The new board of the Health Service Executive held its first meeting this morning. 

The board is chaired by Ciarán Devane, who has previously served on the board of the NHS in the UK. 

There has not been a board of the HSE for a number of years. 

The newly appointed board includes members with patient and advocacy experience, and their appointment was a recommendation of Dr Gabriel Scally in his report into the National Cervical Screening Programme. 

The HSE will be accountable to the board, which will report to the Minister for Health. 

Mr Devane said the board will be "scrutinising and holding the executive to account for performance at all levels including financial, quality of care and safety". 

He said the challenge is to "make sure we deliver the best possible health care for the money available".

Among the priorities for the board are developing and implementing an effective performance management and accountability system and building public trust in the HSE. 

There are 11 members of the board, including Professor of Law at UCC Deirdre Madden, former Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay, and Fiona Ross chair of CIE and Mental health Ireland. 

Speaking ahead of the first meeting, Minister Simon Harris said the board was made up of "extremely competent individuals who bring a wide range of skills in terms of governance, procurement, accountancy, running large organisations and patient advocacy".

Mr Harris said the HSE requires a proper governance structure and that was previously in place was for a different time. 

He said he expects to meet with the chairman on a "very regular basis".