WORKFORCE: South East Coast Ambulance Service FT has announced the appointment of Tony Thorne as chair. 

He will join the trust on 1 September, and will chair both the board of directors and council of governors. 

Mr Thorne was chief executive of DS Smith plc., the international packaging and office products group, from 2001 until his retirement from the board in May 2010. He spent the early part of his career with Shell International.

Trust chief executive Paul Sutton said: “We’re pleased that Tony will be joining the organisation and I’m confident that the skills, enthusiasm and experience he will bring to the role will be a valuable asset to the Trust, and to the population we serve. 

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mike Harris, who undertook the role of interim chair from October 2010 until July 2011, for the part he played in our successful achievement as one of the first ambulance foundation trusts in the country.”

South East Coast Ambulance Service was formed on 1 July 2006, following the merger of Kent, Surrey and Sussex ambulance trusts. It employs more than 3,000 staff across 60 sites.