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International Women's Day 2022

To celebrate International Women’s Day we’ve got women from the NHS and local government round the table to find out more about their journeys to climb to the top of their professions in our first ever podcasts for the North East and North Cumbria ICB.

Hosted by award-winning BBC radio and TV presenter Charlie Charlton, in our two podcasts being launched today, five women openly share the ups and downs of juggling home and work life, why they feel passionately about inspiring future generations of women and why we need to keep the spotlight on breaking the bias; as well as their views on the gender pay gap, imposter syndrome, why they love the jobs they do and much, much more.  

It’s a lively, uplifting and sometimes ‘eye opening’ discussion and one not to be missed.

Listen to our podcast

Taking part in our lively and inspiring discussion were

Samantha Allen IWD22

Samantha Allen

Chief executive designate for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB)

Sam has moved from the south to take up a new role in our region as chief executive. She has worked in the NHS for more than 25 years and began her career in an administrative role. She now leads the largest integrated care system in the country with a budget of around £6billion. Sam is committed to delivering a shift in the health inequalities that are so prevalent in our region. She chairs the Health and Care Women Leaders Network at the NHS Confederation, is a member of The Kings Fund General Advisory Council and a member of the Chartered Management Institute Board of Companions.

Birju Bartoli IWD22 (1)

Birju Bartoli

Executive director of performance and improvement, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Birju has worked for the trust since 2003 when she joined as an NHS management trainee and over the years has worked in a number of operational and corporate areas including being project director for the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital – the first of its kind in the UK. She holds a number of healthcare qualifications including an applied biochemistry degree and a PhD in cancer research and is passionate about patient care and staff health and wellbeing.

Yvonne Ormston IWD22

Yvonne Ormston MBE

Chief executive of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

Yvonne was the chief executive of the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) for over four years. Now she is responsible for the QE Hospital Gateshead, as well as acute hospital services and a range of community services including older people’s mental health. She has worked across a wide range of NHS services and gained a wealth of experience and a passion for patient care and staff wellbeing which has been integral to developing organisational values.

Sheinaz Stansfield IWD22

Sheinaz Stansfield

Managing partner at Oxford Terrace and Rawling Road Medical Group, Gateshead

Sheinaz trained as a nurse and health visitor and has held senior management roles in commissioning and provision of health services in the North East. She now also operates at a national level, as a development adviser with NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Time for Care Team and member of the NAPC Council, which facilitates her passion for workforce redesign, patient involvement, social prescribing and quality in general practice.

Alice Wiseman IWD22

Alice Wiseman

Director of public health, Gateshead Council

Alice has worked in a broad range of senior public health roles across Tyne and Wear. In an earlier part of her career, prior to retraining in public health, she worked as a primary school teacher in an inner-city Newcastle school. A teenage parent and single mother of two children, Alice is deeply passionate about improving health and well-being with a focus on tackling the unfair inequalities faced by some communities. Playing a key role in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic she has contributed to work at a regional and national level.


Our host Charlie Charlton

Broadcast journalist

Charlie Charlton is a well-respected broadcast journalist, who's presented on award-winning local and national radio and TV for almost 20 years. She stepped down from her role of Senior Journalist with the BBC, to be a freelance interviewer and host.

As presenter of the BBC Newcastle Breakfast Show, Charlie helped beat all previous audience figures for this ARIA-nominated Station of the Year. Her interviews have featured on Panorama and Newsnight, as well as the national press. She very proudly represented the BBC at Westminster for the organisation Sound Women – who successfully rebalanced the genders presenting on UK radio.

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