Council of Governors

Foundation Trust members have elected a Council of Governors. The Council is made up of 21 public governors (6 in North of Tyne, 5 in South of Tyne,5 in Durham & 5 in Teesside) 4 staff governors, plus 9 appointed governors.

The Council virtually meets 4 times per year in public details of meetings and papers can be found here.

Due to the current social distancing restrictions the Council will meet via virtual meetings.

If you want to find out more about what being a Governor at our Trust means then please take a look at our Governor handbook, which has been designed for current Governors and those who may be interested in standing for election.

To see who all of our Governors are, please see below. They can be contacted by emailing

Dr Simon Walford

For many years, I was a Consultant Physician in Wolverhampton, having spent part of my training in Newcastle. My special interests were Diabetes and Acute Medicine. Over the years I took on more leadership roles, including Medical Director of the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust and in medical education. My last job in the NHS was as a medical leader of the NHS Emergency Care team responsible for delivering the improvements to Emergency Care across the UK, which were so successful in reducing the waiting for people needing admission to hospital in the early years of the new century.

For some years thereafter I worked independently, providing advice and support to clinical teams in the NHS and in the Republic of Ireland as they sought to improve acute medical care for their own communities.

I was a Non -Executive Director of the hospitals in Shropshire, the rural county where I lived and was as a professional adviser to the Care Quality Commission - so have a wide experience of hospitals all over the country.

In my own time, I have experience as chairman of both an independent grammar and an Academy school. I chaired the board of the Hospice in Wolverhampton and latterly completed several years as chair of the board of the University of Wolverhampton.

For many years I was a volunteer doctor at international horse trials and other events where immediate medical care was part of the safe support to competitors so I have worked with paramedics in the field.

My wife and I have now retired to live near Alnwick.

Ian Ellison

I am looking forward to getting involved as a Public Governor. As a retired Ambulance Service employee (1974 – 2005), I recall my time in the North East as interesting, exciting, enjoyable and on many occasions challenging and I’m sure this role will be too.  As a resident of Cramlington, I feel I am suitably positioned within the North of Tyne to gather information and views from the community to enable me to contribute to discussions at service meetings. 

In my spare time I am District Commissioner for the Scouts in Wansbeck, where we have nearly 500 young people enjoying weekly section meeting and adventurous activities throughout the year.  Keen to serve in the community I was a Chair of Governors at a primary school for many years before retiring from the role in 2017. 

The skills gained in these roles will I hope transfer to the Governor role and that I am able to help shape the future of the NEAS.

Vacancy x 4

Liz Highmore

Biographical details to follow

Vacancy x 4

Vacancy x 4


Craig Jacques

I am delighted to have been elected as one of the Governors to represent the Teesside area.  My background is in the enforcement and security industry.  I am very motivated and committed in everything I do which will help me do my absolute best for the service as a whole. 

I am currently a Community First Responder for NEAS.  To be part of this amazing team and service is an absolute pleasure.  It’s being part of the Community First Responder team that has helped me decide to become a Governor.  I see what a great ambulance service we have on a daily basis and I want to continue to help promote our values and involve members of the public.  I am also a First Aid Instructor, teaching first aid in the community to help save lives. 

If I can help in anyway please get In touch and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Olalekan Odedeyi

I am a community advocate and social entrepreneur with an MSc in Supply Chain Managment.  As a community advocate, I believe my involvement as a public Governors of the Trust will help shape the strategic direction of NEAS and help raise standards. 

I have had a number of voluntary roles over the past few years including being a member of the Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel for the Crown Prosectution Service North East.  I am also serving as a member of the Stop and Search BAME Security Panel for Cleveland Police as well as being a parent governor of a local schoool in Middlesbrough.

I am a former chair of the Middlesbrough Independent Advisory Group for Policing at Cleveland Police and have had a passion since being 8-years of age of helping the community wherever I have found myself.  I have worked tirelessly for peace and justice of individuals and provided advocacy support to individuals and groups to ensure fairness and promote community cohesiion.

I was celebrated as one of the talented young black Teessiders making a difference in the North East region, and won the Community Recognition Award, Black Youth Award 2021.

I am the Vice Chair of the Unite Community Teesside and Durham Branch.  Volunteering roles include political activism such as leading the African, Asian and Minority Ethnic (AAME) network in Teesside, planning events and chairing meetings.

Vacancy x 3

David Simpson - Scheduled Care

I am very proud to have started work with the North East Ambulance Service within scheduled care in June 2019.  I am passionate about people and the care we give to them.  As a former carer for my parents for a number of years and having spent lots of time in and around hospitals and associated services, it inspired me to work for the NHS and give something back.

Having expereince as a company director in a family business, I hope to add value to the governance of the trust, give a voice to staff and improve the quality of service for our patients, staff and the trust.

As a former professional actor, I have a love of the arts, live music and people.

Anyone who knows me, knows I have a mischievous sense of humour.

I am here to serve to the best of my ability and I will work hard to achieve a better outcome for all.

Dr Jonathan Knox - Corporate Services

I have worked for NEAS for over 12 years, commencing in post as Business Planning & Performance Manager in November 2009.

I am currently the Head of Commercial Development, a role I have held for nine years, and which involves supporting the Trust's strategic direction in terms of protecting current business, winning new business, improving our service delivery and ensuring financial sustainability to underpin the on-going safe delivery of our care services.

Managing a small team of commercial professionals, our role involves a mix of bidding/proposal development, relationship management, supporting strategy development and implementation, new service development and project management.

My background prior to NEAS is 15 years working for a range of private sector companies across FMCG, Utilities, Oil and Gas and Printed Circuit Board manufacture.  My roles have predominantly been commercial in nature, including sales, marketing, new product/service development, account management, project management, innovation, business planning and strategy development.

I am committed in the role of Governor to ensuring both (i) the best possible patient care is maintained at all times, and (ii) the voice of Support Services is appropriately represented.

Vacancy - Emergency Operations Centre and unscheduled care

Cllr Matt Wilson - ANEC

I live in North Shields, which I also represent as a local councillor on North Tyneside Council.  It's a fantastic town - if you've never been, come and pay us a visit - we do the best fish & chips in the North East!

In my day job I work as a management consultant helping charities to be more effective and to better evidence the difference that they make.  The work is very varied and introduces me to lots of amazing people who are really making a big impact.

I'm quite a keen runner and can be found most Saturday mornings at the Whitley Bay Park Run.  Sometimes I venture further afield as a bit of a Park Run tourist.  Let me know if you have a Park Run near you that I should try out.

Vacant - Northumberland County Council

Vacant - Darlington Council

Vacant - Newcastle City Council

Vacant - Universities

Vacant - Mental Health Trust

Vacant - Local Resilience Forum

Vacant - Voluntary Sector

Vacant - CCG

Vacant - Acute Trust