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Mick Giannasi appointed as our new chair

06 June 2019
Social Care Wales

We warmly welcome today's announcement by the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services Julie Morgan that Mick Giannasi CBE has been appointed our new Chair, and that Maria Battle and Trystan Pritchard will be joining our Board.

Mick replaces Arwel Ellis Owen OBE, who has served as the Chair of Social Care Wales and our previous incarnation, the Care Council for Wales, for 10 years and oversaw the establishment of Social Care Wales’s Board.

Mick will take up his new role on 1 August 2019 as Arwel’s term ends on 31 July.

Former policeman Mick has more than 40 years’ experience in the public sector having previously served as Chief Constable of Gwent Police and Chair of the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

He was recently appointed by the Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething to lead the independent panel to oversee maternity improvements at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.

Mick Giannasi CBE said: “I feel proud and very privileged to have been invited to Chair the Board of Social Care Wales, and I am committed to playing my part in creating an environment where people in Wales get the help and support they need to live the lives that matter to them.

“I am under no illusion that there are some significant challenges ahead for social care in Wales.

“However, I already have a good sense of the passion and commitment that the Chief Executive Sue Evans and her team have for the important work they do, and I’m very much looking forward to joining them in delivering their ambitious plans for the future.”

Our two new Board members, Maria Battle and Trystan Pritchard, will join our Board on 1 July 2019.

Maria is a solicitor who specialises in public law and human rights, and is the Chair of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. She’s also a former acting Children’s Commissioner for Wales, a former senior director of the statutory watchdog Consumer Focus Wales, and a former director of Age Concern Ceredigion.

Qualified journalist Trystan is the Chief Executive of St David’s Hospice, a north Wales-based charity providing hospice care for adults in Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey. He previously served as Chair of Citizen’s Advice Wales committee and is a former Head of Communications at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Arwel Ellis Owen OBE, our Chair, said: “I’m pleased to welcome Maria and Trystan to the Social Care Wales Board. With their wealth of experience, skills and backgrounds, they will be an excellent addition.

“I’d also like to congratulate Mick on his appointment. I’ve had the privilege of chairing Social Care Wales and that of its predecessor organisation, the Care Council for Wales, for 10 years and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“It’s a fantastic organisation, with a friendly, capable and dedicated group of staff. Mick is joining us at an exciting time as we prepare to register more groups of workers and further develop our support to the sector. I’m sure he’ll enjoy the role as much as I have.”

Sue Evans, our Chief Executive, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Mick, Maria and Trystan to our Board. All three have a huge amount of experience of working in the public sector and bring with them a vast array of skills, knowledge and perspectives.

“I’d like to pay tribute to our outgoing Chair Arwel Ellis Owen OBE, who’s done a tremendous job over the past 10 years and has been instrumental in ensuring we had a smooth transition from the Care Council for Wales to Social Care Wales.

“Arwel has been an enormous support to me in my role as Chief Executive and I’m grateful to him for all the advice and direction he’s provided over these past three years. Arwel is a strong advocate for the sector, well-liked and respected by our staff and partners, and he will be greatly missed by all.

“Arwel leaves behind him a great legacy, but we have found an excellent replacement in Mick. The management team and I, the Board and our staff, are looking forward to getting to know and working with Mick, Maria and Trystan.”

A huge thank you to Arwel and a big welcome to Mick, Maria and Trystan!