Anna Macarthur will join NHS England as deputy head of media on 4 January, after spending almost seven years at London Ambulance Service (LAS).
Helping to influence how the NHS is covered by the media nationally will be a key focus for Macarthur as she takes up the role next year.
Along with her experience of day-to-day internal and external comms and public awareness campaigns, Macarthur will also take with her the experience of managing comms around major incidents, as well as PR activity that has included LAS starring in BBC documentary 'Ambulance'.
"I’m proud of what we have achieved together as a team – not least our response to the major incidents in London this year," said Macarthur.
"Seeing everyone pull together in the middle of the night to deliver great comms, and support each other through some pretty challenging incidents, has been a highlight.
"I have loved doing PR for ambulance crews and control room staff. But I’m really looking forward to stepping up and helping influence how the NHS is reported in the media on a national level."
Macarthur joined LAS as communications manager in 2011, before taking up the role as head of media and campaigns at the beginning of 2015.
The service’s engaging comms approach recently hit headlines as its creative ‘Nee-Naw’ tweet went viral, sparking a plethora of similar tweets from other emergency services worldwide, as well as retweets and likes from celebrities including author JK Rowling, actor Sally Phillips and Channel 4’s The Last Leg team.
Meanwhile, more serious campaigns have included festive comms around excessive drinking, and advice on what to do after an acid attack.
Before working at LAS, Macarthur worked in local authority comms at the London Borough of Brent, and at the Brent Housing Partnership, and was a journalist for around seven years before that.
Commenting on her appointment, James Lyons, NHS England head of media, said: "It is fantastic to have a communications professional of Anna’s calibre joining NHS England. London Ambulance has been tested time and again this year. Anna has led a team that - along with the whole organisation - has delivered in the most trying of circumstances and when it mattered most."
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