A social care leader has pledged to work tirelessly to help create better health and care services in North Wales.

Mary Wimbury, the chief executive of Care Forum Wales, which represents nearly 500 independent social care providers across Wales, was speaking after she was elected as the chair of North Wales Regional Partnership Board (NWRPB).

She succeeds Teresa Owen, executive director of public health at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

The organisation also includes the six local authorities in North Wales, the health board and representatives from the third sector, carers and citizens.

Mary has also made history because this is the first time in Wales that one of the independent provider representatives  has been elected to chair a regional partnership board and she is only the second to come from outside the statutory sector.

The NWRPB’s aim is to work collaboratively to improve health and social care services by reducing duplication and making services more consistent across the region.

Eluned Yaxley, the NWRPB’s engagement officer, said: “Mary has an impressive track record at Care Forum Wales with a wealth of experience working with social care providers, local authorities, health boards, Welsh Government and regulators as well as supporting family members receiving care both in care homes and at home.

“She will take into account the needs of all partners, stakeholders and people in its processes, activities and decision making.”

It was a sentiment endorsed by Mary Wimbury who said: “I’m delighted to take on this role, leading the Regional Partnership Board in North Wales over the next two years. “I look forward to developing our care and support in a direction which respects everybody from those receiving care and support, to those working to provide it whether they are in the statutory, private or third sector.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to chair this important organisation because it is also a recognition of the key role that the independent sector has in providing social care services across Wales.

“I believe it is particularly significant because it is also a chance to foster a better understanding between the private, third and public sectors so we can move forward together towards the same goals.

“Independent care homes make an invaluable contribution by providing 12,000 beds in Wales.

“Socially, culturally and economically, they are a vital asset in communities across the country and underpin the NHS, enabling it to function”

Councillor Bobby Feeley was elected as Vice-Chair of the NWPRB to succeed Mary Wimbury in 2023.

Cllr Feeley is the lead member for well-being and independence at Denbighshire County Council.

For more information about the NWRPB and how to get involved in engagement activities across North Wales please visit www.northwalescollaborative.wales, email: northwalescollaborative@denbighshire.gov.uk  or telephone 01824 712432.