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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 93

Date:- 05  April 2003

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PUBLIC Health Minister Hazel Blears today welcomed the establishment of new executive agency of the Department of Health - the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

The new agency has been created from a merger of the Medicines Control Agency and the Medical Devices Agency, and will be responsible for the regulation of both medicines and healthcare products. Its primary objective will be to protect public health by ensuring that medicines, healthcare products and medical equipment are safe for those who use them. 

The new agency's first chairman is Professor Alasdair Breckenridge, who has wide experience of the regulation of pharmaceutical products through his chairmanship since 1999 of the Committee on the Safety of Medicines. Professor Breckenridge will be responsible for representing the new agency and its decisions in public, for overseeing the agency's board and the strategic management of the MHRA.

Professor Breckenridge said:- "I am delighted to be chairing the MHRA. The agency will be well placed to face new developments in technology. I have met a large number of the staff and I am confident that they will respond to the new opportunities available to them. Public safety is our prime objective and paramount concern - we will do everything we can to give patients and the public confidence that the medicines and medical equipment they need are safe."


TWO of Liverpool’s top management team have left council posts to head their own departments at Oldham.

Supported living assistant executive director, Veronica Jackson, won promotion to become executive director of social services and health at Oldham Metropolitan Borough
Council. Assistant executive director of regeneration services,

Tom Flanagan has also become executive director for environmental services.

Liverpool Chief Executive David Henshaw said, “We’ve built up an exceptional management team here over the last two or three years and have made huge improvements to services in the city. Other councils are recognising the quality of our team, which is wonderful, but it also means they are in demand by other councils."

“What we need to do now is to ensure we keep up the momentum for change and recruit top quality replacements for these vital posts. We are determined to recruit the very best for Liverpool – there will be no brain drain here.”

Ms Jackson came to Liverpool two years ago from her job in Ulster as director of Social Work at Ulster Community and Hospital Trust. Her responsibilities in her former Liverpool post were for older people for older people including those with mental disability, adults with learning and physical disabilities.

In her time, she has single handedly improved the nature of delivery of adult services, “I’m very proud of the fact that adult services in Liverpool have modernised and improved concerning those with learning difficulties. The partnerships with our colleagues in health have progressed incredibly well. Liverpool has moved right up to be near the top performing authorities, and I’m delighted with this achievement.”

Tom Flanagan, 43, is currently responsible for a wide range of services including refuse collection, street cleansing, highways maintenance, environmental health, trading standards, design consultancy and planning. 

During his time at Liverpool he has been involved in agreeing the highways partnership with Enterprise and the decriminalised parking arrangements with Vinci, setting up Citilink. He has also been involved in the development of the sustainability strategy and improvements to environmental health, planning and trading standards. 

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