Non-Executive Appointments to the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority

Date published: 04 November 2020

Health Minister Robin Swann, has announced the appointment of six Interim Non-Executive Members (NEM) to the Board of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA).

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The following individuals have been appointed: Mr Neil Bodger (Finance/Business); Professor Stuart Elborn (Medical); Mr Alan Hunter (Lay); Miss Jacqueline McGarvey (Social Care); Miss Suzanne Rice (Legal); and Ms Bronagh Scott (Nursing). 

Further details on each of the new appointees are provided below.

The Health Minister stated: “I am very pleased to announce these appointments. The breadth of the expertise and experience of the new interim board members speaks for itself.”

 “I would like to thank them for being prepared to take on these key roles at this crucial time.  I look forward to working with the new members as they take up their roles.”

The new Interim NEMs will work with RQIA’s Interim Non-Executive Chair, Christine Collins and its Interim Chief Executive, Dr Tony Stevens.

These Interim Chair and NEM appointments have been made with regard to the emergency procedure provided for in the Commissioner for Public Appointments Northern Ireland Code of Practice.

The six Interim NEM appointments commenced on 30 October 2020 and are for a maximum period of up to 12 months, or until such times as permanent NEM appointments are made, whichever occurs soonest. The Interim Non-Executive Chair appointment is for a maximum period of up to 12 months or until a permanent Non-Executive Chair is appointed, whichever occurs sooner.

The temporary appointment of two Departmental Officials as NEMs of the Board has now ended.

The NEM role attracts a remuneration of £6,202 per annum (under review) and carries a time commitment of up to 2 to 3 days per month. The Chair role attracts a remuneration of £18,772 per annum (under review) and carries a time commitment of 2 to 3 days per week.

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority is the independent body responsible for monitoring and inspecting the availability and quality of health and social care services in Northern Ireland, and encouraging improvements in the quality of those services. 

The board of the RQIA consists of a Non-Executive Chair and up to 10 NEMs.    

Notes to editors: 

  1.  Ms Christine Collins MBE retired from the Civil Service in 2005 and since this time has immersed herself in the world of human rights, equality and advocacy; with a particular focus on those living with disability and/or rare disease. Ms Collins was the founding Chair of the Northern Ireland Rare Disease Partnership; and a Patient Public Voice representative on the UK Rare Disease Advisory Group from its inception until April 2018. She is a Northern Ireland Member of the UK Rare Disease Forum.  She has been involved in rare disease for many years and is actively involved in the development and implementation of both the UK and Northern Ireland Rare Disease plans. Ms Collins was a Commissioner at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission from 2011 to 2017.  She is currently a member of the Duty of Candour Work Stream, which is part of the implementation programme for recommendations arising from the Inquiry into Hyponatremia Related Deaths and she is the Non-Executive Chair of the Patient Client Council.
  2. Mr Neil Bodger has been involved in international managerial and company finance at senior manager or director level for over 30 years. He worked as a senior management consultant in corporate financial reconstruction and subsequently as board director of a local manufacturing company. He also has experience in strategic planning, human resources, marketing, data mining and analysis and public relations. Mr Bodger has been a panel member and chair of the Education Authority Appeals Tribunals for 20 years. He has worked as a Chair of Audit and Risk Management Committees for 22 years. He is currently a member of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland and Chair of its Audit Committee, a board member of Libraries NI and a Governor of South Eastern Regional College.
  3. Professor Stuart Elborn is Professor of Medicine and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Medicine, Health and Life Sciences at Queen’s University and a visiting Professor at Imperial College London. In this role he is responsible for four schools in health and life sciences sector and leads a number of university initiatives. His clinical and research interests are focused on identifying new targets and diagnostics for infection and inflammation in lung disease and developing better therapies for people with cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis. In these areas he has led in use of digital platforms and artificial intelligence in healthcare delivery.  He currently leads an academic /industry consortium to develop capacity for COVID-19 testing in Northern Ireland.  In 2013, he received a CBE for services to Healthcare in Northern Ireland.
  4. Mr Alan Hunter, is a solicitor and is semi-retired having spent his career between the private and public sectors. He practised early in his career at the Northern Ireland Bar before joining the Government Legal Service. Subsequently, he was appointed to the senior civil service administrative side and led the development and implementation of a number of justice policy projects working directly to various Lord Chancellors (prior to devolution). He served as the inaugural Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission before re-joining the private sector where for almost 12 years he held the position of Chief Executive of the Law Society of Northern Ireland (the regulatory and representative body for solicitors in Northern Ireland).
  5. Miss Jacqueline McGarvey is a qualified Social Worker with over 35 years’ extensive experience working within Children and Families, Adult and Disability Services. Since 2016, she has been an Independent Social Work Consultant. During her career, she was appointed: by the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland to undertake Serious Case Management Reviews for children; as a Panel Member for National Independent Review Panel for People with a Disability by the HSE, Ireland; as an interim appointment for Non-judicial Panel Member of the Historical Institutional Abuse Statutory Redress Board and as a Non -Executive Member of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council. Prior to June 2016, she was Assistant Director in Health and Social Services Trusts. Miss McGarvey previously commissioned services for children and families and was Policy Advisor for Safeguarding. She was previously involved in Audit of Hospitals for Children with Mental Health/Learning Disabilities for the then Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.
  6. Miss Suzanne Rice is the current Senior Vice President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, Council Member and Chair of the Law Society’s Family Law Committee. She read Law and French at Queens University Belfast before attending the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in Belfast where she qualified as a Solicitor in 2003.  She is a specialist Solicitor with Sarah McKeown and Company Solicitors Belfast in all aspects of Family Law, most notably Divorce and Children’s Law.  Miss Rice is an Advanced Advocate as well as a Collaborative Divorce Solicitor and she currently represents the profession in ongoing government initiatives towards improving children’s law services.  In March 2020, she was appointed Presiding Member of the Department of Justice’s Civil Legal Service Agency Appeal Panel. She holds a public appointment with the Department of Justice, Civil Legal Aids Appeals Panel as a Presiding Member and was appointed in March 2020.
  7. Ms Bronagh Scott registered as a nurse in 1984 having completed her studies in Northern Ireland. She worked as a staff nurse in the neurosurgical unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital following which she moved to Perth Western Australia where she specialised in critical care nursing. Ms Scott has held a number of Executive Director of Nursing roles in Northern Ireland, London and Wales. While in England she chaired two Care Quality Commission inspections of large NHS Trusts in England. She has also led on a number of national leadership programmes including the Next Generation Leadership Development programme for senior nurses, from Black and Minority Ethnic groups. In 2015, she was appointed, by the Health Minister in Northern Ireland, as the Nurse Adviser to the Expert Independent Panel chaired by Professor Rafael Bengoa, tasked with leading an informed debate on the best configuration of Health and Social Care services in Northern Ireland. Ms Scott is a Trustee for the Charity United Response which provides community based services for people with learning disability and severe head injuries across England and Wales.
  8. Appointments to the RQIA are made with the approval of the Health Minister.
  9. 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.  Ms Bronagh Scott declared that she participated in canvassing for the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in the 2019 local Belfast Council election.  All other appointees declared that they have not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.
  10. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office by email:
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  12. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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