Joan Higgins, professor of health policy at Manchester University and deputy director of its health services management unit, has been re-appointed chair of Manchester health authority.

She was first appointed in 1996. Previously, she chaired Manchester family health services authority.

West Sussex health authority has a new director of public health. She is Sheena Parker, who has been a consultant in public health medicine in Edinburgh for 20 years. Dr Parker replaces Chris Bentley, who left the HA in February to become director of policy and public health at Sheffield HA.

George Preston is the new director of The Queen's Nursing Institute in Scotland. He was formerly secretary and treasurer. The institute also has a new nurse director, Lis Cook, formerly community nursing education officer.

Betty Kershaw, president of the Royal College of Nursing, has been appointed chief officer for nursing and social care for St John Ambulance. Baroness Emerton of Tunbridge Wells and Clerkenwell has been appointed chief commander of the voluntary organisation.

Philip Smith is the new chair of Stockport health authority. He is a senior partner in a firm of solicitors and former non-executive director of Stockport Acute Services trust.

Two non-executive directors have been re-appointed to the board of Camden and Islington health authority, which also has three new non-executive directors. Richard Sumray and Roy Pounder, professor of medicine at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, have been re-appointed. Patricia Callaghan, Helen Roberts and Shelley Heard, a dean of postgraduate medicine at London University, join the board.

The standing nursing and midwifery advisory committee - the statutory body that advises ministers on nursing issues - has elected a new chair and vice-chair. They are Tony Bell, director of joint commissioning and director of nursing at Liverpool health authority, and Professor Jill MacLeod Clark, director of the Nightingale Institute at King's College in London.

Alasdair Muir Breckenridge,

professor of clinical pharmacology at Liverpool University and chair of the North West region of the NHS Executive, will be the new chair of the Committee on Safety of Medicines.

Professor Breckenridge, vice-chair of the CSM, succeeds Professor Michael Rawlins, who is retiring.