Service Chairman Richard Hunt to leave at end of financial year

11 February 2016

Richard Hunt, Chairman, to leave the Service after seven years, at the end of the financial year

Chairman Richard Hunt CBE, has announced that he will be leaving the Service at the end of the financial year on 31 March 2016, after seven years in the role. Heather Lawrence OBE, has been appointed by the NHS Trust Development Authority to take up the post from the beginning of April. Richard said:

“It has been a great privilege to have been the Chairman of The London Ambulance Service and I offer my sincere thanks to all colleagues across the Service, for their hard work and support to me over the past seven years. We have been through some difficult times recently, but I believe that we are now seeing progress and improvements for both patients and our people.  I am incredibly proud to have been part of the Service, and of the care and compassion that I see in colleagues here each day.  All the people who work here make a great difference to the lives of so many Londoners and will continue to do so.

I am handing over to Heather Lawrence whose experience within the NHS and at Monitor will be of huge benefit to the Service. I wish everyone at the Service every success in the future.  I have recently taken up the role of Commanding Officer of the Engineer and Logistic Staff Corps (advisors to the MoD) but I will always look back and remember my time here with pride and affection.”

Chief Executive, Dr Fionna Moore, MBE added:

“Richard has made an exceptional contribution to the Service and has been incredibly supportive towards everyone who works here, and especially to me, as the new Chief Executive. He will be greatly missed. We look forward to welcoming Heather, her knowledge and experience will be invaluable as we focus on improving our Service to patients”.

Heather Lawrence brings with her over 40 years of frontline NHS experience from being a nurse, to running one of the most successful trusts in the country. Heather is currently a non-executive director at Monitor, the regulator for NHS foundation trusts, and was previously Chief Executive of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital from 2000 to 2012. The Trust was one of the first in the country to gain NHS Foundation Trust status in 2006.

Heather said:

“I have a great respect and admiration for the people who work for the Service, and I am looking forward to getting out to meet them and see first-hand the challenges they face every day. I will work with Fionna, her team and the Board, to support them in making The London Ambulance Service a world class organisation.”

Andrew Hines, Associate Director of Delivery and Development (London) NHS Trust Development Authority said:

“I would like to thank Mr Richard Hunt CBE for his hard work and dedication during his seven years as the chair.  Richard has provided strong leadership and has been passionate about delivering emergency services that Londoners can rely on.

“Heather Lawrence will bring a wealth of experience and insight across a broad range of environments, including the NHS at the highest level, which will benefit the Trust greatly.  This is not only great news for the Trust and its staff, but also for Londoners.”

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

  • Heather originally trained as a nurse before qualifying as a teacher and becoming a Nurse tutor, and is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel Management.  Ms Lawrence was awarded an OBE in the 2010 New Year Honours List for her services to healthcare and has recently taken the position of Non-Executive Chairman at Apos Medical UK LTD. She has also served as a non-executive director of a FTSE 250 healthcare company operating in the Middle East for the last three and a half years. Non-executive appointments to NHS Trusts made by the NHS TDA are subject to the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. 
  • London Ambulance Service NHS Trust is the busiest emergency ambulance service in the UK that provides healthcare that is free to patients at the time they receive it.
  • We have over 4,500 staff, who work across a wide range of roles based in 70 ambulance stations. We serve more than seven million people who live and work in the London area.For more information, media enquiries or interview requests please contact Rachel Baugh on  020 7783 2286 or communications@londonambulance.nhs.uk.

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