NEW YEAR HONOURS: Council deputy chief executive awarded an OBE

Daljit Lally
Daljit Lally

Northumberland County Council’s deputy chief executive has been honoured in the New Year’s Honour’s List.

Daljit Lally has been awarded an OBE for her leadership and vision in integrating health and social care services to improve the lives of residents in Northumberland.

Her post as Deputy Chief Executive of Northumberland County Council is a shared role with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust where she is the Executive Director for Wellbeing and Community Health Services.

Daljit has worked at the council for nine years and during this time she has worked on integrating health and social care to ensure that patients and the public have access to high quality, seamless care wherever possible.

More recently Daljit has supported work on Northumberland being awarded the prestigious vanguard status; one of only nine across the country for delivering an integrated primary and acute care system for the county. It will further enhance the provision of local services, empowering local communities to live longer and healthier lives at home, with an increased focus on prevention.

Daljit said: “I am really surprised and humbled to receive this honour. I know my parents, who are sadly no longer with us, would be so proud and I would like to accept it in their memory. They gave up so much for me, encouraged me in everything I did and were a source of inspiration.

“I have only been able to achieve what I have managed to achieve through the help and support of other people; including the hard work of all our frontline health and social staff who spend every day caring for and supporting the most vulnerable in our society.

“It’s the frontline staff I would like to thank for their tremendous work.”

Originally training as a nurse Daljit has worked in a number of health and social care settings NHS, private and local authorities; including working with older people, people with mental health problems and people with learning disabilities. She has directly delivered care and support services to people and also spent time as an inspector inspecting and regulating a range of services. She has worked as head of service at both Darlington Borough and South Tyneside Councils before joining as Executive Director, a shared post with Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Foundation Trust.

In her current role as Deputy Chief Executive she is responsible for adult and children’s services as well as public health and education.

She has a degree in business and finance and an MBA from Durham.

Her achievements include turning around adult social care in Northumberland. She has also been recognised nationally with prestigious awards from bodies such as the Department of Health (‘Third Degree’ learning disability project; ‘This is Me’ dementia initiative; Stroke Services). She has also spearheaded the creation of a sustainable network of user forums countywide, and innovative opportunities to involve and give a voice to disabled people and their families in planning and developing services. This has included setting up the virtual carers centre operated by Carers Northumberland; winner of a Local Government Award for innovation in a rural area.

Daljit is a previous Chair of the ADASS Learning Disability Network, again demonstrating her dedication to delivering improvements for disabled people through partnership working. Daljit’s dedication has significantly improved the lives of disabled people in Northumberland. She is also a voluntary trustee/director of the Charity Community Foundation of Tyne and Wear/Northumberland.

Steven Mason, chief executive of Northumberland County Council, said: “I have had the pleasure of working with Daljit throughout her time at Northumberland. She has significantly improved social care in the county and works tirelessly for the benefit of others. She has led the way nationally in bringing health and social care together to the benefit of users of both services. I know she will be quite embarrassed about receiving this award as she is very modest about her achievements; however she thoroughly deserves this recognition.

Cllr Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “I am delighted Daljit has been recognised in the honours list. She is an exceptional individual who has the respect and admiration of everyone she comes into contact with. Her drive, enthusiasm and exceptional skills have turned around adult social care in Northumberland. Her joint appointment with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has helped to remove any potential barriers to providing a truly integrated health and social care service to the benefit of residents and has been recognised nationally. She is widely respected across her profession and always has the public at the heart of what she does. There is no doubt she deserves this award and many other local authorities and NHS organisations are now following her lead.”