New chair appointed to ambulance service

Thursday, 16 September, 2010

The NHS Appointments Commission has appointed Michael Harris, currently Chair of NHS West Sussex, as Interim Chair of South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SECAmb) for up to one year from 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011 and will see the organisation through to Foundation Trust status.

The current Chair of South East Coast Ambulance Service Trust, Martin Kitchen, is leaving the Trust after four years, as he and his family have moved to the West Country.

In Mike's absence from NHS West Sussex, Norman Robson, a non-executive director at the PCT since 2006, has been appointed Acting Chair.

Mike Harris has been Chair of NHS West Sussex since November 2007 and will take up the leadership of the ambulance trust as it prepares for Foundation Trust status. Prior to taking up the NHS West Sussex chairmanship, Mike Harris had 25 years' board level experience in a range of industrial companies, including C & J Clark and Redland plc. At Redland Mike was responsible for the Asia-Americas Roofing Division. Mike has also been Chairman of two private companies and is a magistrate sitting on the North Sussex Bench.

Norman Robson, Acting Chair at NHS West Sussex from 1 October, has had a career in bank management following an early career in electrical engineering. His various management appointments included a secondment to Midland Bank's Investment Bank; he set up and managed the bank's Business Advisory Service. He subsequently became part of the bank's senior management team with responsibilities for Corporate Finance.

Since retiring, Norman, who is married with three adult children and lives in Sidlesham, has served as an NHS Complaints Panel Chairman from 1999 to 2004 before being appointed an Independent Panel Member to the Postgraduate Medical Education Training Board. He also chairs a major charity in the North of England. His main interests are sailing where he is closely involved with Chichester Yacht Club and currently serves as Treasurer.

Mike Harris and Norman Robson have no other Ministerial appointments and have no declared political activity. Mike Harris's and Norman Robson's remuneration will be £39,406 per annum.

These appointments were made in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the Nolan recommendations, any declared political activity is made public.

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