Doctor steps down to take national role
Published at 16:20, Wednesday, 23 January 2013
A TOP doctor is stepping down from his role promoting public health in Cumbria to take up a prestigious national position.
Professor John Ashton has been elected as the new president of the UK Faculty for Public Health (FPH) of the Royal College of Physicians.
He will lead the FPH, which sets the standards for specialists in public health across the UK, for three years from 2013 to 2016.
The appointment means the well-respected doctor is stepping down from his position as Cumbria’s director of public health.
Prof Ashton, who was awarded the CBE in 1996 for outstanding service to the NHS, has worked in the county for seven years.
Ian Gordon, chairman of NHS Cumbria, said: “John has been a tremendous leader and advocate for better health in Cumbria.
“Through some of Cumbria’s darkest days, from the terrible floods of 2009 to the appalling shootings in West Cumbria, he has demonstrated great leadership and experience.
“His election to become president of the prestigious UK Faculty of Public Health is well-deserved.”
As Prof Ashton departs, Doctor Rebecca Wagstaff, Cumbria’s deputy director of public health, will become interim director.
Her role will involve completing the transfer of local public health responsibilities and staff to Cumbria County Council, as part of the national NHS reforms.
Prof Ashton said: “Leaving what I have loved doing for the last seven years will be hard but I am enormously reassured that public health in Cumbria will be in Dr Rebecca Wagstaff’s hands.
“It has been an enormous privilege to work in Cumbria with so many great people.
“I am very honoured to have been elected by my peers to this national position.
“Advancing the cause of public health is something I have dedicated my life to, and I am looking forward to supporting public health consultants and specialists across the UK over the next three years.
“This will also give me the opportunity to influence the public health agenda across government and beyond.”
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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