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Former ambassador Quinton Quayle hopes that his diplomatic career and role in international trade and investment will bring a new viewpoint to the Trust board.

During his diplomatic career, Quinton served as British Ambassador to Romania, Thailand and Laos, before retiring five years ago. Since then, he has taken on a number of board roles with a focus on regulation in the public interest, including serving as a lay member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). He has also worked as an advisor to multinational companies, including Prudential and De La Rue.

Quinton, who lives in a small village in north Gloucestershire, said he is looking forward to using his experience in both the public and private sectors for the benefit of the Trust.

He said: “I am passionate about the NHS as an institution and the experience of serving overseas in various countries has reinforced my appreciation of the value of the NHS as an institution which is free for all. Many other countries that I have visited either have a very basic service or a service run for profit.”

Quinton ‘s interest in the mental health and learning disability field developed  during his time in Thailand and Romania, when he worked with British charities which were helping people with physical disabilities and mental health issues, including children.

He also feels that the skills and knowledge he has developed in his current role with the NMC will be of value. He added: “I have very much enjoyed my time with the NMC and it has allowed me to enhance my understanding of health issues, as well as regulation, which will both be applicable to the Trust.”

He is looking forward to working with the Chair and Board to take the Trust forward. He explained: “One of the challenges facing the Trust is a financial one; the expectation people have of the health service is high and it’s always going to be difficult to reconcile working to budget with giving the best possible service to people.

“I see communication with external stakeholders as very important and this is a skill that I developed during my time as a diplomat. I also want to extend the Trust’s outreach, particularly with the private sector, and encourage more companies to employ people with mental health conditions.”

Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of the Trust, said she was keen to utilise Quinton’s experience: “Quinton is a very welcome addition to the board. His background is unusual and brings together a range of experiences which will add value to the Trust and I am looking forward to working with him.”