Appointment of new Chair of the Disclosure and Barring Service

Dr Gillian Fairfield to replace outgoing Chair

A former chief executive of four previous NHS trusts has been appointed as Chair of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Dr Fairfield will take up her role today (December 1), taking over from Bill Griffiths, who has occupied the role since December 2012.

The Chair’s responsibilities include:

• providing effective strategic leadership for the operation of the DBS;
• playing a significant role in ensuring that the DBS and its staff maintain the capability to deliver the DBS’s statutory responsibilities and objectives;
• taking into account Government’s safeguarding objectives and priorities;
• chair all meetings of the board and ensure that meetings are conducted efficiently and effectively; and
• undertake annual performance appraisals of the Non-Executive Board members and the Chief Executive in line with agreed procedures and timescales.

Dr Fairfield said:

"I am delighted to be appointed as the Chair of the Disclosure and Barring Service.

"This is an important time for the organisation, as the DBS continues to modernise and drive up its performance to ensure an effective and streamlined service for all. I look forward to working with the dedicated staff there and with our partners as we shape the organisation to ensure that the DBS is as effective, consistently reliable and of the highest quality as possible."

Dr Fairfield is a qualified general practitioner and consultant in public health and worked as chief Executive for the Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust and the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust in addition to two NHS Acute Trusts. Dr Fairfield retired from the NHS after 36 years of service in August 2017.

In addition to her health experience, Dr Gillian has served as a Non-Executive Board Member on the national Youth Justice Board and as Chair of the Youth Justice Board Performance Committee and as member of the Justice Board’s Finance and Risk Committee.

The appointment was facilitated by the passing of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018 in November.