Belfast Telegraph

Appointment of a Non-Executive Director to the Public Health Agency

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

Health Minister, Edwin Poots today announced the appointment of Mr Brian Coulter as a Non-Executive Director to the Public Health Agency (PHA) for a four year term from 2 September 2013 to 1 September 2017.

This appointment carries a time commitment of five days per month and attracts an annual remuneration of £8,827.

The appointment was 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 Minister.

Notes to editors:


1. Mr Brian George Coulter lives in Lisburn. He is a member of several health related organisations including the Human Tissue Authority and the General Optical Council. Mr Coulter will bring to his role as Non-Executive Director on the board of the Public Health Agency his extensive experience in the health sector both at senior management and executive level. He holds no other public appointments and has not engaged in political activity in the last five years.

2. The Public Health Agency 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 Agency are:

Health and social wellbeing improvement;

Health protection;

Public health support and policy development; and

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 and three Lay Members.

5. The appointment was made with the approval of the Minister for 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. Mr Coulter declared he has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

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