The revamped structure of health and social services delivery has been revealed by Northern Ireland health minister Michael McGimpsey.
A new Health and Social Care Board will replace four regional health and social services boards, with headquarters in Belfast. A Public Health Agency will take over the work of the Health Promotion Agency, with an expanded public health remit. It will initially be based in Dundonald. Both the HSCB and the PHA are to be supported by shared Commissioning Support Units in Derry, Armagh, Ballymena and Belfast.
The new Business Services Organisation will run back office functions for the HSCB and the PHA, replacing the Central Services Agency. Exising CSA offices in Belfast and Derry will be used initially while a comprehensive review of its functions and location is conducted. The permanent location will not be in Belfast.
A Patient and Client Council is also to be established, replacing five Health and Social Services Councils. Its headquarters will be in Antrim, with five regional centres across Northern Ireland. All the new bodies are to be operational from 1st April.
McGimpsey pledged that each agency would have a strong local presence, with job dispersal across Northern Ireland.