The Department of Health (DoH) has a statutory responsibility to promote an integrated system of health and social care (HSC) designed to secure improvement in:

• the physical and mental health of people in Northern Ireland;

• the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness; and

• the social wellbeing of the people in Northern Ireland.

The Department’s statutory responsibilities under the Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009 are to:

• Develop policies; 

• Determine priorities;

• Secure and allocate resources;

• Set standards and guidelines;

• Secure the commissioning of relevant programmes and initiatives;

• Monitor and hold to account its Arm’s Length Bodies (ALB’s); and

• Promote a whole system approach. 

The Department is also responsible for establishing arrangements for the efficient and effective management of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.  DoH discharges its duties and contributes to its objectives, including the Outcomes in the Programme for Government (PfG), both by direct departmental action and through its 17 ALB’s.

Detailed information on budget, structures and work of DoH is contained in our annual report and accounts at this link: 2019-20

Richard Pengelly Chair

Why the Department of Health is supporting Boardroom Apprentice

“The Department is keen to support this initiative to develop diversity and provide valuable experience for the potential future cadre of publicly appointed Board members. Whilst the Department will continue to face considerable challenges in terms of its response to the pandemic and re-building of HSC services, the opportunity would undoubtedly be beneficial for a Boardroom Apprentice during such unprecedented times.”

Location of Board and Committee Meetings

DoH, Castle Buildings, Stormont Estate, Belfast

Frequency and timing of board/committee meetings

Departmental Board meetings are held every 2 months, on a Friday, from 11.00-14.00.

Departmental Audit & Risk Assurance Committee (DARAC) meetings are held quarterly, on a Wednesday, from 09.30-12.30. An additional meeting is usually held in June/July to focus solely on review of the draft financial statements.

Date of Board Meetings (September 2021 – August 2022)

The following 2021 schedule for the Departmental Board is provisional only and subject to the ongoing response to the pandemic. Dates for 2022 will not be agreed until late 2021, but that future schedule should be very similar.

Friday 12 February

Friday 23 April

Friday 18 June

Friday 13 August

Friday 15 October

Friday 17 December

Committee of the Boards and meeting dates (September 2021 – August 2022)

The following 2021 schedule for DARAC is provisional only and subject to the ongoing response to the pandemic. Dates for 2022 will not be agreed until late 2021, but that future schedule should be very similar.

Wednesday 10 March

Wednesday 16 June*

Wednesday 7 July**

Wednesday 15 September

Wednesday 15 December

* Non-Accounts only items

** Accounts only items