The man who will soon take the helm at a regional health organisation will be at the forefront of its efforts to develop pioneering new models of integrated health and care services.
Alan Richardson has been appointed to lead Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and will succeed Brian Flood as chairman when he steps down at the end of March after successfully leading the organisation for the past 17 years.
A chartered engineer by background, Mr Richardson has a wealth of experience running large and successful organisations.
He has served on several boards, most notably Scottish Power Plc, Reyrolle Ltd and the Glasgow Development Agency. Most recently, he served as chairman of Coventry University for the past six years.
He joins the trust at a very exciting time, having last year successfully transformed emergency care across Northumberland and North Tyneside with the opening of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital and introduction of seven-day consultant-led specialist emergency care.
Mr Richardson, who recently moved back to his native North East and is married with two children and five grandchildren, will guide Northumbria Healthcare as it leads a number of projects as part of the national vision for the future of the NHS.
This includes work with partners across Northumberland to create an integrated primary and acute care system, liaising with the King’s Fund in London to spearhead the development of positive cultures and leadership capability across the NHS and working with NHS organisations nationwide to share its expertise by becoming a ‘multihospital chain’.
He said: “There are many challenges facing our health and care system and it is a privilege to join such a forward-thinking organisation, which is at the forefront of change in the NHS and developing better models of care that are built around patient need.
“I have been very impressed with the patient and community-focussed approach at Northumbria and have only heard good reports about the care that it delivers and the culture it has created.
“I’m confident that by working together we can continue to improve for the benefit of patients, staff and local communities.”
As chairman, Mr Richardson will lead the trust’s Council of Governors, which represents the 500,000 population of Northumberland and North Tyneside.
David Evans, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am delighted that Alan is to join us and I look forward to working with him to build on the strong foundations we’ve put in place over many years to ensure that our patients are the heart of everything we do, and every decision we make.
“We are very proud of the culture we have created to ensure our staff are empowered to make improvements to patient care, however, we fully recognise there is always more we can do and are keen to work with Alan in this regard.
“As we prepare to move into the next chapter for the trust, I would also like to pay tribute to Brian and thank him for his unparalleled commitment, vision and leadership.
“On behalf of the board, governors and all our staff, we wish him all the very best for his retirement.”