Public Guardian Board's remit

The Public Guardian Board is set up to scrutinise and review the way in which the Public Guardian discharges his functions and to make recommendations to the Lord Chancellor about any aspects of this work the Board thinks appropriate.

The Board consists of seven members who have been appointed because they have appropriate knowledge or experience in the areas of work covered by the Public Guardian. They have all been appointed for a period of up to four years.

The Lord Chancellor is responsible for making appointments directly to the Public Guardian Board, and for its membership. It is to the Lord Chancellor that the Board reports.

While the Office of the Public Guardian Agency Board has a role in the overall management of the organisation, the Public Guardian Board is focused on monitoring and reporting on the work of the Public Guardian.

You can contact the Public Guardian Board via email

The members are:

Rosie Varley OBE (chair)

Rosie Varley has many years' experience of leading major public bodies, and a long-term commitment to improving the quality of services provided to vulnerable people. She is currently Chairman of the General Social Care Council (the professional regulator in social care, responsible for  Codes of Practice for social workers and employers, the Social Care Register and social work education and training).

From 1998 to 2008 she was Chair of the General Optical Council, the regulator for the optical professions and businesses, and from 2006 to 2008 she was acting Chair of CHRE, the body responsible for promoting excellence in healthcare regulation. Rosie is a member of the Independent Appointments Board for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Governor of The Priory (a school for children with special needs in Bury St Edmunds), Chair of Skills for Health Eastern Region, as well as a member of both the Mental Health Review Tribunal and the Independent Tribunal Service. Rosie Varley was previously a NHS Appointments Commissioner, an NHS Regional Chair, and an NHS Mental Health Trust Chair.
Rosie Varley has also cared for a family member with a major mental illness and has managed the affairs of two elderly and disabled parents. She is actively involved with several voluntary organisations supporting people with mental illness and substance misuse and their families and carers. In 2007 Ms Varley was awarded the OBE for services to healthcare.

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Lionel Joyce OBE

Lionel Joyce is a service-user with a diagnosis of bipolar illness and a history of alcohol abuse. He was Chief Executive of Newcastle Mental Health Services during its many incarnations, which saw it became a national leader in community mental health teams, user involvement, home treatment, child and adolescent mental health services, and old age psychiatry (the leading research centre in Europe).

He founded the NHS Confederation Mental Health Committee and also the Urban Group of Mental Health Trusts and was influential in the creation of the National Institute of Mental Health. He is the Legal Services Commissioner for the North East and Yorkshire.

Mr Joyce was previously Chair of Turning Point, a national social care charity, and Chair of Mental Health Providers (a national forum for volunteer and community sector providers of mental health services).

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Suzanne McCarthy

Suzanne McCarthy is currently the Immigration Services Commissioner. Prior to that she was Chief Executive of the Human Fertilisation Authority (1996 to 2000) and thereafter Chief Executive of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (2000 to 2004).

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of London, a non-executive director of the Royal Institute of British Architects, a member of the General Medical Council and on the Executive Committee of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association. She is also a member of both the Pension Regulator's Determinations Panel and of the Royal Institute of British Architects Holding Board.

Ms McCarthy is a senior civil servant and has held a variety of positions within Whitehall. Prior to joining the civil service she worked as a solicitor in private practice and taught law at Manchester University.

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Maurice Rumbold

Maurice Rumbold is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for United Response, the national learning disabilities and mental health charity. He is a Non-Executive Director for  the East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust and a member of the Employer Advisory Forum for the Business School at Greenwich University.

In 1988 he joined NCH (National Children's Home) where he was responsible for turning it into the largest charity for services to children, young people and their families in the UK.

During his time with National Children's Home the number of services grew to in excess of 500 with a budget of £200 million. Each year, over 140,000 children and their families were helped via a range of projects that included adoption and fostering, family support, residential schools, disability services and alternatives to custody. His last role with NCH was as Chief Executive.

Mr Rumbold is a qualified social worker who, prior to joining NCH, worked for a number of local authority social services departments including two at Assistant Chief Officer level.

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Deep Sagar

Deep Sagar has a wide range of experience combining governance roles with management consultancy. Among his current roles are Chair of Turnstone Support, Chair of Probation Board Hertfordshire and Member of Employment Tribunals. Previously, his career spanned 20 years for multinationals like Coca-Cola and Unilever Bestfoods in senior management positions internationally.

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Sue Whittaker

Sue Whittaker was an NHS chairman for over eight years until 2006. First she chaired Northgate and Prudhoe, the UK's largest specialist learning disability trust, and then Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health NHS Trust. She was a member of the NHS Confederation Council, the Confederation's Mental Health Advisory Group and she chaired the Mental Health and Learning Disability Chairs Forum.

Sue was also a member of the NHS Employers Policy Board and Assembly. She was a National Mental Health Service Development Champion and served on the NHS Executive's Advisory Group on Developing NHS Leadership on Equality and Diversity.

She was co-founder and chair of the Northern Mental Health and Learning Disability Chairs Group and a journalist on the Guardian newspaper and with BBC TV and Radio. She is also a Northumberland magistrate. Sue is also Chairman of the Management Board of the English Womens' Golf Association. Sue currently is currently a member of the People Board at the OPG.

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Her Honour Judge Hazel Marshall QC

Judge Marshall is the senior Chancery Judge at the Central London Civil Justice Centre and is an appointed specialist Judge authorised to hear cases under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, with special reference to property matters.

She was formerly in practice at the Chancery Bar as Hazel Williamson QC, with a broad general Chancery practice including cases with the former Court of Protection. She is a former Chairman of the Chancery Bar Association.

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