The Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care (NICON) is the voice of the organisations in the integrated Health and Social Care system (HSC). Part of the UK-wide NHS Confederation, it is the only membership body for all HSC organisations.
At present, the membership includes all HSC trusts and the "regional" organisations (HSC Board, Public Health Agency, Business Services Organisation, and the Patient and Client Council), and five of the smaller HSC bodies. The five Local Commissioning Groups (constituted as committees of the HSC Board) also are in membership.
There is a category of Associate Member and this is open to commercial and not-for-profit organisations working in the health and social care sector.
The purpose of the Northern Ireland Confederation is to:
- influence policy and other areas of interest (including providing an “employers’ voice”) on behalf of members;
- support and brief members;
- inform and influence the media and politicians about key issues in the HSC;
- connect members with other stakeholders and with the UK NHS Confederation.
The Northern Ireland Confederation is led by its Director, Heather Moorhead. The management of its overall strategy and activities is in the hands of the Northern Ireland Representatives' Group. This is made up of chairs and chief executives elected by the members in the three "constituencies" (trusts, "regional" organisations and the small HSC bodies).
The Representatives' Group also has responsibility for appointing from within its membership, the Northern Ireland Confederation Chair and Vice Chair, the Northern Ireland Trustee of the NHS Confederation Charity and the Chair and Vice Chair of the HSC Chairs' Forum.