Applicants sought for Chair of Southern Health and Social Care Trust

Date published: 09 December 2019

This week the Department of Health has announced that it is seeking applicants for the role of Chair of the Board of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

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The Trust is responsible for supervising the integrated health and social care services to approximately 380,000 people across Armagh, Dungannon, Craigavon, Banbridge, Newry and Mourne. 

The post is one of approximately 50 positions that are expected to become vacant over the next two years across Northern Ireland on Boards of the 18 arm’s length bodies which help run health and social care services here.

The successful applicant will take over from Roberta Brownlee who is stepping down having served in the post for almost nine years. The successful applicant is expected to take up post at the end of March 2020.

Commenting on her time on the Trust Board, Roberta Brownlee said: “It has been a real honour and privilege to serve as Chair of the Southern Trust. I have worked with very special staff - their commitment, enthusiasm, dedication and support never ceases to impress me.  The desire of all staff to give of their best daily to make people receive the very best care has been overwhelming.

“Whilst the role is demanding and requires a big commitment it is exceptionally rewarding.  Every day offers new opportunities to bring about change and to be part of the wider health social care family. I have served with excellent non-executive director colleagues, chief executives and senior management teams, who have always given their very best support and encouragement. The Chair’s position requires drive, determination, resilience, a wiliness to give your time generously and to act as a role model in all that you do.” 

Richard Pengelly, the Department’s Permanent Secretary said: “Public bodies across Health and Social Care deliver important and essential public services in Northern Ireland, collectively spending over £5 billion a year. We need talented people with the skills and experience to serve as chairs or non-executive members on boards providing the direction and leadership to these bodies, holding senior staff to account and providing independent advice. I would encourage people from across the community and from all walks of life to apply for these important positions to ensure that we achieve inclusive and diverse boards reflecting the needs of the communities they serve.”

Noting the work being taken forward by the Department of Health to make its public appointments more diverse and transparent the Commissioner for Public Appointments, Judena Leslie said: “It is obvious that the Department is making a significant effort to improve its public appointment processes.  I believe that this new approach will serve to strengthen our public boards.” 

The Department is seeking people from all walks of life to take on key leadership roles. People who are passionate about the future of health and social care and who want to hold to account, on behalf of the community, the bodies delivering health and social care.

Training is provided, alongside further development opportunities and formal qualifications aren’t necessarily required. However some positions do require a professional registration.

To find out more on this and other appointment opportunities: Visit

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Public Appointments newsletter can be found on the Department of Health website at
  2. The Department will operate a Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) for the SHSCT competition. The GIS has been developed for applicants with disabilities or those with long term impairment or a health condition that is expected to last for at least 12 months. In these instances, provided that the applicant has demonstrated in their application form that they have met the essential criteria for the post, the applicant will be offered a guaranteed interview.
  3. For media queries please contact the Department of Health Press Office on 028 9052 0567 or email: For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.
  4. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

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