Kath O’Dwyer

Chief Executive, St Helens Borough Council

Kath joined St Helens Borough Council in March 2020 as Chief Executive. Prior to this she was acting Chief Executive in Cheshire East Council for 3 years.

Kath has worked in local government for most of her career (28+years), working in several north west local authorities including Lancashire, Rochdale, Knowsley, Halton, Stoke-on Trent and Warrington councils.

Kath started her career as a social worker and has ‘risen through the ranks’ and in recent years has held the roles of Director of Children’s Services (DCS); Executive Director for People Services and Deputy Chief Executive. She is an advocate of sector-led improvement, is a champion for integrated health and social care and is passionate about workforce engagement.

Kath leads for the Liverpool City Region on Health and Social Care, chairing both the Director of Adult Services and the Director of Public Health Forums and leading the Merseyside Resilience Forum Health and Social Care Recovery Cell.

Kath has been a member of the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership since 2016, initially representing the Cheshire Local Authority Chief Executives, and more latterly, since moving to St Helens Borough Council, she has represented the Liverpool City Region and Merseyside Local Authority Chief Executives. Kath also represents the Liverpool City Region Local Authorities at the Partnership Co-ordination Group.

Why are you passionate about health and care across Cheshire and Merseyside?

I believe public service is a privilege, but we need to work as a single system to meet need, combat inequalities and ensure the best possible experience of, and outcome from, health and care services. Our residents / patients / service users don’t care whose logo is on our payslip, they just want a joined-up response that is co-produced and meets need – it’s our job to design and provide this.

What do you do to improve your health and mental wellbeing on a day-to-day basis?

During my day, I try to build in short 15-minute breaks. I also make the most of my holiday time and enjoy long weekends away. I have a brilliant social life and appreciate any time seeing my friends and family. I also like going on long walks with my dog.

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