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Chair to retire after 50 years in the NHS

Published on: 26 Sep 2023

An ambulance trust chair is to step down after more than half a century in the NHS.

David Astley, who has chaired South East Coast Ambulance Service Foundation Trust since 2018, plans to hand over to a new chair next May.

Mr Astley has previously been chief executive of East Kent Hospitals, St George’s Hospital and Greenwich Hospitals. He started working in the NHS aged 17 as a porter at Liverpool’s Walton Hospital, before joining Chesterfield Hospitals after university. He has also led the Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar.

He said: “Throughout my career I have been privileged to work with a huge variety of colleagues in a wide variety of roles, both clinical and support – all of which are vital for good patient care.

“The way in which SECAmb responded to the pandemic gives me a deep sense of pride as our staff and volunteers continued to respond while also doing everything possible to protect themselves and our patients.”

SECAmb chief executive, Simon Weldon said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank David for everything he has done for SECAmb. He has enjoyed a full and varied career over so many years.

“While I have only worked with him at SECAmb for a relatively short time, I understand and clearly see his passion and commitment for making improvements for our patients and colleagues alike. I look forward to continuing to work closely with him for the remainder of his term.”

The trust has started recruiting a new chair.