The Government is recruiting for up to five non-executive directors to sit on the new Health and Community Services’ (HCS) Board designed to examine and challenge the Health department.
Subject to approval of the States Assembly on 23 May, the new HCS Board will be established on an interim basis – with the non-executive directors working alongside the Chair and HCS executive directors in providing visible leadership and driving improvements across Health.
In 2022, the Minister for Health and Social Services set out her intention to establish a new, independently chaired HCS Board in response to the damning review undertaken by Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor.
However, concerns were raised when Professor Mascie-Taylor was then recruited to lead the new board on a 12-month contract, with his prior relationship with other senior health staff forcing the Chief Minister to deny any conflict of interest.
Pictured: A report by Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor found serious issues with governance at the Hospital and the Health Department.
It was also revealed that the Health Minister had "encouraged" Professor Mascie-Taylor to apply to lead the Health and Care Board, before hiring him.
Appearing before Scrutiny earlier this year, Deputy Wilson admitted that she had “encouraged [Professor Mascie-Taylor] to consider whether or not he would be interested” in the top role.
“That was as far as my interest went and officers then took that forward in terms of sourcing a number of people," she said.
Deputy Karen Wilson – who had the final say on appointing Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor — maintained that the recruitment process was able to "weed out" any potential conflict of interest.
After the appointment was announced, one consultant told the JEP that some clinicians felt the appointment to have been “underhand” and were particularly concerned about Professor Mascie-Taylor’s existing relationship with then-Health Director General and the Medical Director.
The Chief Minister was forced to state her “confidence in the process” in the States Assembly when Health Scrutineer Andy Howell said she was aware of concerns among health staff about the appointment, given Professor Mascie-Taylor's "previous professional relationship with members of the executive."
Deputy Howell also said that it was "very unfortunate" that the other finalist – whose identity has not been disclosed – was not chosen, as they "would not have had the same conflicts of interest".
Pictured: Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Karen Wilson.
Speaking this week about the recruitment of the non-executive directors, Deputy Wilson said: "This interim Board will bring together the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to critically examine and constructively challenge HCS.
"This is a demanding but exciting role that will be at the forefront of real change and is a unique opportunity to help shape the island's future health and care services."
The NEDs will be the founding members of the Board and will:
prepare the department for inspection by the Jersey Care Commission
develop and embed robust governance framework
shape a positive and inclusive culture for the Department.
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