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The Trust Board - Executive Directors

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Suzanne TraceySuzanne Tracey, Chief Executive

Suzanne joined the NHS in 1993 having qualified as an accountant with Price Waterhouse.  She held the post of Director of Finance/Deputy Chief Executive at Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust before joining the RD&E to take up the role of Director of Finance in 2008.  She was appointed Chief Executive in 2016 (Acting from July 2016 and substantively appointed in November 2016).  She is the Chair of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and past President of the HFMA.




Em Wilkinson-Brice

Professor Em Wilkinson-Brice, Deputy Chief Executive / Chief Nurse

Em joined the RD&E in July 2010 after qualifying as a nurse in 1992 in Exeter. She subsequently worked in Oxford specialising in Cardiology and high dependency care. A firm interest in facilities management alongside nursing resulted in Em taking the post of Director of Nursing and Facilities at Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust prior to coming back to Exeter. During her time at the RD&E Em has undertaken numerous roles alongside the Chief Nurse including Chief Operating Officer for a time and lead for the Trust’s five year Transformation Programme focused on delivering, in partnership with local agencies, a new model of care to facilitate population health and wellbeing.  In recognition of the close working partnership between the Trust and Plymouth University, Em was appointed Associate Professor Faculty of Health and Human Sciences. Em was in the first cohort of the national NHS Leadership Academy Aspiring Chief Executive programme, completing it in February 2017.



Professor Adrian Harris, Executive Medical Director

Adrian has spent the last 20 years as a Consultant Emergency Physician at the RD&E. Adrian has directed the RD&E’s Emergency Department for 12 years and has been seconded to both North Devon District Hospital and Yeovil District Hospital as a Clinical Director. Prior to his appointment as Medical Director, he served as Associate Medical Director for the Surgical Division. In preparation for the post of Medical Director which Adrian was appointed to in April 2015, Adrian completed the NHS Leadership Academy’s Executive Fast Track Programme. Adrian is also a Sports Physician and Head of Sports Medicine at Exeter Chiefs Rugby Union Football Club. 




Tracey CottamTracey Cottam, Executive Director Transformation and OD

Tracey joined the RD&E in 2013 having worked in industry for over 30 years in a variety of senior leadership and consulting roles. Since joining the Trust Tracey’s portfolio has included the delivery of a range of strategic programmes including the Workforce Strategy, a Trust-wide Culture Change Programme with a particular focus on staff engagement and an internal and external Stakeholder Communication & Engagement Strategy.  Tracey passionately believes in delivering the Transformation & OD services and support to the Trust that enables continuous improvement and innovation in how care and services are delivered to the population of East Devon.



Pete Adey, Chief Operating Officer

Pete qualified as a nurse in 1988, subsequently working at Hammersmith Hospital on a number of medical speciality wards prior to progressing to Senior Nurse. He joined the RD&E in 1995 and undertook roles as Divisional Manager in a number of services including Child and Women’s Health, Cancer Services, Radiology and Pathology prior to his appointment as Deputy Chief Operating Officer in 2012.  Pete was appointed as Executive Director of Operations in 2016, formally took up his position on the Board in March 2016 and from March 2017 has assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer.



Chris Tidman, Chief Financial Officer

Chris joined the Trust in Sept 2017 as an experienced Chief Financial Officer, having worked in a number of senior NHS roles in the West Midlands across Acute, Mental Health and Commissioning sectors and as Director of Delivery and Improvement for NHSI. After graduating in 1991, Chris took his first CFO position in 2005 at South Birmingham Primary Care Trust before joining Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust as Director of Resources and leading them to FT status in 2008. Chris joined Worcestershire Acute in 2011 as Director of Resources / Deputy CEO. Chris has taken on  strategic change projects, including major PFI hospital moves, EPR and IT change programmes, and developing strategic clinical partnerships with neighbouring providers. Chris has been part of the NHS Top Leaders programme and was also HFMA Chair for the West Midlands in 2015.



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