Hugh McCaughey

National Director of Improvement

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Hugh McCaughey became Chief Executive of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust in June 2009.  He was previously Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive of the Belfast Trust, and brought with him a wealth of experience and skills having joined the NHS in 1985 as a National Management Trainee.


Hugh had a long standing interest in Patient/Client Safety and Quality Improvement, leading and participating in a range of strategies, programmes and initiatives at national, regional and Trust level.  In particular he has made QI the central strategy for the South Eastern Trust over the past ten years.  This is now fully embedded and has led to significant demonstrable improvements in the Trust’s performance across a wide range of clinical, workforce and cultural areas as well as financial effectiveness. The Trust established a QI Academy which has resulted in more than 4,000 staff being trained in QI.  The SQE (Safety, Quality and Experience) approach adopted by the Trust has received considerable national and international attention.


He is a member of the IHI Leadership Faculty, recently supporting the successful STOP programme, aimed at reducing hospital infections across 19 hospitals in Portugal.  He was Chair of the N. Ireland Safety Forum and is a founding member of Health Improvement Alliance Europe and UK Improvement Alliance. He also chairs the N. Ireland Cancer Network and the Oncology Transformation Programme.


Hugh is Chair of the Ulster Rugby Academy and a former coach, player and manager at a number of representative levels.  He is married to Shirley and has three children, Ross, Tory and Ben.

Hugh McCaughey

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