Published: 24/04/2003, Volume II3, No. 5825 Page 33

Bob Nicholls has been appointed chair of the National Clinical Assessment Authority.

Mr Nicholls, a senior NHS manager until 1996, is a lay member of the General Medical Council.

Health Professions Wales has appointed Barbara Bale on secondment from the University of Glamorgan as its acting chief executive.She will hold the post for one year, during which time Health Professions Wales will become an Assembly-sponsored public body.Having worked as a nurse and midwife she has in recent years focused on research and management in the school of care sciences, University of Glamorgan, and completed a PhD.

Professor Gordon Duff has taken up post as chair of the Committee on Safety of Medicines.He has been a member of the committee since 1995 and is replacing Professor Alasdair Breckenridge, who is chairing the new Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.Professor Duff is professor of molecular medicine and director of the division of genomic medicine at Sheffield University.

The Mental Health Foundation has appointed Jonathon Nicholls as its head of research and development.

The former research director at MORI has a background in research in the public and voluntary sectors.His previous posts include programme manager at the Home Office's modernisation unit and head of voluntary and community research, also at the Home Office.The Mental Health Foundation is a charity that works to improve services for people with mental health problems and learning disabilities.

See The Persuaders, pages 16-17.

Castlebeck Group, which provides threatment, care and support for adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour, has named David Cole as its new chief executive.Mr Cole joins from Priory Healthcare, where he was operations director.He has also held hospital director posts at two Priory hospitals.David joined the private sector from the NHS in 1996.