New £60,000 health board chief sought as Maria steps down

Maria Battle has chaired the Hywel Dda University Health Board since 2019. <i>(Image: Hywel Dda UHB)</i>
Maria Battle has chaired the Hywel Dda University Health Board since 2019. (Image: Hywel Dda UHB)

A new chair of the Hywel Dda University Health Board is sought following the announcement by Maria Battle that she is to step down later this year.

Ms Battle was appointed for a four-year term in 2019, when she returned home to Pembrokeshire after chairing the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

A solicitor by profession, she had previously held a number of senior roles across the Welsh public sector, including the position of deputy Children’s Commissioner.

She announced her retirement, following the end of her tenure as Hywel Dda, at the recent public board meeting.

Although the term is due to conclude in August, she will stay in post until the end of October while her replacement is sought.

The post is being advertised with an annual renumeration of nearly £60,000, plus expenses.

Ms Battle said: “It has been an honour to serve as chair of the health board, and work alongside our dedicated staff and board members who work tirelessly every day to ensure the health and care of our patients and population and to deliver our ambitious strategy.

"I am sure that in the coming months there will be plenty of opportunity to meet and thank individuals who have supported me in this time.”

Also announced at the meeting was a second change to the board membership, with the retirement at thr end of March of Paul Newman, who has been an independent member (legal) since 2017.

He had brought a 'depth of knowledge, skills and expertise to the board', said Ms Battle.

Western Telegraph: Paul Newman.
Western Telegraph: Paul Newman.

Paul Newman. (Image: Hywel Dda UHB)

“As the chair of our audit and risk assurance committee, he has reformed how the committee operates and significantly strengthened and improved the assurance that the board receives on its internal control framework.

“I would like to sincerely thank Paul for his service, wise counsel and dedication in his role as a board, committee member and to NHS Wales and wish him well for the future.”

“I encourage individuals who are interested in supporting the future ambitions of our health board to apply for the position of chair or independent member (legal).

"I look forward to working with the new appointees to ensure a smooth transition in leadership, and thank colleagues for their continued support in the interim.”

The appointment of independent board members to health boards are public appointments by Welsh Government.

Individuals interested in applying for the role of chair or independent member (legal) are encouraged to apply at: Public Appointments - Welsh Government (