The Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) in Northern Ireland will officially close today, with responsibility for its functions transferring to the Department of Health.

From April 1, HSCB staff will form part of the department’s new Strategic Planning and Performance Group.

The closure is part of a wider transformation agenda to streamline structures and reduce bureaucracy whilst providing continuity of service.


It will consider how future health and social care services will be planned and managed differently.

HSCB CEO Sharon Gallagher said: “I am confident that our staff will continue to work in partnership with Department of Health, HSC colleagues and key partners and rise to the many challenges that lie ahead.

“With the establishment of the Strategic Planning and Performance Group, I look forward to working with colleagues across health and social care to strengthen accountability and authority within the HSC system.”

Outgoing HSCB Chairman Les Drew said: “I extend my very best wishes for the future to everyone at the Board as they progress into the Strategic Planning and Performance Group in the Department of Health.

“With optimism I welcome the establishment of this new model which brings an end to uncertainty and lays the cornerstone for the reform of commissioning and the delivery of effective, modern health and social care services that the people of Northern Ireland rightly deserve.”

Former Health Minister Simon Hamilton took the decision to close HSCB in November 2015 after a review found the commissioning process in the health and care system did not meet the needs of the population.

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