Department of Health Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly has been praised for his contribution to health and social care in Northern Ireland as he completes his final week in the post.
From Monday (April 4, 2022), Mr Pengelly will be Permanent Secretary at the Department of Justice. Current Department of Justice Permanent Secretary Peter May will replace him at the Department of Health.
Mr Pengelly was appointed to the Department of Health top post in 2014. In the New Year Honours list for 2022, he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) for services to Health and to Government.
Health Minister Robin Swann said: "I want to thank Richard for his years of dedicated service to health and social care. His time as Department of Health Permanent Secretary has witnessed a global pandemic as well as three years without a Health Minister. He has worked relentlessly and with great commitment throughout these challenging times. I wish him well in his new role."
Michael Bloomfield, chief executive of the NI Ambulance Service and chair of the Northern Ireland Confederation of Health and Social Care (NICON), said: "I know from personal experience how supportive Richard has been to Trusts during very challenging and turbulent times. My colleagues and I extend our best wishes for the future and thank him for the leadership he has provided over many years in the Department of Health.
"We know he has undertaken his responsibilities with diligence and dedication, always committed to driving better outcomes for our citizens."