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Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
6 June 2019
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Following an open public appointment process and in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments, I am delighted to announce the appointment of a new Chair and 2 new Members to the Social Care Wales Board.

The Board of Social Care Wales has a critical role. It is collectively responsible for ensuring that Social Care Wales’ strategic direction is focussed on the well-being goals for Wales, the principles of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 and the requirements of the Regulation and Inspection (Wales) Act 2016.

Social Care Wales was renamed under section 67 of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016, having initially been established as the Care Council for Wales under section 54 of the Care Standards Act 2000. The current Chair of Social Care Wales, Arwel Ellis Owen, OBE, will be leaving his post at the end of July 2019. Arwel has been in post since 1 August 2009 and has successfully chaired both the Care Council and the Social Care Wales Boards. His contribution and commitment to his role as Chair has been outstanding and his leadership exemplary, particularly in overseeing the seamless transition from the Care Council for Wales to Social Care Wales in 2017.

I am delighted to announce that the new Chair of the Social Care Wales Board will be Michael Giannasi who brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge. Michael’s appointment will run from 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2023. Michael will be paid £337 per day based on a time commitment of 8 days per month.

I am also delighted to appoint two new Members to the Social Care Wales Board - Maria Battle and Trystan Pritchard. Again, both will bring a huge amount of experience and knowledge to the Board. Maria and Trystan’s appointments will run from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2023. They will be paid £282 per day based on a time commitment of 24 days per year. In line with this rate of pay, existing Board members will have their pay increased from £250 per day to £282 per day with effect from 1 July 2019.

I am extremely grateful for the work of the existing Board and I am sure the new Chair and Board Members will continue to make a real contribution to ensuring that social care continues to improve and deliver for the people of Wales.

I would like to thank all candidates who applied for both the position of Chair and Member to the Social Care Wales Board. The pool of applicants for both positions was very strong with a diverse range of interests and strengths.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for the political activity of appointees (if any declared) to be published. No political activity has been declared by any of the appointed members.

The details for the new Chair and Members to the Social Care Wales Board are as follows:


Michael Giannasi

Michael Giannasi retired from the police service in April 2011, after a distinguished career spanning 31 years. During that time, he served in three police forces in Wales and England and ultimately attained the rank of Chief Constable. He was awarded the Queen's Police Medal for his contribution to policing in 2011.

Following his retirement from the Police Service in 2011, Michael was appointed by Welsh Government to act as a Commissioner for the Isles of Anglesey County Council, an underperforming local authority which had been placed in Special Measures. He carried out that role until May 2013, when the Government’s intervention in the Council’s affairs was brought to a successful conclusion.

From September 2013 until April 2018, Michael was the Chair of Board of the Welsh Ambulance Service (NHS) Trust. During his tenure as Chair, he led the development of a new Board and oversaw the recruitment of a new CEO and senior management team. At the same time, he helped to deliver improvements in corporate governance and provided strategic oversight to the implementation of a revised delivery and accountability framework as part of a wider, national reform programme. He was made a Commander of the British Empire in 2018 in recognition of his contribution to the National Health Service in Wales.

Michael is currently acting as the Chair of the Independent Maternity Services Oversight Panel which has been established by the Minister for Health and Social Service as part of the Welsh Government’s intervention in Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.

Board members

Maria Battle

Maria Battle is Chair of Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board. Maria is paid £69,850 for this ministerial appointment.

Maria is a Solicitor specialising in public law and human rights. She was formerly Senior Director of Consumer Focus Wales, a consumer statutory watchdog, championing consumer rights in the energy markets, fuel poverty, park homes and food safety. Prior to this Maria was Deputy/Acting Children`s Commissioner for Wales advocating for children rights in child protection, education, asylum and health in Wales, UK and Europe. Maria ensured children had a voice working for the Children Society and NCH Action for children where she managed the Guardian Ad Litem Service. She was an independent children’s advocate in children's homes and has chaired Inquiries and the Standards Committee of Carmarthenshire County Council. Maria was Director of Age Concern Ceredigion championing the rights of older people.

Maria is a Trustee of Amgueddfa Cymru, a family of seven museums located throughout Wales, and was a Non-Executive Director of the Principality Stadium and a lay member of the Council of the University of Cardiff. Maria’s position as Trustee is also a Ministerial appointment, however this is a non-remunerated position.

Trystan Pritchard

Trystan has been Chief Executive at St David’s Hospice, Llandudno since 2014.

Prior to his current appointment, Trystan spent time developing a strategic partnership programme across the public and third sectors in 2 counties, overseeing the areas of health and social care, children and young people and community safety.

Previous to this he spent several years as Head of Communications for a major Health Board with responsibility for strategic communications, stakeholder engagement and online services.

Trystan’s professional interests include collaboration, team building and stakeholder engagement. A qualified journalist, Trystan is also Chairman of Hospice Cymru.