Social Care Wales announce new Chair and Board appointments

Social Care Wales have announced the appointment of  Mick Giannasi CBE as their Chair and that Maria Battle and Trystan Pritchard will be joining their Board.

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

A former policeman, Giannasi 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.

Speaking on his appointment, Mr Giannasi 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.”

Maria Battle 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 Pritchard 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.

Sue Evans, Chief Executive of Social Care Wales, 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.”

Maria Battle and Trystan Pritchard will join the Board on 1 July 2019 with Mr Giannasi taking up his new role on 1 August 2019, as Mr Ellis Owen term ends on 31 July.