attractive place to work for consultants.

Some of the external groups and bodies we liaise with on behalf of consultants in Northern Ireland include the General Medical Council, the Department of Health NI, BMA/DoH NI HR Engagement Forum and the Central Medical Advisory Committee.


Clinical excellence awards

Clinical excellence awards have been frozen in Northern Ireland since 2009, with no increase in their value, nor new awards or progression through the award scheme.

The Department of Health has recently consulted on a new CEA scheme. Our view is that the proposed scheme will not reward excellence or be sufficiently enticing to encourage consultants to seek employment in Northern Ireland or stem the flow of members seeking to retire early or work elsewhere. BMA responded to the consultation and you can read our briefing paper. (and then use the same paper to down load)

Read our briefing paper.


Our people

Chair: Dr David Farren 
Deputy chair: Dr Stephen Moore 

Executive subcommittee

The NICC has an executive subcommittee, which co-ordinates the NICC strategic approach to policy issues, acts as a core negotiating body for the consultant body in Northern Ireland and acts as a further link between the NICC and the regional LNC forum.

It also considers and, where appropriate, acts upon urgent matters between meetings of the NICC.

Belfast Trust
Dr Peter Cosgrove
Dr Matthew Dore (N)
Dr Michael Doris (N)
Dr George Gardiner
Dr Colin Goldsmith
Dr Sam Lamont
Dr Dearbhail Lewis
Dr Timothy Mawhinney
Dr Pauline McSherry (N)
Mr Abid Rashid
Dr Robbie Thorpe
Dr John D Woods
Northern Trust
Dr David Farren
Dr John McCabe (N)
Dr Tracey Anne O’Neill (N)
South Eastern Trust
Dr Grainne Doran (N)
Dr Nathan Oliver
Dr Stephen Moore
Dr Michael McParland
Southern Trust
Dr Anne Carson
Dr Sara Hedderwick
Dr Pauline McSherry
Western Trust
Dr Gerry Mackin
Mr Ahmed Mohamed Sayed Mohamed Marzouk (N)
Dr Heba Osama Elsayed Ali (N)
Dr Adesh Ramsewak
Dr Patrick Stewart (N)


*N = New Member

There are currently 10 vacancies on the committee, if you are interested in becoming a committee member, please contact: [email protected]
Belfast Trust – 3 vacancies
Northern Trust – 2 vacancies
Southern Trust – 3 vacancies
SE Trust – 1 vacancy
PHA – 1 vacancy
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Develop your skills as a committee member

Take part in one of our free courses designed to give you the right skills to:

  • break down equality and inclusion bias (CPD-accredited)
  • value difference and inclusivity
  • live our BMA behaviour principles.
Find out more

Our meetings

We meet four times a year to discuss the latest issues affecting consultant doctors in Northern Ireland.

These meetings are open to members of the Northern Ireland consultants committee only. Non-voting committee members can participate as part of the BMA committee visitors scheme.

Meeting dates:

  • 20 September 2023 (hybrid)
  • 29 November 2023 (virtual)
  • 13 March 2024 (hybrid)
  • 30 May 2024 (virtual)

All virtual meetings take place via Microsoft Teams.


How to join

There are many advantages to becoming involved in our committees. You can actively influence BMA policy-making and negotiations, represent your colleagues' voices and develop your leadership skills. 

Each committee has a few routes to becoming an elected member. In the case of NICC, this is: 

Direct elections
  • Seats/term – every three years, elections for 36 seats on NICC for a three-session term.
  • Timeline - elections are usually held in July or August.
  • Eligibility - all consultants who are BMA members, and working in an NI health and social care trust are eligible to stand and vote in this election.

The election section below is kept up to date with details about any running elections, so make sure you keep checking it throughout the year.



Elections to the Northern Ireland consultants committee are now closed.


Get in touch

If you are interested in finding out more about the work of the NICC, please email us.

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