An acting Chair for NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald has been named by the Appointments Commission.
NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald is the working name of East Sussex Downs and Weald Primary Care Trust.
Rita Lewis, who has served on the PCT board as a non-executive director and vice-chair since October 2006, will act as Chair until a new appointment is made.
She takes over from John Barnes who has stepped down after more than three years at the helm.
Rita lives in Eastbourne and has a wide range of experience with the NHS, including 12 years as a Community Health Council member and a number of years on the board of an acute hospital trust.
In addition, she has 16 years experience in health regulation in the fields of Nursing & Midwifery, Osteopathy and Chiropractic.
She also currently chairs the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board, is a Trustee and Chair of the charity Action Against Medical Accidents and is deputy chair of the Optical Consumer Complaints Service.
"I am looking forward to continuing my work with NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald as interim Chair.
The NHS in East Sussex faces a number of big challenges in the coming years.
Together with my fellow board members, and all other NHS staff, I will be working to ensure that local people continue to get the care and services they need to lead as long and healthy lives as possible."
The appointment has been made in accordance with the Commissioner of Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
All Non-executive appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.
However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public.
Rita Lewis will receive remuneration of £36,779 per annum until such time as her position as interim Chair ends.
She does not hold any other ministerial appointments and has not been involved in any political activity in the last five years.
NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald (the working name of East Sussex Downs and Weald Primary Care Trust) was established on 1 October 2006 and covers the Eastbourne borough and Lewes and Wealden districts, which together have a population of around 326,000.
NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald holds the NHS budget for this area and funds NHS services provided by GPs, pharmacists, dentists and opticians, and treatment and care in hospitals.
It also commissions and funds a wide range of health services in community hospitals, health centres, clinics, and in people’s homes.