Dr. Ken Fullerton
Associate Consultant

With 39 years’ extensive experience as a senior clinical leader in Northern Ireland’s Health & Social Care economy operating at political, strategic, programme, project, senior management and director levels, Ken is uniquely qualified to provide eHealth advice and guidance to a wide variety of public and private eHealth organisations.


Clinical Experience

Ken graduated as MB, BCh, BAO from Queen’s University, Belfast (QUB) in 1978. He trained as a physician specialising in Geriatric Medicine and Stroke Medicine. He achieved MRCP in 1981 and MD (by Thesis) in 1984. He was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP) by three Royal Colleges. In 1986 he became Senior Lecturer/Consultant at the University of Manchester. In 1988 he became Consultant Physician in Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland (NI) in General Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. He developed and opened one of the first Stroke Units in N.I. In 1995 he moved to Belfast City Hospital and in 2007 his role extended to involve Community Health and Social Care. He has a research profile publishing in clinical, IT and statistics journals and has been Honorary Senior Lecturer at QUB since 1999. During his career he has continued to publish in peer reviewed journals, mainly on service improvement and the application of informatics. He retired from clinical practice in 2016 to allow more time for his other interests, namely health systems improvement and eHealth.


Management Experience

Ken has held significant roles as Service Lead (1990-1995), Clinical Director (1998-1999, 2012-2014), Trust Medical Director (1999-2007) and Associate Medical Director (2014-2016). Through these positions he has been involved in service improvement programmes in both hospital and community services. He has had a leadership role in many service improvement initiatives including the introduction of stroke thrombolysis in N.I., the establishment of Early Supported Discharge Teams, Hospital and Community Medicines Governance, Clinical Coding, redesign of scheduled surgical services and redesign of unscheduled care services. He trained in Theory of Constraints (TOC) methodology and has held TOC ICO accreditation since 2003. He has also been training in the application of Systems Engineering to Healthcare (HCSE) and is currently undertaking Improvement Science Practitioner Level 2 (ISP-2) projects.


Strategic Oversight Experience

In the eHealth area, Ken published in IT journals in the early 1980s, was involved in the NHS Resource Management Initiative in the 1990s, had close involvement in the Proof of Concept Project for the N.I. Electronic Care Record (NIECR) in the 2000s and in the planning, procurement, and implementation of the national NIECR in the 2010s. He was Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for the N.I. Theatre Management System. He has recently been involved in making the case for a N.I. National Electronic Health Record (EHR). He was an invited member of the N.I. eHealth Strategic Programme Board and its predecessors from 2007 until his retirement from the service.


Understanding How to Establish and Run eHealth Programmes

Ken has extensive experience in running eHealth programmes and has been involved in all stages of eHealth implementation from initial concept through business case development to procurement and clinical rollout.


Understanding of How a Health Economy is Governed and Funded

Ken has worked with stakeholders at all levels including Trust Directors, GP’s, Commissioners, Department of Health (N.I.), Ministers of Health (N.I.), Public Health Agency, Business Services Organisation, Independent Healthcare Providers, the HSC Leadership Centre, the N.I. Council for Postgraduate Medical and Dental Training, the GMC, the BMA, and the National Clinical Assessment Service. He was a member of an Integrated Care Partnership and was advisor on Commissioning to the National British Geriatrics Society.