A Conservative Party activist and former barrister has been named as the new chair of NHS South East Coast.

Kate Lampard will replace Graham Eccles, who stood down in January after an email he had written about a private meeting he had with health secretary Alan Johnson was leaked to the press.

After Mr Eccles’ resignation, Colin Tomson became the strategic health authority’s interim chair.

Consulting work

Ms Lampard, who starts her new role on 1 May, is an independent associate of consulting companies Verita Limited and Foresight Partnership Limited, carrying out investigations, inquiries and consultancy work for public sector organisations.

She is also a non-executive director and deputy chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service, a trustee of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation charity and a non-executive director of RHS Enterprises, the commercial arm of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Previously, she worked as a barrister specialising in insolvency, company law and property matters.

She has also been a West Kent Health Authority non-executive director, the Invicta community care trust chair and Kent and Medway strategic health authority’s chair.

Candy Morris

NHS South East Coast chief executive Candy Morris said: “I welcome Kate’s appointment as our new chair and look forward to working with her to provide the highest possible quality care across the region.

“I would also like to thank Colin Tomson for joining us as interim chair and putting his experience to such great effect throughout his work with the board.

‘Non-executive directors play a vital part at every level of the NHS by bringing a range of perspectives to decision making.”

Political activity

In line with Appointments Commission rules, Miss Lampard has declared that in the past five years she has canvassed on behalf of the Conservative Party, helping at elections and serving for 18 months on a Conservative Party committee.

Her appointment is for four years and she will receive £45,449 a year.