WORKFORCE: NHS Surrey chair David Clayton-Smith is to combine to role with that of chair for NHS Sussex.

He will take on the role at Sussex from 1 April 2012 until 31 March 2013, while continuing to serve NHS Surrey.

Current NHS Sussex chair Denise Harker will leave the cluster at the end of March to take up the role of chair at Medway NHS Foundation Trust.

To ensure Mr Clayton-Smith’s time is released to support Sussex, the board of NHS Surrey has appointed two non-executive directors as deputies.

Rodney Gritten will become a deputy chair focusing on patient safety and delivery of the quality, innovation, productivity and prevention agenda. He will also replace Mr Clayton-Smith in his strategic role with the shadow Surrey Health and Well-being Board.

Graham Hanson, the other deputy chair, will further support the transition agenda in Surrey.

Ms Clayton-Smith said: “I am delighted that I have the opportunity to take my experience in the NHS in Surrey, together with my private sector skills, to make a real difference to patients and staff in Sussex. 

“The challenges are significant and I look forward to working with the Sussex team as we enter a year of substantial change.”