Highly respected NHS leader to take up role as Chair of WMAS

West Midlands Ambulance Service is delighted to announce that it has appointed a highly respected NHS Leader as the new Chair of the Trust.

Professor Ian Cumming OBE will join the Service - the only Ambulance Trust rated ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC - when he leaves his current role as Chief Executive of Health Education England, the education and training organisation for the NHS, at the end of March 2020.  He will also take up a new role as Professor of Global Healthcare Workforce and Strategy at Keele University. Professor Cumming said:

“After 38 years in the NHS, including 25 years as an NHS Chief Executive, I feel that the time is right to pursue new goals. The opportunity to remain in the NHS while also taking up an academic role is the perfect opportunity for my next career step.

“I have had a personal interest in pre-hospital care from many years and well remember meeting the Trust's Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, in 2009 to talk about how we could improve care at a time when patients are arguably at their most vulnerable. What is notable is that WMAS has delivered on all of those discussions including developing their staff so that there is a paramedic on every ambulance; having a modern fleet; and the introduction of ‘Make Ready’ hubs to improve efficiency.

“I want to focus with the team at WMAS on how we can build on the integration of 111, but also increase the care that is provided at a time of need whilst continuing to provide a very high level of service to patients.”

Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive of WMAS added:

“I am delighted our Governors have appointed Ian to succeed Sir Graham Meldrum as our Chairman. Ian has worked closely with WMAS over the last 11 years and brings with him a wealth of knowledge.

“Prof. Cumming has been hugely supportive to WMAS in recent years on projects such as upskilling our workforce so that we became and remain the only ambulance service to have a paramedic on every vehicle.

“I would also like to pay tribute to our current Chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum, who has played a pivotal role in the Trust’s development for more than a decade. His leadership has brought huge benefits to the organisation, our staff, and the patients we serve.”

Professor Cumming will take up his new role on 1st April 2020 for an initial period of three years.


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