Sir David Varney has been appointed chair of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust.

Sir David, who graduated with a chemistry degree from Surrey University and began working for Shell in 1968, has spent the past two years as adviser on public service transformation to the prime minister.

Other recent positions include chairman of HM Revenue and Customs between 2004 and 2006, and president of the Chartered Management Institute in 2005 and 2006.

His term of office will run from 14 January to 31 December 2010, with a salary of £23,366.

Sir David said: “I am thrilled to be joining the trust at what is an incredibly challenging yet exciting time. The focus will very much be on improving services, particularly emergency care, to ensure that we continue to put quality care for patients at the top of the trust’s agenda.”

Meanwhile, the trust has appointed Robert Royce as director of strategy and planning and Deborah Wheeler as director of nursing. Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust medical director John Coakley has also joined the trust on secondment as director of clinical improvement.