WORKFORCE: A former managing director of Debenhams has been confirmed as the new chair of Weston Area Health Trust by the The NHS Trust Development Authority.

Incumbent Chris Creswick is retiring after five years in the post. He will be replaced by Peter Carr, who as well as his time at the department store was the founding chairman of consumer council Postwatch. He recently led Great Western Ambulance Service Trust through its merger with South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust during his stint as chair and has also served as a non-executive director at Royal United Hospital Bath Trust.

Weston has declared it is unviable in its current form and is seeking a partner.

Mr Creswick said “I am delighted that Peter Carr will be bringing his vast experience of helping organisations through successful change to the Trust. It has been a privilege to work with so many able and committed people over the past five years and much has been achieved. I am sure that with Peter’s leadership the trust will be able to work with the NHS Trust Development Authority to secure a sustainable position for the delivery of the services needed by the community we serve as soon as possible.”

Ms Jude Ferguson, who has served as a non-executive director since 2005, is also retiring from the board at the end of July. She plans to focus on her other local interests, including the continuing development of Weston College, where she is chair of the governing body.