Meet our Board

Helen Ray - Chief Executive

Helen joined the organisation in 2019 from Northumbria Healthcare, where she had been the Chief Operating Officer since that post was formed in July 2018. Her responsibilities included overseeing urgent and emergency care, medicine, child health and community services with Board level responsibility and emergency planning and preparedness.

With her experiences gained from working in the NHS since 1983, Helen brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to the Board.

She has previously been joint Managing Executive Director (operations) for North Cumbria acute and community services, Deputy Chief Executive for North Cumbria University Hospitals and Chief Operating Officer for South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust. She trained as a nurse and has held a professional registration for 30 years.

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Stephen Segasby - Chief Operating Officer

Stephen Segasby, from Huddersfield, commenced his role as Chief Operating Officer at NEAS in March 2022. 

Stephen worked for 18 years in clinical and managerial roles within UK ambulance services prior to joining NEAS, with five years of service at Yorkshire Ambulance Service as Deputy Director of Operations and 14 years at East of England Ambulance Service where he qualified as a paramedic and developed into a number of strategic roles.  Prior to joining the NHS, Stephen had a successful career in sales in the motor industry.

Stephen has a strong personal interest in system transformation, organisation and leadership development. He considers culture and effective relationships to be pivotal to delivering change which leads to quality and performance improvement.

Stephen remains a committed healthcare professional and is passionate about developing paramedicine and supporting clinical practice and the role of the clinician within the modern NHS. He believes deeply in the positive contribution paramedics can make to improved service delivery and systemic change in the delivery of urgent and emergency care.

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Tarryn Lake - Group Director of Finance and Digital

Having joined the NHS on the financial management graduate scheme, Tarryn has worked for the NHS for over 17 years, holding a variety of finance roles in both provider and commissioner organisations.  Latterly, Tarryn was the Associate Director of Finance for NHS Sunderland CCG, and within this role undertook a Director of Finance role within the All Together Better out of hospital alliance. The alliance brought together commissioners and providers in the Sunderland area with the aim of improving health outcomes for the local population.

Tarryn is passionate about diversity and inclusion, leading local and regional initiatives in the North East and Yorkshire to support improvements in the finance function.

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Julia Young - Director of Quality and Safety

Julia started in her role at the end of February 2023, having most recently been Director of Nursing with the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System.

She brings over 30 years’ experience of working in healthcare, including over 25 years of leadership.

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Dr Kat Noble - Medical Director

Dr Kat Noble took up her position on 31 January 2023, bringing with her more than 20 years’ experience within primary, secondary and pre-hospital care.

Her experience has included being a national advisor for NHS111, Medical Director for NHS Direct and NHS Pathways, and Associate Medical Director for North West Ambulance Service.

She takes on this role on a part-time basis, splitting her time with her continuing role in the emergency department of Sunderland Hospital. She also serves as a clinical associate for the Emergency Care Intensive Support team (NHS Improvement) and a CQC inspector.

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Karen O’Brien - Director of People Development

Karen joined the Trust in March 2020 as the COVID pandemic became evident and we went into the first national lockdown.

After working in the hospitality trade in sales roles, she commenced her 15+ year human resources career in the NHS across community services, mental health services, dental services, acute services and primary care, latterly being the Deputy Director of Workforce at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Karen is proud to be from the North East, having grown up in Shildon in County Durham, and therefore feels privileged to be able to work for NEAS, covering the breadth and diversity of the North East.

She has a keen passion for supporting people holistically, both in employment and more widely, with a particular focus on supporting elderly people and those with dementia in the community, having supported her grandma until the age of 94 years.

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Peter Strachan - Chair

Peter Strachan joined the Trust as Chair on 29 May 2018. A graduate of Durham University, Peter returns to the North East from Scotland to join the ambulance service after a career in the railway industry, latterly as Chairman of UK Rail and Managing Director of the Caledonian Sleeper for Serco PLC. He has also served in senior roles with Network Rail and the Department for Transport. He  has strong links and family ties to the region. 

As an NHS Foundation Trust, NEAS has around 12,000 public and staff members who elect governors to a Council that holds the Board of Directors to account and is responsible for appointing the Chair and Non-Executive Directors.

Peter says: “It’s a great privilege to be appointed to chair the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. I’m very much looking forward to making a difference to the communities and people of the North East through the vital role the ambulance service plays in the healthcare of the region.

“I’ve been really impressed by the commitment of the team and dedication to our patients throughout the organisation, and I believe my passion for service improvement will allow the Trust to build on the very high standards already achieved.”

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Non-Executive Directors

John Marshall

John joined the Trust on 1 November 2017, having spent his legal career at Dickinson Dees LLP and latterly Bond Dickinson LLP from 1989-2016. A Disputes Resolution Partner, he was elected Senior Partner in 2010 and was responsible for managing partnership issues, promoting the firm externally and shaping and delivering the firm’s future strategy with the Managing Partner. He was a key member of the team that negotiated a transformational merger in 2012 and latterly was Vice Chairman of the new firm.

As well as consultancy work, John is now Non-Executive Director and Chair of Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, a public/private partnership whose role is to deliver economic growth and promote the area as a great place to visit, live, learn, work and invest.

John also holds a number of other senior non-executive roles. He is Chair of Trustees of Newcastle United Foundation, Chair of the Regional Development Committee of the Prince’s Trust and will also shortly join the Board of North East England Chamber of Commerce. He also sits on the International Advisory Board of Newcastle University Business School, is a Tutor at St Chad’s College, Durham University and a School Governor at Northumberland Church of England Academy in Ashington.

John is a member of our Finance and Workforce Committees, as well as acting as Board lead on procurement and sustainability.

