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New Chief Executive appointed to Health and Social Care Board


The Health and Social Care Board has appointed Ms Valerie Watts as its new Chief Executive. Ms Watts is expected to take up her post at the start of July 2014.

Currently Ms Watts is the Chief Executive of Aberdeen City Council. Previously, she was Chief Executive of Derry City Council, from July 2008 – February 2011 where she played a key role in spearheading the city’s successful bid to be UK City of Culture 2013.

Welcoming her to the Health and Social Care Board, Dr Ian Clements, Health and Social Care Board Chairman, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Valerie to the Health and Social Care Board. Valerie brings both leadership and a wealth of experience from having worked at a senior level in the public sector in Scotland and Northern Ireland for many years.

“I have every confidence she will build on the strong leadership of John Compton and play a key role in commissioning quality, sustainable, patient centred health and social care services for everyone in Northern Ireland in line with Transforming Your Care.”

Commenting on her appointment, Valerie Watts, said:

“I am delighted to take up the post as Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board.

“The Health and Social Care system is on a journey of change and much has been achieved to date to ensure we have safe, quality and sustainable services now and into the future. I am looking forward to continuing this work, in conjunction with a wide range of partners, and building on the solid foundation laid down by Transforming Your Care.

“It is essential that everyone in Northern Ireland continues to have access to the care they need it in a timely, safe and effective manner and has confidence in the services provided.”

Health Minister Edwin Poots said:

“I am pleased to welcome Ms Valerie Watts as the new chief executive of the Health and Social Care Board for Northern Ireland. This is an exceptionally challenging leadership role and we are lucky to have someone of her calibre come here to take up this position.

“The health service in Northern Ireland is facing a very challenging period like many health services across the developed world with ageing populations, increasing chronic conditions and financial constraints. I believe Ms Watts has the vision, drive and commitment to lead the delivery of health and social care forward while supporting the delivery of better patient care for everyone.

“I look forward to working closely with Ms Watts as we lead innovation, change and improvement in safety and quality to patients across all areas of Health and Social care in Northern Ireland.”