Martin Flaherty appointed interim Chief Exec at Great Western

Tony FitzSimons, Chairman of Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust (GWAS), today announced a new interim chief executive for the trust.

Mr Martin Flaherty, OBE, Deputy Chief Executive of London Ambulance Service NHS Trust, will take up the chief executive post on an interim basis from 7 February 2011.

Dr Stephen (Ossie) Rawstorne, currently Medical Director at the trust, will become acting Chief Operating Officer for GWAS. Together they enjoy extensive experience in ambulance services and will build on the improvements the trust has made over the past two years. These two appointments are key to the trust’s continuing success, to the development of patient-centered services and in planning the trust’s future as a foundation trust.

On behalf of the Board at GWAS, Mr FitzSimons welcomed Mr Flaherty and said:

“This is good news for Great Western Ambulance Service. Martin Flaherty has a wealth of experience at executive level, most recently London Ambulance Service and the Irish Ambulance Service where he is currently on secondment initially as Interim Chief Executive and now as Strategic Ambulance Advisor to the Irish Health Services Executive. Martin is well-versed in the challenges faced by a modern ambulance service, particularly the new opportunities presented by the Government’s reforms for the NHS.

“Dr Stephen (Ossie) Rawstorne, as current Medical Director, brings clinical operational experience, not just of Great Western Ambulance Service which he helped set up, but in the wider NHS. He is the Chair of the national ambulance Directors of Clinical Care group and is leading the way on developing methods to measure patient outcomes for ambulance services. He will unite the clinical and operational leadership within the executive team and is well placed to take on the clinical and performance challenges we now face in the NHS.

“The Board is confident that Martin, supported by Ossie, will build on GWAS’ successes and these appointments establish strong interim arrangements and will help put in place a robust process to appoint a permanent chief executive in due course.”

Martin Flaherty added:

“I am delighted to be given this opportunity to join Great Western Ambulance Service and am confident that by working closely with the senior team, managers and staff we can continue to maintain the developmental programme which is already underway.”

Current GWAS Chief Executive David Whiting has accepted the position of Chief Executive of Yorkshire Ambulance Service and will be leaving the trust on 1 February 2011.