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Tom Smerdon; Director of Strategy and Sustainability, James Thomas; Chief Operating Officer

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals are delighted to announce that following a thorough and competitive recruitment process, two new appointments to the Board have been made. James Thomas has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer and Tom Smerdon as Director of Strategy and Sustainability.

James and Tom have been working alongside each other in the role of Director of Operations for Planned and Unplanned Care at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals, respectively, since 2016. Their effective leadership abilities have been proven and moving into these new posts will provide continuity to both the Board and colleagues throughout the Trust.

James has a long history within healthcare, and made his decision to work for the NHS whilst at sixth form. After graduating from the NHS Graduate Training Management Scheme, he joined Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals in 2013 and stayed for two years before moving onto progressively more senior roles in NHS operational hospital management in Trusts across the South East and London, returning to Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital in 2015.

James says, “Becoming a Chief Operating Officer has always been an ambition for me and I’m delighted to achieve that at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals. Working here is really important to me personally; over the years many of my family have been cared for here. Experiencing any hospital from the ‘other side’ as a relative is really eye opening and motivates you even further to do the very best you can. I feel truly invested in getting it right and making the Trust the best it can be.”

Tom has experience working in the educational and environmental management sectors as well as many years of NHS management experience including roles at University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital. He joined Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital in 2013 and has progressed through a number of senior roles before achieving directorship.

Tom says, “I’m really excited about the opportunities ahead and see the role as having a clear internal and external focus. Within Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals it’s about looking to the future and ensuring services are provided in a high quality and sustainable way and externally, continuing to build strong relationships with local healthcare partners and playing a central role in the Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership. I have a particular interest in organisational culture, how this aligns with the successful implementation of strategy and providing excellent experience for patients. I’m also really interested in environmental sustainability and how that links to improving health, and look forward to helping raise the profile of ‘green’ issues and how we improve our practices.”

Suzanne Rankin, Chief Executive of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals, is delighted to announce the new appointments and says; “It is clear that both James and Tom bring a wealth of experience into their new roles, as well as great passion and enthusiasm for Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals. Supporting individuals to develop their careers and recognise their ambitions is exactly the practice we want to promote at the Trust. I would like to congratulate them on their success and look forward to continuing to work closely with them.”


Pictured above L-R: Tom Smerdon; Director of Strategy and Sustainability, James Thomas; Chief Operating Officer