Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex appoints new Chief Executive

David Welch, Chief Executive of Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex

Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (AAKSS) in the UK has appointed a new Chief Executive with 25 years’ experience in the health and international aid and development sectors – David Welch will be stepping up from his role as Chief Executive of charity Leeds Cares and relocating to Southeast England to start his new role on 1 August.

AAKSS operates 24/7 and serves the 4.7 million residents of Kent, Surrey and Sussex, as well as the huge number of people that travel through the area each year. Welch noted that the frontline crew at AKSS are ‘recognised as among the very best and most innovative in the country – if not the world’ and that they are backed by around 200 ‘first-rate’ volunteers, as well as an ‘incredibly supportive and visionary’ Chair and Board of Trustees.

“I know from my current role the vital and life-saving difference that can be made by rapid response to trauma and medical emergency and providing the emergency medical support patients need,” Welch said. “I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to lead and develop AAKSS, an inspirational organisation with an excellent reputation and an incredible team of staff and volunteers who together through their experience, hard work and commitment make such a positive impact on the lives of their patients.”

Taking over from Michael Docherty, who has been the charity’s interim Chief Executive since August 2018 and will now return to the Board as a Trustee, Welch has been hailed as an ‘outstanding candidate’ by Dr Helen Bowcock, Chair of AAKSS. “He brings a wealth of leadership experience having already served for some years as a chief executive in the health and charity sectors with a strong track record of successful income generation and innovation,” she said. “We are very much looking forward to welcoming him to the South East to lead AAKSS in this next exciting stage of the organisation’s development. We particularly value his experience of working in collaboration with NHS partners and of developing philanthropic support.”

Bowcock also extended her gratitude to Docherty: “The Trustees are immensely grateful to Michael Docherty who has served as Interim CEO. He has provided exemplary leadership and has enabled us to attract the best possible candidate as permanent CEO.”

“I am looking forward to working with this amazing team to build on what has been achieved to date, and to driving the development of the organisation forward, working collaboratively with all our partners and stakeholders including in the ambulance, healthcare and academic sectors,” concluded Welch.

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