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The Council of Governors have appointed Lena Samuels to the post of Chair of the South Central Ambulance Service — a position which combines the chairing of both the Board of Directors and the Council of Governors.

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Lena was born and educated in London, and brings a wealth of senior-level health sector experience to the chair position.

She will take up the post on 1st April 2017 for an initial period of three years, and will serve as a non-executive director from 1st January 2017. Lena is currently an associate non-executive director with the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.

Previously, she was a non-executive director with the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, and has also held roles where she had portfolio responsibility for patient safety, communications, international health, and equality and diversity.

These roles include being a lay advisor with Wessex Deanery (where she was involved in GP recruitment, alongside holding positions on the school boards for emergency medicine and surgery), a vice-chair of Hampshire Police Authority, and chair of Southampton City College.

In addition to working at the BBC, Lena now runs a communications and training company providing publicity and strategic advice. She also delivers leadership, human rights, and child protection training on behalf of organisations such as the British High Commission, the National Crime Agency, Bramshill Policing Advisers, UNICEF, and UNWomen.

Lena said of her appointment: “I want to take this opportunity to confirm my value of and passion for the health service. I am looking forward to taking up this important role, moving SCAS forward to meet the new challenges and opportunities for the future, where I believe developing and enhancing stakeholder relationships will be key.

“The relationships I already have in the health sector will be an asset in developing the networks SCAS needs to deliver is mission and to provide the best possible care, as well as to strengthen its relationships with the communities it serves and commissioners.”

The remuneration for the post is £40,000 per annum. All non-executive appointments are made on merit, and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity — if any declared — to be made public. Lena once stood to be an MP but has declared no political interest and holds no other ministerial appointments.

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