New Chief Executive welcomed to Health and Social Care Board

Health Minister Edwin Poots
Health Minister Edwin Poots
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The new Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board will be Valerie Watts.

Ms Watts who is the Chief Executive of Aberdeen City Council, is expected to take up the post at the start of July 2014.

Her appointment follows the retirement of Mr John Compton at the end of this month.

Previously, Ms Watts 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 Ms Watts to the post, Health Minister Edwin Poots said: “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.”

Mr Poots added that he looks “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”.

Also welcoming Ms Watts, Dr Ian Clements, Health and Social Care Board Chairman, said: “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.”

Ms Watts added that she is “delighted to take up the post”. “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,” she said.

She said she is looking forward to continuing this work and “building on the solid foundation laid down by Transforming Your Care”.