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Minister makes re-appointments to the Northern Ireland Social Care Council

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey today announced the re-appointment of four Non-Executive Members to the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC).

They are: Mr Joseph Blake(Registrant Member); Ms Miriam Karp (Lay Member); Mrs Maire McMahon (Registrant Member); and Dr Trevor Spratt (Stakeholder Member).

The re- appointments were made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointment for Northern Ireland. The Non-Executive Members are re-appointed for the period 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2014.

The board of the NISCC consists of a Non-Executive Chair and 12 Non-Executive Members.

Notes to editors:

1. The NISCC is responsible for registering and regulating social care staff by maintaining a register of the workforce and conducting inquiries into allegations of misconduct; individuals found unfit to practice on grounds of misconduct, bad practice, negligence, abuse or ill-health.

2. The Council has powers to suspend, vary or remove registration. It publishes Codes of Practice for employees and employers; and promotes, develops, approves and regulates training and education, at qualifying and post-qualifying level, of social care staff.

3. The Council is also the NI component of the UK sector skills council partnership Skills for Care and Development which has the responsibility of ensuring that an appropriately skilled and qualified workforce is available.

4. Non-Executive Members of the NISCC receive annual remuneration of £6,242.

5. The appointments were made with the approval of the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety. There are no specific qualifications for appointment.

6. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees (if any declared) to be published. All four appointees declared that they had not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

7. APPOINTMENTS

Mr Joseph (Joe) Blake CQSW lives in Belfast. Mr Blake is a self-employed Training and Evaluation Consultant and has carried out inspection work in the statutory and voluntary sectors on behalf of the Department’s Social Services Inspectorate, Comic Relief and Co-operation Ireland among others. Mr Blake was initially appointed as a Registrant Member to the NI Social Care Council for the period from 1 October 2007 to 30 September 2010. He will bring to his role as Registrant Member of Council his extensive experience in the voluntary sector and his background in the criminal justice system, all of which will make a significant contribution to the development of the Council’s work in these areas. Mr Blake holds no other public appointments and has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

Ms Miriam Karp MSc BA (Hons) lives in Belfast. Ms Karp is Director of her own consultancy firm, working extensively in personal development and skills training. She set up and established the Sexual Health Training Team for the former Eastern Health and Social Services (HSS) Board and former North and West Belfast HSS Trust and also set up the Aids Education Team for the Eastern Board. Ms Karp is a parent volunteer member of the Down’s Syndrome Association and Bobosh, a special needs drama group. She is a Lay member of the Public Health Agency for which she receives £8,827 per annum, and a member of the Department of Education’s Exceptional Circumstances Body for which she receives £260 per day. Ms Karp is also a member of the Statutory Committee of the Pharmaceutical Society and a Lay Panel member for the NI Medical and Dental Training Agency. She was initially appointed as a Lay Member to the NI Social Care Council for the period from 1 October 2007 to 30 September 2010. She brings to the role her own personal experiences as the mother of a child with special needs, together with her professional experience in training and education, professional regulation and fitness to practice/conduct. Ms Karp has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

Mrs Maire McMahon CCETSW lives in Greenisland. Mrs McMahon retired in January 2006 from her post as Assistant Chief Inspector of Social Services with the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. She currently works part-time as a self-employed consultant and provides independent professional advice to the Ombudsman. Mrs McMahon is involved at regional and local level with the St Vincent de Paul Society. She holds an Advanced Award in Social Work and Management. Mrs McMahon was initially appointed as a Registrant Member to the NI Social Care Council for the period from 1 October 2007 to 30 September 2010. She brings to role as Council member, her extensive experience gained from 45 years in social work as a Practitioner, Trainer, Manager and Inspector. This includes standards for social work practice, skills and knowledge in management, inspection and wider governance arrangements, which Mrs McMahon draws from in progressing Council business. Mrs McMahon holds no other public appointments and has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

Dr Trevor Spratt PhD lives in Belfast and is presently a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Queens University, Belfast. He was previously a Social Work Practitioner and then Manager, before taking up a lectureship in Social Work at the University of Ulster. Dr Spratt was initially appointed as a Stakeholder Member to the NI Social Care Council for the period from 1 October 2007 to 30 September 2010. He brings to this role as Council member his knowledge and understanding of social work education and research evidence for practice, as well as experience of social work practice. He holds no other public appointments and has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

8. Media enquiries to the DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0575. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.