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ABMU’s Chairman announces his retirement

Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Win Griffiths, Chairman of ABM University Health Board, has announced his retirement.
Mr Griffiths, who was awarded an OBE earlier this year for services to the NHS, (pictured with his wife, Ceri) made this statement today:
“With my 70th birthday fast approaching, I have decided the time has come to announce my retirement.
“When I took up the Chair of ABMUHB I was minded to retire in May 2012. But when Paul Roberts became Chief Executive in September 2011, I decided to stay on until the end of 2012 to support Paul in the first year of his new role.
“Now, however, I feel it is the right time for me to retire, and I will be stepping down by the end of the year. Three particular factors have influenced my decision:-
·         I want to retire before I am 70. (I will get there, body and spirit willing, in February next year).
·         I want to spend more time with our families in New Zealand and, closer to home, St Margaret’s near Twickenham. We have four grandchildren, a boy and three girls, all growing up fast.
·         I want to work on my family tree – especially on my mother’s side- as I am fairly certain we have French Huguenot ancestors. I only wish I was famous enough for the BBC to do it!
“My seven-and-a-half years in the Chair of three Health Organisations – Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust and ABMUHB – have been rewarding, but also very challenging and remain so.
“From the beginning I have been privileged to have strong support from the Welsh Government and from my Boards with the knowledge that in these three organisations, there were, and are, sufficiently talented people determined to give of their best to provide the best services they can for the people of ABMUHB and beyond. My grateful thanks to all those I have worked with over these years.
“Our unified and integrated University Health Board, with University, Local Government and Voluntary Sector representation on the Board will, I believe, help develop partnership working to provide better health care and promote healthier lifestyles.
“I am sorry that our Changing for the Better programme, and the South Wales programme, will not be concluded during my time as Chairman. As you know, the timescale for these was delayed over the summer to allow greater access to the engagement process once the holiday season was over and more people were available to participate.
“This means, however, that the consultation process will go on into next year, after my retirement.
“I know that a both these change programmes are vital to ensuring high quality, safe and sustainable NHS services.  I look forward to seeing ABMUHB meeting the challenges of the next decade.”
Paul Roberts, ABMU’s Chief Executive, said:
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Win for all his hard work and commitment to the NHS over the last seven years, and for the support he has given me personally during my first year at the health Board, which has been invaluable.
“We will miss him when he retires, but it will be a retirement that is very well-earned, and I wish him many happy years to enjoy them with his wife, Ceri and their family.”
Win was Chair of the former Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust in 2005 and Chair of the former Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust in 2008 before becoming Chair of ABMU. While Chair of the Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust he set up a health link with the Ola During Children’s hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Staff from the Health Board volunteer to do training work and the project is funded by fundraising and contributions from the Staff.

Since becoming the Chair of ABMU Health Board he has conducted a review of Non Urgent Patient Transport Services Services for NHS Wales and now chairs an Implementation Board to carry out his report’s recommendations. He also sits on the Rural Health Implementation Group and the Learning Disabilities Working Group implementing the recommendations of the “No One Knows” Report (Prison Reform Trust) on the Criminal Justice System and people with Learning Disabilities and Difficulties.

In 2010 he became the Chair of the Welsh NHS Confederation which represents seven Local Health Boards and 3 National Health Trusts in Wales.

Born in South Africa in 1943, Win  was educated at Brecon Boys’ Grammar School and University College, Cardiff. Prior to embarking on a full-time political career, he was a teacher and held posts in Tanzania, Birmingham and Barry before becoming Head of the History Department at Cowbridge Comprehensive School in 1976. He entered politics at a local level, serving as a Councillor for Dinas Powis on the Vale of Glamorgan Borough Council, whose Leisure Services Department he chaired from 1973 to 1976.

He left teaching in 1979 when he was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South Wales. During his 10 year tenure as an MEP, he served as Vice President of the European Parliament (1984 – 1987).

Win was elected as the Member of Parliament for Bridgend in 1987, an office he held until his retirement in May 2005. His many responsibilities during his time as M.P. include serving as a Front Bench Spokesperson for the Environment, (1990 – 92), Education (1992-4) and Wales (1994-97).

In 1997, he became Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales. His responsibilities included Health and Social Services, Local Government, the Countryside, and People with Disabilities. He also became the first Minister for Children in the U.K.For six years he was a member of the Speaker’s Panel of Chairs in the House of Commons. Mr Griffiths has also been very active in the voluntary sector and has especially been involved with health related voluntary organisations such as the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) At the beginning of 2006 he became the Chair of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

He and Ceri live in Cefn Cribwr, Bridgend. He has been a Methodist Lay Preacher since 1966 and is the Church Steward of Cefn Cribwr Methodist Church.
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