A Ceredigion man has been appointed as the new Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board by Health Minister Eluned Morgan.

Dr Neil Rhys Wooding is an experienced leader and Board member.

He has spent his career as a public servant and worked within senior roles in central, regional, and local government as well as the NHS and the third sector.

Most recently as an Executive Director in the Cabinet Office and the Chief People Officer in the Ministry of Justice (2018-2021).

He is currently the Chair of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action and lives in Ceredigion.

Dr Wooding is a Companion of the Chartered Institute of People Management and was awarded a CBE in 2022.

Eluned Morgan said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Neil Wooding as Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board. He brings a wealth of public sector experience and local knowledge to this role.”

Judith Hardisty, interim Chair at Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “I am delighted that Neil has been appointed to the role of Chair at Hywel Dda.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Neil in the past, and I look forward to working with him to ensure a smooth hand over as he steps into the role in June 2024.

“In addition to his professional experience, Neil is also a member of our local community and has first-hand experience of our services.

“Holding the role of Chair is a privilege, and I am confident that under Neil’s guidance and leadership Hywel Dda will be in safe hands.

“It has been an honour to serve as an Independent Member, Vice Chair and interim Chair at Hywel Dda and I wish Neil and the team all the best for the future.”

Dr Wooding said: “I am a passionate advocate for health and wellbeing, and particularly value how we can all, as individuals and communities, play a part in enabling the best health outcomes. Being a resident of Ceredigion, I have a vested interest in seeing our health board succeed – for current and future generations alike.

“I look forward to stepping into the role in the summer and working alongside the Board’s experienced Independent Members and dedicated community of staff.”

Neil succeeds Judith Hardisty in the post who has held the role since October 2023 when she was appointed as interim Chair of the Health Board following Maria Battle’s retirement as Chair.