Hamilton appoints Expert Panel to lead debate on delivering world class Health and Social Care for Northern Ireland

Date published: 07 January 2016


Health Minister Simon Hamilton has today appointed an expert panel to consider, and lead debate on, the best configuration of Health and Social Care services in Northern Ireland.

Health Minister Simon Hamilton
Health Minister Simon Hamilton

Health Minister Simon Hamilton has today appointed an expert panel to consider, and lead debate on, the best configuration of Health and Social Care services in Northern Ireland.

The Minister said: “We know that Health and Social Care is facing significant challenges in the coming years. Our population is increasing in size and is getting older, more people are living with chronic conditions, unhealthy lifestyles are creating more demand for services and new developments in medical technologies and drugs are increasing demand and raising costs.

“We cannot afford to stand still. We have to transform our health and social care system to make sure we can continue to deliver world class services. I am therefore appointing an expert panel to lead the debate on the optimal configuration of Health and Social Care services in Northern Ireland.”

The principal focus of the panel will be to draw on the experience of those working in or using HSC services in Northern Ireland, but also to ensure there is an international perspective.

He continued: “This will be a clinically led process to advise us what services the people of Northern Ireland should expect from their Health and Social Care system. The panel will bring local expertise and an international perspective to this challenging but essential piece of work. I am pleased that they have accepted this assignment and look forward to seeing the results of their work.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The panel comprises six members drawn from a range of specialties and backgrounds.
  2. It will be chaired by Professor Rafael Bengoa who has practiced as a doctor for seven years in both hospital and primary care, holds a MsC in Community Medicine from London School of Hygiene and Community Medicine and a MsC in Health Care Management.

    He worked for over 15 years for the World Health Organisation in Copenhagen and in Geneva where he was Director of Management of Chronic Conditions and then Director for Health System Policies until 2006. He has co-authored numerous health care policy documents in Spain and internationally.

    From 2009 to 2012 he was Minister for Health and Consumer Affairs in the Basque Government in Spain. He is currently Vice Chairman of the Advisory Group of Horizon20/20 on Health, Demography and Wellbeing and Director of the Health Department at the DEUSTO Business School in Spain. He is a Senior Fellow of Harvard School of Public Health.  Other panel members include:

    • Mairead McAlinden is currently Chief Executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust in England. Mairead was Chief Executive of the Southern Trust between 2010 and 2014, having held the position of Acting Chief Executive since September 2009. She joined the Southern Trust in 2007 as Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Performance and Reform.
    • Professor John Øvretveit is Director of Research and Professor of health care innovation implementation and evaluation at the Medical Management Centre, The Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, and previously Professor of Health Policy and Management at Bergen University Medical School, Norway and at the Nordic School of Public Health, Gothenburg, Sweden. He holds visiting professor appointments at UCLA School of public health, The VA implementation science centre, the University of New South Wales, Australia, London City University and Erasmus University, The Netherlands.
    • Bronagh Scott is currently the deputy chief nurse for the NHS England London region. She has held a number of senior management posts and executive directorships in health and social services in Northern Ireland and London.
    • Dr Alan Stout is a GP principal in East Belfast, based in the Arches Centre.  He is the deputy chairman of the Northern Ireland General Practitioners Committee (NIGPC) and assistant secretary of Eastern LMC.
    • Mark Taylor is a Consultant in General and Hepatobiliary Surgery. He has over twenty years of experience and is currently lead clinician at Belfast’s Mater Hospital. He is also currently Secretary of the Great Britain and Ireland Hepato Pancreato Biliary Association.
  3. Media enquiries about this press release should be directed to the DHSSPS press office on 028 9052 0575, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt

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