Appointment of a non-executive Chair and two Non-Executive Directors to the Public Health Agency

Health Minister, Simon Hamilton, today announced the appointment of Mr Andrew Dougal as a non-executive chair to the Public Health Agency (PHA) for a four year term from 1 June 2015 to 31 May 2019.

He also announced the appointment of Mrs Judena Leslie as a non-executive lay director for a four year term from 20 April 2015 to 19 April 2019 and Mr Leslie Drew as a non-executive financial director for a four year term from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2019 to the PHA.

The chair appointment carries a time commitment of three days per week and attracts an annual remuneration of £33,663 and the director appointments carry a time commitment of five days per month and attract an annual remuneration of £9,004.

The appointments were made in accordance with the code of practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland. A selection panel, which included an independent assessor, as required under the Commissioner’s Code, considered the suitability of all candidates. The final decision on the appointment rested with the Health Minister.

1. Appointments:

Mr Andrew Dougal has been the Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke since 1983. Prior to that, he worked for ten years in education. Over the last 25 years, he has been a non-executive director of organisations spanning the private, public and voluntary sectors. He is currently a trustee and chair of the HR Committee of the UK Health Forum. He is a former trustee and treasurer of the World Heart Federation and a former chair of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in Northern Ireland. He was awarded OBE in 1996 for services to Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke. He has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

Mrs Judena Leslie is a lawyer with 19 years experience at senior management level in the Northern Ireland Civil Service and wider public sector. She was the founding CEO and Accounting Officer of Northern Ireland’s first Law Commission. Mrs Leslie has recently been appointed Deputy Chair of the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside (CNCC) (£6250 per annum) and is also deputy chair of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland (not a salaried post – £147 per day). She has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

Mr Leslie Drew has worked in the utility sector in Northern Ireland for over 37 years and has held senior posts in a number of areas including finance, risk management, business continuity planning, regulation management and IT contract management. Mr Drew brings to the Trust board his experience in the preparation of statutory, regulatory and management accounts, the development of company-wide risk management strategy, performing the role of duty press officer during emergency escalations, dealing with regulatory compliance issues and management of a large outsourced ICT-managed services contract. Mr Drew was a non-executive director of the former South & East Belfast HSS Trust where he chaired the Audit Committee. He has been a serving member of the Belfast HSC Trust since its establishment on 1 April 2007. Mr Drew holds no other public appointments and has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

2. The Public Health Agency (PHA) was established in 2009 under a major reform of health structures in Northern Ireland. It is a multi-disciplinary, multi-professional body, with a strong regional and local presence. The Agency was established to provide a renewed and enhanced focus on public health and wellbeing by bringing together a wide range of public health functions under one organisation. It is required to create better inter-sectoral working, including enhanced partnership with local government, to tackle the underlying causes of poor health and reduce health inequalities.

3. The four key functions of the PHA are:

(i) Health and social wellbeing improvement;

(ii) Health protection;

(iii) Public health support and policy development; and;

(iv) Health and Social Care research and development.
4.The PHA is managed directly by a board of directors which has corporate responsibility for its operation. The board of the PHA is made up of four executive directors including the Chief Executive, a non-executive chair and seven non-executive directors. The non-executive directors include a member from a social care background; a trade union representative member, two local government representative members, one financial member and two lay members.

5. The appointment was made with the approval of the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. There are no specific qualifications for appointment.

6. 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. All declared they have not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.