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Appointment of a Non-executive Director to the Health and Social Care Board

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The Health Minister has appointed a non-executive director to the new Health and Social Care Board

Dr Robert Thompson has been appointed as a medical member to the Health and Social Care Board. The appointment is for the period from 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2013.

Notes to Editors:

1. The Review of Public Administration was launched by the Northern Ireland Executive in June 2002 to deliver wide ranging and comprehensive modernisation and reform across the public sector.

For Health and Social Care Services in Northern Ireland, there were two major phases involved in the Review of Public Administration, the first being the establishment of the five new integrated Health and Social Care Trusts and the retention of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Trust with effect from 1 April 2007. The second phase included establishing new organisational arrangements to replace the four Health and Social Services Boards, the four Health and Social Services Councils and a number of Agencies. Following consultation, the Minister decided to establish the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) to replace the four Health and Social Services Boards.

2. Role of the Health and Social Care Board

The Health and Social Care Board’s core focus will reflect the principles of good governance, the quality of care for patients and clients, accountability, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness. The main functions of the HSCB are: commissioning; performance management and improvement; and effective, economic and efficient utilisation of allocated resources for the commissioning of health and social care. In addition, other than those functions allocated to the new Public Health Agency, the appropriate statutory functions previously carried out by the four Health and Social Services Boards will be undertaken by the new Health and Social Care Board.

3. The board of the HSCB is made up of five executive directors, including the chief executive, a non-executive chair and seven non-executive directors. The non-executive directors include four lay members, a Trade Union Representative member, a member from a medical background, and a member from a nursing background.

4. Non-executive directors of the Health and Social Care Board receive annual remuneration of £8,827 for a time commitment of five days per month.

5. Appointments to the Health and Social Care Board are made with the approval of the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

6. This appointment was made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland. A selection panel, which included an independent assessor, as required under the Commissioner’s Code, considered the suitability of all candidates. The final decision on the appointment rested with the Minister.]

7. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for the political activity of appointees (if any declared) to be published. Dr Thompson declared that he had not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

8. Media queries to the DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0579 or out of hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440.

9. Appointment

Dr William Robert Thompson MB BCh FRCGP lives in Donaghcloney, Craigavon. A qualified doctor by profession, he was employed by the Southern Health and Social Services Board, from 2001, as Senior Medical Adviser, Primary Care (Acting Director from April 2008), implementing and managing professional aspects of the General Medical Services contract. From 1 April 2009 until his retirement on 18 September 2009, Dr Thompson was employed by the Health and Social Care Board. Prior to this, he was a GP Partner/Trainer in Moore’s Lane Medical Practice, Lurgan, for 19 years. He holds no other public appointments and has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.