New director of adult social care appointed in Cheshire West

CHESHIRE West and Chester Council has appointed Mark Palethorpe as its new director of adult social care.

Raised in Chester, Mark, 38, a former student at West Cheshire College, will take up the post in late October.

Mark’s role will involve leading on all aspects of social care services for adults – forging successful partnerships and joint working arrangements with partner organisations to deliver sustainable service improvements.

The position also involves working closely with chief officers to drive forward the authority’s wider ambitions.

Councillor Brenda Dowding, executive member for adult social care and health, said: “Mark brings with him an extensive portfolio of knowledge of the care sector, from both large, multi-disciplined organisations and the voluntary sector.

“He has a proven track record of providing excellent services for residents, whilst making the best use of scarce resources.

“I look forward to him joining the authority and playing a vital strategic role in the future of adult social Care and health.”

Mark began his career at The Countess of Chester Hospital as an occupational therapist assistant.

He also studied at West Cheshire College in Ellesmere Port, gaining a City and Guilds in health and social care before going onto complete a degree in sociology and social work.

A ‘self-made’ man who left school at 16 and funded his way through education after discovering a passion for social work – he built up his expertise through a range of local authority and voluntary organisation roles.

His career has taken him to Wiltshire, Hampshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

His appointment to Cheshire West and Chester Council, approved by an all-party staffing committee last week, follows the recent retirement of previous director Ian Whitehead.

Mark said: “I am extremely pleased to have been offered the position of director of adult social care and look forward to listening to, and working with, customers, members, colleagues and partners as we develop and implement transformational plans for the future.

“I want to place a firm focus on people as solutions and cultivate greater integrated working with more emphasis on the prevention of ill health and dependency and on early intervention, to enable people to continue to retain their independence.

“Safeguarding our most vulnerable citizens whilst offering choice and control is paramount.

“I will be looking to harness the talents of stakeholders to ensure that the transformation required to modernise care in a sustainable way – which is key for an innovative council such as Cheshire West and Chester – will ensure that customers receive the best possible experience.

“Above all I want to be a visible director; I hope to bring clarity and vision to the role, creating an excellent directorate delivering first class services.”

Sara Mogel, principal at West Cheshire College said: “We’re always delighted to hear when a former student has succeeded in their chosen career, particularly when it is such as important and influential role in the community.

“We wish Mark good luck in his new appointment.”