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Dr Gerry Morrow

Gerry joined the Trust on 1 November 2017. He was a full time GP for 20 years and during that time he developed an expertise in evidence-based medicine and patient involvement. For the past seven, years Gerry has been Medical Director and Editor at Clarity Informatics.

Gerry edits clinical content for NICE and has also written guidelines for Public Health England.

He has an interest in quality improvement methodology and clinical decision support tools.

Gerry is a member of our Quality and Audit Committees.

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Raman Sanghera

Raman joined the Trust on 18 January 2021.

Raman has a broad range of experience gained over a decade of working in both the private and public sectors.  His experience of planning, budgeting and managing change in large complex organisations will support us in moving forward as we continue to develop our service to meet the needs of our patients.

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Paul Chandler

A resident of Durham, Paul is best known for his work in the field of responsible and ethical business, having been Chief Executive of the pioneering fairtrade organisation Traidcraft from 2001-2013, and a board member of the Co-op Group since 2015.   At the Co-op he is a Member Nominated Director with a particular responsibility for ensuring the views and interests of Co-op members and customers are taken into account in board discussions, and he takes a lead on promoting ethical supply chains and encouraging environmental sustainability.

His previous career included nearly a decade with Barclays Bank and nine years as chief executive of the Christian publishers and booksellers SPCK.  Paul also serves as a trustee or director for a wide range of charities and organisations in the North East, nationally and internationally.  These include being Chair of Durham Cathedral’s Council, Vice Chair of St Chad’s College in Durham University and Vice Chair of the County Durham Community Foundation.  He is also a Non-Executive Director of the Newcastle-based Shared Interest – a fairtrade lending organisation supporting fairtrade producer co-operatives around the world.

Married to Sarah, a local GP, Paul has three adult daughters, one of whom is a nurse and another a medical student – giving him a range of insights into the work of the NHS.

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Alison Slater

Alison joined the Trust in December 2021 following a 35 year career in the NHS within the North East. Latterly, Alison was the Locality Director in NHS England / NHS Improvement for the North East and North Cumbria, with responsibility for the regulatory oversight and assurance of NHS providers and clinical commissioning groups. She also supported the development of the Integrated Care System across the North East and North Cumbria, working closely with health and care leaders in the region. Prior to joining NHS England in 2013, Alison worked in NHS South of Tyne and Wear where she held the post of Head of Business Strategy and Performance. 

Alison chairs our People and Development Committee and has a keen interest in emergency preparedness resilience and response having been the former Chair of Northumbria Local Resilience Forum.

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Marie Liston

After graduating, Marie joined Fenwick’s as an Assistant Human Resources Manager, then worked for Ernst and Young as Human Resources Manager, based in their Newcastle Office.

In 2000, Marie joined ScS, becoming the HR Director for the Group. In 2016, Marie was appointed as Corporate Services Director with a remit that currently focuses on customer experience, audit and risk, and estates management.

Marie has also worked with other not for profit organisations in the region and more widely. Marie recently retired by rotation as Chair of St Oswald’s Hospice having volunteered with the organisation for 22 years. She spent five years as president of England Fencing, helping grow the sport at grass roots level, and also Chaired the North East Region of England fencing for eight years.

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Directors - non-voting members of the board 

Andrew Hodge - Director of Paramedicine and Allied Health Professionals 

Andrew first joined the ambulance service in 1995, working on the patient transport service in Berwick, before moving to Newcastle on qualifying as a paramedic in 1999.

His interests took him into corporate services, implementing pre-hospital electrocardiograms (ECGs) and thrombolysis before leaving the ambulance service to work for five years in the community as an advanced practitioner, which he left to work in commissioning.

He spent six years as a consultant paramedic at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, where he found a keen interest in leading on research and publications, as well as developing the profession’s clinical career framework around specialist and advanced practice.

Most recently, he has been the Director of Allied Health Professions at Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, where he has learned the complexities of delivering acute services across three hospital sites and across the community. Through this role, he was also responsible for nine different allied health professional groups, leading on their career development and representing their voices across the senior leadership teams.

The role of Director of Paramedicine and Allied Health Professionals is a new post at NEAS, where Andrew will be responsible for influencing, shaping and leading strategy, policy and clinical transformation, both within NEAS and as part of the wider regional and national health and social care systems.

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Kerry McQuade - Director of Strategy, Planning and Transformation

Kerry was appointed to this role in March 2023, having previously held the position of Assistant Director.

Kerry’s previous experience includes working for the NHS Confederation, developing relationships with a wide range of NHS organisations to inform national policy development and implementation.

She was also Head of Delivery for the vanguard programme in Sunderland - working with a wide variety of providers to implement a new model of care for patients and carers in the community.

She has also previously held positions in a local mental health and learning disabilities foundation trust, and in public health.

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Paul Nicholson - Director of Technology and Information

Paul has worked for North East Ambulance Service since 1996.  

Prior to his current position, he has also been responsible for NEAS control room operations, during which time he managed the relocation of control room to their present base at Newcastle and Hebburn as well as the successful implementation of the ambulance radio replacement project.

Paul and his team's achievements include numerous major system procurements (including command and control systems), being the first ambulance trust to fully implement the Ambulance National Radio System (AIRWAVE), being one of only a few trusts that achieved Category ‘A’ performance targets during its first year following major changes to the clock start position, the introduction of a Trust-wide electronic patient record and pioneering the ambulance service’s approach to delivering integrated 111 and 999 services through the use of dual skilled operators. 

Paul sits on several regional and national technology related steering groups, has chaired the National Ambulance IM&T leads for 4 years.

Married with two children, Paul lives in Sunderland and is a depressed Sunderland football supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys playing 5-aside football and computer programming.

In 2019, Paul became the first non-operational member of staff to be awarded the Queens Ambulance Medal (in the 2019 Birthday Honour’s List) for distinguished service in the ambulance service.

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