THE Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has announced the appointment of Dr Alison Diamond as Chief Executive.

Dr Diamond, a GP in Bideford and currently the Trust’s Medical Director, will start in this role on 1 May 2014.

Roger French, Chair of the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust said: “The Board is delighted to welcome Alison to the role of Chief Executive. There was a really strong field of candidates but Alison was outstanding. She won this appointment deservedly.

“She has worked for the Trust as Medical Director since 2010 and has shown immense leadership in furthering the clinical priorities of this organisation.

“In the current policy climate, to have a clinician of Alison’s experience as the Trust’s leader is a significant advantage. Alison knows the big set of challenges that we face and I think we have got the right person for the job.”

There was a rigorous recruitment process for Chief Executive held over two days and involving panel discussions with stakeholders, Trust clinicians and non-executive directors followed by a presentation to a cross-section of Trust staff.

On the second day there was a final panel interview with David Flory, Chief Executive of the Trust Development Authority, Jo Cubbon, Chief Executive of Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Roger French, Chair and Pauline Geen, Senior Independent Director of the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust.

Dr Alison Diamond, said: “I am absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to lead the organisation. The Trust is made up of a great team of people who I know have a commitment to develop services to make a real difference for patients.”

The position of Chief Executive became vacant when Jac Kelly announced her intention to stand down in April.

Plans are in place to recruit a medical director for the Trust.