Cynthia Rickitt has become chair of Priority Healthcare Wearside trust. Ms Rickitt qualified as a midwife and eventually became director of midwifery at City Hospitals trust. Most recently, she was a non-executive director of Sunderland health authority.

Robin Smith has become chief executive of the new Mendip primary care group. He was director of corporate development for Bath Mental Health Care trust until being seconded to Somerset health authority.

Mike Drew, retired director of planning and development, and deputy chief executive of Luton borough council, has been appointed a non-executive director of Luton and Dunstable Hospital trust.

Gordon Firth has become chair of Barnsley District General Hospital trust. He is managing partner of a firm of building consultants and president of Barnsley chamber of commerce.

Southend Hospital trust has two new non-executive directors - Peter Payne, a former chief executive of BHB Community Health Care trust, and Julie Smith, a former nurse.

Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield has a new non-executive director - John Hannah, a management consultant.

Pamela Hopley, a former travel company director, has become a non-executive director of Kent and Sussex Weald trust.

Alan Hilton will retire as chief executive of the Prescription Pricing Authority at the end of February.

He will be succeeded by Nick Scholte.

Ian Ruffett has become deputy director of primary care for County Durham health authority. He joined the HA from Tees HA, where he had worked since August 1990, most recently as primary care medical adviser.

Keep us posted Please send details of senior appointments, indicating whether a photograph is available, to Lyn Whitfield at HSJ, Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London NW1 7EJ, or fax 0171-874 0254, or e-mail:

Items are entered free but publication cannot be guaranteed.