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The Trust Board - Executive Directors

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Suzanne Tracey, Chief Executive

Suzanne TraceySuzanne 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 since 2002 before joining the RD&E to take up the role of Director of Finance in 2008 and subsequently Deputy Chief Executive/Chief Financial Officer. Suzanne was appointed Chief Executive in 2016. She is also the Chair of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Provider Faculty and past President of the HFMA.

 

Suzanne was appointed as Chief Executive of Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) on 18th June 2018.

 

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

Em Wilkinson-Brice

Em qualifying as a nurse in 1992 in Exeter. She then worked in Oxford, specialising in Cardiology and high dependency care, and a firm interest in facilities management later resulted in Em taking the post of Director of Nursing and Facilities at Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, before coming back to Exeter in July 2010. During her time at the RD&E, Em has undertaken numerous roles alongside the Chief Nurse role, including leading the Trust’s five year Transformation Programme to deliver a new model of care in partnership with local agencies.

 

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 been the Executive Medical Director since April 2015. Prior to his appointment, Adrian served as Associate Medical Director for the Surgical Services Division and previously held the role of Director of the Emergency Department, spanning 12 years. Adrian has seen healthcare from both a primary and secondary care perspective, having trained as a GP before spending the last 22 years as a consultant Emergency Physician. He is an Honorary Associate Professor in Healthcare Leadership and Management at the University of Exeter Medical School.

 

In his spare time, Adrian is a practicing sports physician and is the Head of Sports Medicine for the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Football Club and intermittently works for the English Rugby Football Union (RFU).

 

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 formally appointed as Executive Director of Operations in March 2016. From March 2017 has assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer.

 

Pete was also appointed as interim Chief Operating Officer at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust from August 2018.

 

Chris Tidman, Chief Financial Officer

Chris joined the Trust in September 2017, 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.

 

Julie Cooper, Interim Director of People

Julie Cooper

Julie joined the NHS in 1990, working in community trusts in the midlands before becoming Director of HR in 2003 at the Walsall provider of community and mental health services. During her time there, the Trust rose to the top ten of the NHS league table for staff survey results and finished first in the region for the Improving Working Lives initiative. As Director of Workforce and OD in a Birmingham PCT, she saw the Trust win the HSJ Workforce Development Award in 2010 for its apprenticeship scheme.


A spell at the Department of Health followed, where she contributed to the development of the governance framework and role outlines for the governing body of CCGs. In recent years, Julie has worked as an independent consultant, managing a portfolio of assignments and supporting numerous NHS organisations in senior interim roles and with specialist consultancy services throughout the country including Gloucestershire, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds.

 

Tracey Cottam, Director of Transformation and OD

Tracey joined the Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust in 2013, having previously worked in the 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 and Engagement Strategy.

 

Tracey passionately believes in delivering the transformation and organisational development (OD) services and support to the Trust, as this work enables continuous improvement and innovation in how care and services are delivered to the population of East Devon.

 

Last Updated: 16 October 2018

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