Interim Northern Trust Chair put in place

Bob McCann who has been annoucned as the new interim Chair of the Northern Trust.
Bob McCann who has been annoucned as the new interim Chair of the Northern Trust.

AN INTERIM Chair for the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT) has been put in place following the sacking of its former chairman.

Bob McCann, the Non Executive Director of the Trust, will assume the role until the position is filled by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety later this year.

In December Health Minister Edwin Poots removed the Trust’s chair, Jim Stewart, after stating there were serious performance issues with emergency care at the trust.

It was the first time that a senior health manager was removed from his post at a Northern Ireland trust.

His sacking followed a crisis in the trust’s accident and emergency provision, during which a number of health targets were not met.

Mr Stewart had refused to resign and said he was “very disappointed” that the health minister, Edwin Poots, had chosen to sack him.

Speaking on his new role, Mr McCann, a certified accountant from the Newtonabbey area, said the Trust had “a great deal to be proud of” but acknowledged there were challenges.

“The Trust remains totally committed to making sure that the highest standard of care is provided to all those who need our services,” Mr McCann said in a statement.

“We have a great deal to be proud of, there are many examples of excellence across the range of our community and hospital services.

“In common with many other NHS organisations, the Trust faces many challenges at this time.

“It is most encouraging therefore to see the ongoing commitment and dedication of all our highly professional staff, who continually strive to provide the highest standard of care to all our patients and clients.”

He continued: “Our achievements over the past years give us the confidence and determination to secure further necessary improvements in unscheduled care, and across all our services.

“Our goal is, and can be none other than, to achieve our agreed mission, to provide for all the care we would expect for our families and ourselves.”

A spokesperson for the Trust described Mr McCann as having a “broad management background” having held a number of senior posts in both the private and public sectors.

He is a member of the Northern Trust’s User Feedback Committee, Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for the NI Commissioner for Children and Young People, a member of the NI Valuation Tribunal and member of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

He is also an Independent Member of the Audit Committee of the NI Housing Executive and a Non-Executive Director on Warrenpoint Harbour Authority.