Health and Social Care Minister Howard Quayle MHK says he is pleased with the progress in the department since he took up his post there five months ago but warned much work remains to be done.
Mr Quayle said: ‘The focus of the past few months has been about establishing a solid foundation for the newly merged department. We know we are going to face difficult challenges in the future with our ageing population and a growing demand for health and social care services, as well as rising expectations from the public.’
A radical shake-up of the health service saw the departure of its top three civil servants all in one day - with chief executive David Killip, his deputy Lesley Keenan and director of health care delivery Norman McGregor Edwards taking retirement at the end of March.
Last week, chief nurse and director of nursing, midwifery and therapies at Noble’s Hospital, Bev Critchlow, announced she is to leave her post on September 30, saying she is looking forward to ‘new and fresh challenges’.
The department said Ms Critchlow was not taking early retirement and will only receive what she is ‘entitled to under current government schemes’.
Mr Quayle said it had been important to get the right management structure in place. He said Mark Charters, appointed chief executive, had ‘hit the ground running’. The department is recruiting a managing director for acute services and a full-time post of medical director at Noble’s. Sue Waddecar has been appointed patient safety and quality manager.