Northern Ireland council

The Northern Ireland (NI) council focuses on matters relevant to the medical profession and healthcare in Northern Ireland; formulating policy and ensuring it is implemented.

Location: Northern Ireland
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Friday 15 October 2021
Voting card article illustration

Our priorities

Service reconfiguration

Northern Ireland has the worst performing health system in the UK. One in seven adults are now on an outpatient waiting list compared with one in 14 in England. None of the waiting list targets are being met. The integrated health and social care model is not operating to provide an optimal service to patients and clients.

NIC (Northern Ireland council) will work with decision makers to ensure medical staff are involved in service reconfiguration and ensure service change is effectively planned and resourced.

Medical workforce planning

We want to make sure BMA is involved in the implementation of the HSC workforce strategy (published May 2018) and that Northern Ireland is an attractive location for doctors and medical students, with pay parity with other UK jurisdictions.


The United Kingdom formally left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Northern Ireland council agreed to ensure that the voice of Northern Ireland doctors was heard in any negotiations, recognising that we are the only part of the UK that shares a land border with an EU country.

We want to ensure that the current open border arrangements are maintained, there is no impact on service delivery, and that the current MRPQ (mutual recognition of professional qualifications) arrangements are maintained.


Our people

Chair: Dr Tom Black

Deputy chair: Dr Alan Stout


A list of members of the BMA Northern Ireland council, including voting and non-voting members.

Dr Alison Bell, junior doctor co-optee
Dr Tom Black, GP western division
Dr Carole Cairns, retired member
Dr Anne Carson, consultant southern division,
Dr Conan Castles, GP sessional
Dr Clodagh Corrigan, specialty doctor
Dr Rebecca Crothers, junior doctor
Dr Paul Darragh, associate specialist, UK council member
Dr Leanne Davison, chair of NISASC
Dr David Farren, consultant northern division, and chair of RLNC
Miss Blathnaid French, medical student
Miss Nell Haughey, medical student
Dr Sara Hedderwick, consultant, eastern division and UK council member
Dr Molly Kerr, junior doctor
Dr Allen McCullough, GP, northern division
Dr Laura McDonnell, GP co-optee
Dr Michael Mc Kenna, GP, eastern division
Dr Neena Modi, BMA President 2021-22
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, UK council chair
Dr Frances O’Hagan, GP, southern division
Dr Shane O’Hara, junior doctor
Ms Victoria Paice, medical students
Dr Latifa Patel, interim chair of representative body
Dr Trevor Pickersgill, BMA treasurer Dr Siobhan Quinn, associate specialist
Dr Siobhan Quinn, associate specialist
Dr David Ross, GP, eastern division
Dr Nahid Shamandi, junior doctor
Dr Alan Stout, GP, eastern division and chair of NIGPC
Dr Vinod Tohani, consultant, public health medicine
Dr Martin Tohill, consultant, occupational medicine
Dr Stephanie Warne, SAS co-optee
Dr Andrew Wilson, junior doctor and chair of NIJDC
Dr Colin Winter, consultant, eastern division
Dr John D Woods, consultant, eastern division and chair of NICC

Our meetings

Northern Ireland council meetings are open to council members only.

Meeting dates:

  • Wednesday 6 October 2021, 2pm-5pm
  • Wednesday 9 February 2022, 2pm-5pm
  • Wednesday 8 June 2022, 2pm-5pm.

​Meetings will be held virtually or at a location to be confirmed.


Our terms of reference

BMA Northern Ireland council considers any and all matters of specific relevance to the medical profession and healthcare in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland council shall determine policy and action where the application is exclusive to Northern Ireland.


Voting members

NI council shall normally have 24 directly elected voting members. This shall include 21 directly elected from the following groups of members of the BMA in Northern Ireland. This is to ensure representation, as far as possible, from across the area of the four NI divisions and the branch of practice groupings.

  • Five members whose primary branch of practice is general practice of whom: four shall be GPs; one from East; one North; one South; one West; one sessional/locum/salaried.
  • Five members whose primary branch of practice is consultant of whom:
    two from East; one North; one South; one West.
  • Two members whose primary branch of practice is staff, associate specialist and specialty doctor with no more than one from any NI divisional area.
  • Five members whose primary branch of practice is junior doctor including one for the highest polling GP trainee.
  • Two members whose primary branch of practice is medical student.
  • One member whose primary branch of practice is either public health medicine, academic, armed forces, occupational medicine or members in practice but not covered by the above.
  • One member who is a retired member.
  • In addition to the 21 seats outlined above, there shall be three seats for the highest polling candidates who have not already been elected.

Eight ex-officio Northern Ireland members comprising the chair of the NI consultants committee, the NI general practitioners committee, the NI staff, associate specialists and specialty doctors committee, the NI junior doctors committee, the NI medical students committee, the NI medical academic staff committee, the NI public health medicine and community health committee as and when reconstituted and the regional local negotiating committee.

Ex-officio members of council shall hold office until the election of their successors. Deputy chairs of branch of practice committees may attend NI council in the absence of their chair, with the same voting rights.

Non-voting members

Designated ex-officio UK members comprising the president of the BMA, chair of UK council, chair of the representative body, the treasurer, members of UK council whose registered address is in Northern Ireland.

How to join the Northern Ireland council

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 Northern Ireland council, these are: 

Direct elections
  • Seats/term - every three years, elections for 24 seats on Northern Ireland council take place for a three-session term.
  • Timeline - elections are usually held prior the start of the session.
  • Eligibility - all BMA members who work and live in Northern Ireland 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 council are now closed.


Get in touch

We’re happy to answer any queries, give advice or help on any matter related to Northern Ireland council.

Telephone: 028 9026 9666
Fax: 028 9026 9665
Email: [email protected]