Healthcare news

Uncertainty over senior health service post

Dean Sullivan, director of commissioning at the Health and Social Care Board, is to begin a new job in the Republic on August 1
Seanín Graham

HEALTH chiefs have refused to confirm if the most senior director at the Health and Social Care Board will be replaced after he quit his job for a post in the Republic.

Dean Sullivan is the key decision maker at the Board in his role as director of commissioning, signing off on what services can be delivered across the north's health service.

An accountant by background, Mr Sullivan has been a high-profile figure in health circles for more than a decade and also worked in the department tackling the waiting list crisis.

He will begin his new job with the Republic's Health Service Executive on August 1 as its 'chief strategy and planning officer'.

The Irish News asked the Board if he will be replaced or whether his role will be transferred to the department, given that the body is due to be wound up.

Analysis from Seanín Graham

More than 40 staff members have also taken early retirement or other 'exit packages' in the past year, costing £2.5 million.

A spokeswoman refused to confirm if a new director is being sought.

She said: "The HSCB is currently considering how the workload of the director of commissioning position can best be taken forward on an interim basis, until the ongoing work to design the future structure of health and social care organisations is completed.

"In the meantime, the HSCB will continue its work in supporting the delivery of high quality care for the population of Northern Ireland."

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