NI AAA Screening Programme Office
Tel: 028 9063 1828

The NI AAA Screening Programme team

PHA staff

Dr Stephen Bergin, Consultant in Public Health MedicineDr Bergin is responsible for commissioning the AAA screening programme, ensuring that it operates in line with national standards and demonstrates continuous improvement in performance. He is supported by the AAA screening team, including the Clinical and Imaging Leads.

Mrs Jacqueline McDevitt

Jacqueline’s main areas of responsibility include:

  • establishing and managing a quality assurance structure for the NIAAASP;
  • providing commissioning advice and support;
  • ensuring the programme operates in line with national (UK) standards.

Ms Helen McCannHelen has played a key role in the administrative side of the NIAAASP since joining in 2011.

Mr Paul Blair
Clinical Lead/Programme Director
Paul is responsible for the overall running of the screening programme within the Trust.  He works closely with the Programme Manager and members of the specialist vascular team, particularly in matters involving patient care.  He is also responsible for ensuring maintenance of a high quality service across the programme and is accountable to the PHA as QA Lead for the programme.
Dr Peter Ellis
Imaging Lead

Dr Ellis has worked as a consultant interventional radiologist with an interest in vascular work at the Royal Victoria Hospital since 1997. He has responsibility for the imaging protocols for screening and any follow-up. When AAAs are detected, he obtains further images (usually CT scans), which allow a decision on the method of treatment if appropriate. He is also involved in the placement of endovascular stent grafts when this is the chosen method of AAA repair.

BHSCT staff

Ms Diane Stewart, Programme ManagerDiane is responsible for the management, implementation and development of the AAA screening programme across Northern Ireland. She works across a multi-disciplinary team to ensure the programme provides a high quality service and meets national quality standards.

Ms Sarah Louise Dornan
Assistant Programme Manager

Sarah Louise works with the Programme Manager on a day to day basis, supporting the management and development of the programme.  She also works closely with the Administrative team to ensure the various systems required to run the programme operate smoothly.

Lead Sonographer/Clinical Skills Trainer

This role oversees the training and monitoring of the screening technicians. The Lead Sonographer/CST is responsible, along with the Clinical and Imaging Leads, for the day-to-day clinical aspects of the programme. The Lead Sonographer/CST also hosts their own clinics, mainly in Belfast, but also all over Northern Ireland.


On completion of the appropriate accredited training, all screening technicians carry out ultrasound scanning of the abdominal aorta on a daily basis. They are responsible for explaining the procedure and implications of AAA screening to the men and informing them of their result at the end of the appointment. When an AAA is detected, the screening technician will also ensure the appropriate care pathway is followed by informing the Programme Manager.


Kathy McGuigan, Gill Swain and Trez Dennison
The role of the Vascular Nurse Specialist within the AAA screening programme is an important one.  Kathy McGuigan, Gill Swain and Trez Dennison are contacted once a man has been detected as having an AAA.  They will contact the man, usually within two days, to offer advice and support as appropriate.  They also provide health promotion advice in partnership with men.

Lisa CampbellLisa and Sarah are the first point of contact for the AAA screening programme, dealing with queries from men, GPs and others on a daily basis. Their main duties include processing invitations, sending out result letters to men and their GPs, and maintaining various data systems relating to the programme.