Appointment of chair and members to the Business Services Organisation

Date published: 18 January 2017

Health Minister, Michelle O’Neill has announced the appointment of Mrs Julie Erskine as Chair to the Business Services Organisation (BSO) and also appointed five Non-Executive Directors for a maximum period of four years.

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The five non-executive Directors are: Mr Robert Bannon, Mrs Patricia Gordon, Mr Jeremy Stewart, Professor Dorothy Whittington and Mr Mark Campbell. Appointments took effect between 1 December 2016 and 9 January 2017.       

The Board of the BSO comprises of four executive members, a Non-Executive Chair and eight Non-Executive Directors, including one Trade Union representative and seven Lay Members.

The Business Services Organisation provides a broad range of support functions for the health and social care service, bringing together services which are common to bodies or persons engaged in providing health or social services which include:

Administrative support, advice and assistance;
Financial services;
Human resource, personnel and corporate services;
Estate management and maintenance of buildings, equipment and land;
Information Technology, and Information Management;
Procurement of goods and services;
Legal services; and
Contractual compliance, internal audit and fraud prevention

The Chair of the Business Services Organisation receives annual remuneration of £22,442 for a time commitment of two days per week while Lay Members receive £5,402 for a time commitment of three days per month.

These appointments were made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland. 

Notes to editors: 

  1. Extensions to the BSO are made with the approval of the Health Minister. There are no specific qualifications for appointment. Each person is appointed to act in a personal capacity and not represent any particular interest or group.
  2. 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. All Non-Executive Directors being re-appointed declared that they had not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.
  3. Media enquiries to DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0575 or email For out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt
  4. Mrs Julie Erskine (Chair) was previously Board Member with the Public Health Agency from 2009 to November 2016 she was acting Chair from the start of December 2014 until the end of May 2015. Julie is a member of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers' Superannuation Committee and she is also a member of the Audit Committee for the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, a board member of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland and Panel Member for NIMDTA. She worked in the healthcare service industry for over 25 years and held the position of Operations Director and Support Services Director within a Belfast-based private healthcare company. Mrs Erskine has declared that she has not engaged in any political activity during the last five years.
  5. Mrs Patricia Gordon (Lay Member) had a career in the Health and Social Care sector in Northern Ireland where she worked in strategic planning, information and general management roles. Patricia was CEO of the Mater Hospital Trust from 1995-2003 and CEO of the South and East Belfast Trust from 2003-2007. In 2008, Patricia joined the Multiple Sclerosis Society as NI Director. Patricia has served as a member of the Governing Body of Queen’s University Belfast; was a member of the Business in Community Board; and a Non-Executive Director in the NI Prison Service. She is currently a lay member of the HM Courts and Tribunals service - Tax Tribunal, a member of the NI Committee for Action for Children; Chair of the Board of Governors at Strathearn School and the NI member of the NHS Pay Review Body. Mrs Gordon has declared that she has not engaged in any political activity during the last five years.
  6. Mr Robert Bannon (Lay Member) has spent almost 30 years in the Insurance industry gaining extensive experience in sales, resource and administrative management, strategic planning, business development and budget management. In recent years he has successfully developed his own consultancy practice specialising in human resource management, organisational development, coaching, mentoring, recruitment and selection. Robert is currently a Lay Assessor with the Commissioner for Public Appointments N. Ireland and a Lay Representative with the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency. Mr Bannon has declared that he has not engaged in any political activity during the last five years.
  7. Mr Jeremy Stewart (Lay Member) has worked for 29 years in UK professional services and banking businesses, in a range of senior management roles. He has served on the Executive Committee of a local bank, with leadership responsibility for Private Banking and Wealth Management, having previously been the Managing Director of an investment advisory business. Mr Stewart has extensive experience in risk and governance oversight within organisations. He has previously chaired the Trustee Investment Committee for the UK Pension Fund of an international bank and served on various risk and compliance committees, both locally and nationally. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers and has an MBA from the University of Ulster, along with qualifications in investment, regulation and ethics. Mr. Stewart has declared that during the last five years he has canvassed on behalf of the Alliance Party, or helped at elections. 
  8. Professor Dorothy Whittington (Lay Member) is Emeritus Professor of Health Psychology in the University of Ulster.  She has published extensively on communication, social skill and quality assurance in health care and other contexts.  She has held executive and non-executive board level posts in the Higher Education Academy, in North Bristol NHS Acute Care Trust and in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust in N Ireland.  She is an Education Associate of the General Pharmaceutical Council and acts as a lay member of the Council’s panel for the accreditation of University courses leading to qualification in Pharmacy.  Professor Whittington has declared that she has not engaged in any political activity during the last five years.
  9. Mr. Mark Campbell (Lay Member) is a qualified registered social worker with over 30 years experience. He established, led and managed the Psychiatry of Old Age Team in North Down and Ards 1994-1999 implementing Community Care reforms before appointment to Newry where he managed and further developed dementia services in Down and South Armagh. Mark worked in care regulation as an inspector with the Eastern Health and Social Services Board and Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority from 2001-2012 during which time he was awarded an MBA in Health and Social Care Management and the Advanced Award in Social Work. In 2012 he was appointed Head of Regulation and Inspection by the Isle of Man Government designing and implementing a proportionate and risk-based model of care regulation. In 2015 he was appointed to judicial office as an Experienced Member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal for NI. Mr Campbell was appointed a Council Member with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland in 2016. Mr. Campbell has declared that he has not engaged in any political activity during the last five years.

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