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Health Board Pays Tribute to John Compton


The Health and Social Care Board pays tribute to the work of its outgoing Chief Executive, Mr John Compton who will retire at the end of March 2014 after 40 years of dedicated service to Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Ian Clements said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to pay tribute to the huge contribution John has made to health and care in Northern Ireland.

“During his career, John has been at the forefront of shaping health and social care, in driving forward change and making a difference in people’s lives.  Most recently, he was the driving force behind the Transforming Your Care Review which is one of the most significant reforms of Health and Social Care in decades, aimed at ensuring Northern Ireland has safe, high quality, patient and client centred health and social care into the future.

“It gave great pleasure to his many colleagues and friends, when in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, John was awarded the CBE.  This is indeed a fitting acknowledgement of a lifetime of dedication to the health and social care of our community.

“May I, on behalf of his many friends and colleagues, wish him a very long, healthy and happy retirement.”

Health Minister Edwin Poots said: “Through his strong leadership and his deep understanding of the issues, John Compton has written a place for himself in the history of health and social care in Northern Ireland.

“Under his deft stewardship as its first Chief Executive, the Health and Social Care Board undertook the challenging role of delivering safe and sustainable health care services to everyone in Northern Ireland.  In 2011, he led a comprehensive review of how we deliver those health services to a growing and ageing population. We are now following a path of reform which was originally mapped out by John and his team in Transforming Your Care.

“Always calm under pressure and ready with sage advice, John was recognised by the Queen for his services to health when he was awarded the CBE. It was a well-deserved honour. I would like to wish him well for the future and thank him for his years of service to the health sector.”

Mr Compton took up his current post as Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board when it was formed in 2009. The Board arranges or ‘commissions’ health and social care services for the entire population of Northern Ireland and accounts for around £4 billion of expenditure every year.

He qualified in social work in 1976 after graduating from Queen’s University and worked in a number of posts across Lisburn and Belfast. It was during this time that Mr Compton co-ordinated the social work response for Northern Ireland during the Kegworth air disaster in 1989.

He held a series of social care posts within the former Eastern Health and Social Service Board before his appointment to senior executive management roles with the former Down Lisburn Health and Social Services Trust.  He has a long association with the Downpatrick area working in Down Lisburn from 1990 – 2006, and saw through many changes to healthcare in Downpatrick during that time.

Changes to the Health and Social services under the Review of Public Administration saw

Mr Compton take the helm as Chief Executive of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust in 2006, a post he held until 2009.

Outside of his leading roles within the health and social services, Mr Compton, is the proud father to three grown up daughters and has 5 grandchildren.  He is also a keen sportsman. He has played and refereed rugby at a senior level, and has completed numerous long distance running events and marathons.

Commenting on his retirement, Mr Compton said: “Throughout my career I have done my best to try and ensure that people can receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place. I have had the privilege of working with many dedicated professionals throughout this time who have made an outstanding contribution to changing Health and Social Care for the better.”