The Department of Health has announced the appointment of seven Authority Members to the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA).
The following Authority Members have been appointed from 1 February 2023 to a date not later than 31 January 2027: Mr Neil Bodger, Professor Stuart Elborn, Ms Cheryl Lamont, Dr Nazia Latif, Mr Alphonsus Maginness, Dr Mary McIvor, and Mrs Sarah Wakfer.
The Authority Member position attracts an annual remuneration of £6,535, with a time commitment of two to three days per month.
These appointments are made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland.
The RQIA is an independent body responsible for monitoring and inspecting the availability and quality of health and social care services in Northern Ireland, keeping the Department informed as to the quality and availability of those services, and encouraging improvements in the quality of those services. The RQIA also has a range of duties in respect of mental health and learning disability.
The Authority consists of a Chair and not more than 12 Members.
Notes to editors:
- Mr Neil Bodger has been involved in international managerial and company finance at senior manager or director level for over 30 years. He was a senior management consultant in corporate financial reconstruction for eight years and subsequently board director of a German manufacturing company. Mr Bodger has worked as a chair of public sector audit and risk management committees for 22 years and has experience in corporate governance, strategic planning, digital transformation, human resources, marketing, data mining and analysis, consumer profiling and trend analysis and public relations. He is also a Non-Executive Independent Board Member with the Department for Communities. Mr Bodger currently holds one other public appointment with the Department of Justice. He is a Member of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland, an appointment which commenced in March 2022, attracting an annual remuneration of £5,050 and has a time commitment of one to two days per month.
- Professor Stuart Elborn is Professor of Medicine and Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (interim) at Queen’s University. He is responsible for planning, governance and academic performance across the University. Professor Elborn has particular responsibility for the delivery of the Queen's University contribution to the Belfast Region City Deal programme. He also has responsibility for the institutional approach to equality, diversity and inclusion and climate mitigation and sustainability. Professor Elborn’s own research is focused on improving outcomes in people with chronic lung disease, particularly cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis.
- Ms Cheryl Lamont CBE DL qualified with a Social Work Honours Degree in 1983, initially working as a residential social worker. She joined the Probation Board for Northern Ireland in 1985 gaining operational experience in various areas. Following promotion to middle management in 1992, Ms Lamont was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to the USA in 1998, undertaking international research in domestic violence perpetrator programmes, subsequently developing interventions for 10 years in Northern Ireland. In 2000, Ms Lamont was promoted to senior management, leading on new statutory initiatives for victims; and introducing the first Electronic Case Management System to support staff. Promoted in 2007 to Director, Ms Lamont oversaw the Best Practice Framework manual for operational staff. In 2013, she was appointed interim Chief Executive and from 2016 Chief Executive, introducing highly regarded initiatives in collaborative working, innovation and modernisation. Ms Lamont retired in June 2021 after 38 years working in the Justice System.
- Dr Nazia Latif has extensive experience of working on human rights and equality issues in Northern Ireland and internationally. An experienced trainer and researcher, Dr Latif believes in empowering communities through genuine engagement and collaboration. She worked for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission for 13 years where she led systemic investigations, including In Defence of Dignity, an investigation into the human rights of older people in nursing homes. Dr Latif currently runs Right Practice and specialises in providing practical assistance to organisations in the public, private and voluntary sector on how to meet their human rights and equality obligations. She has worked with organisations in Canada and Australia. She Is also a member of the Northern Ireland Committee of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and is an Independent Assessor for Diversity Mark. Dr Latif is a graduate of QUB, holds an MA from the University of Durham and a PhD from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
- Mr Alphonsus Maginness has practised as a solicitor for over 30 years. In February 1998 he was appointed Chief Legal Adviser in what is now the Business Services Organisation (BSO) and continued in that role for 24 years until his retirement in March 2022. He provided advice and representation to all Health and Social Care bodies during that time on legal issues such as medical negligence, family law, mental health law, judicial reviews, public inquiries, inquests and data protection, and provided training on relevant legal subjects. As a Senior Executive, Mr Maginness also sat on the Board of BSO and was a member of its Senior Management Team, contributing to the overall strategic direction of that organisation. He has gained extensive experience of the HSC during his career.
- Dr Mary McIvor is a recently retired, seasoned civil servant with thirty years’ experience, having worked at senior levels across a range of Departments and has extensive understanding of how the public sector operates. She has a strong working knowledge of policy, public finances, strategy development, economic issues and the delivery of public services. Dr McIvor also spent ten years working for an international banking group with a focus on service delivery and customer experience as well as income development. She has a wealth of experience in governance and accountability matters and is CIPFA qualified. Dr McIvor is at the end of her second term as Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Commission for Victims and Survivors. She is also a school governor with St Dominic’s Grammar School for Girls, Belfast. Dr McIvor holds one other current public appointment with the Department of Education: she is a member of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) and the Down and Connor Diocesan Education Committee (DEC) of the CCMS. In total these roles require a time commitment of 30 days per year and are not remunerated.
- Mrs Sarah Wakfer has a wealth of experience in enterprise risk management, audit, governance and compliance that she brings to the Authority. She has over 18 years’ experience in local government in key roles including Head of Internal Audit and Head of Policy for arm’s length bodies, and was responsible for delivering significant transformation programmes. She has 5 years’ experience of carrying out inspections for the Care Quality Commission in England focusing on service users and families. She also has experience within the voluntary sector as a former director of a community interest company and chair of a registered charity supporting people with disabilities. Mrs Wakfer holds a Non-Executive role within the Department of Justice and one other public appointment with the Department for Communities. She was appointed in December 2020 as a Director to Ulster Supported Employment Ltd (USEL) and is Vice Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee (ARC). This position attracts remuneration of £142.80 per meeting for 12 Board meetings and four ARC meetings per year.
- Appointments to the Authority are made by the Department of Health.
- 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 to be published. Of the seven appointees, six have declared that they have not engaged in any political activity in the last five years. Mr Maginness has declared that he has canvassed on behalf of the SDLP, most recently at the May 2022 NI Assembly elections.
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