Health specialist returns to lead comms for ambulance service

The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust has appointed Lois Hough as head of external communications amid a major shake-up of its five-strong comms team.

Lois Hough, head of external relations, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust
Lois Hough, head of external relations, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

Hough had previously spent five years at the Trust, where she was promoted from senior comms officer to comms specialist, before leaving in May 2018.

She has spent the past 17 months working at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, North Wales, in the role of Macmillan communications specialist – leading on comms and engagement for Macmillan Cancer Support’s flagship programme in North Wales. The programme, Transforming Cancer Services Together, was established to improve the way services are delivered.

Starting in her new role this week, Hough will take charge of external comms, while internal comms will be handled by Rachel Watling, who has been at the Trust since 2017.

Precise details of the comms team's new structure are yet to be announced.

Future developments

Over the coming months Hough will be looking to boost the Trust's profile by building on the success of existing campaigns and developing new ones in collaboration with colleagues.

She is particularly interested in promoting responsible use of the ambulance service and raising the profile of the Trust's volunteers.

Hough graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in journalism studies in 2009, and worked as a journalist at North Wales daily newspaper The Leader for four years before switching to a career in comms.

She told PRWeek that her new role is about "taking our work to the next level and putting the Welsh Ambulance Service at the forefront of public service communications, not just in Wales but nationally and internationally".

She added: "A refreshed leadership team and the advances that the service is making, clinically and technologically, means it is a really exciting time to rejoin."

Welcome back

Hough reports to Estelle Hitchon, director of partnerships and engagement at the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, who commented: "Lois rejoins us after a period working elsewhere in the NHS, honing her stakeholder management skills."

She described Hough as "an up-and-coming talent who is hugely respected across NHS Wales", adding: "I'm delighted that we've been able to secure her services in this crucial role."


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