Leadership 2017-01-23T13:13:12+00:00

Meet the Team

The Association is managed by the Board of Directors, led by the Executive Chairman with one non-Executive Director. The Directors are drawn from member companies and are elected to serve a 3 year term of office for a maximum of 2 terms.

The role of our Executive Chairman is to provide dedicated executive leadership and management to ensure the members’ objectives and needs are captured and acted upon, whilst also providing appropriate focus on the wider economic and political challenges facing the sector as a whole.

Alan Howson, Executive Chairman

Alan HowsonAlan has been with the Association since its inception in 2012, initially as a Non-executive Director. He has worked in the ambulance sector for over 25 years, managing the IHCD (and NHS predecessor) ambulance training programmes both in the UK and overseas.

A well known and respected figure in the sector Alan managed the successful petition for the registration of Paramedics, working closely with the CPSM (now the HCPC) and key stakeholders in the sector to establish the first register of Paramedics.

Alan is strongly committed to working with Directors, member organisations and business partners to establish the IAA as the credible, effective and recognised voice of the independent ambulance sector.

In his spare time Alan enjoys attending horse trials, tinkering with his cars and following his home town team Newcastle United.

Matt McDonnell, Director and Deputy Chair

Matt McDonnellMatt re-joined the Board as a Director in 2015 having served in the early days of the Association and is the Deputy Chair.

Matt established Medicare EMS Group UK Ltd in 2003 which since developed into the UK’s leading provider of event medicine, managing an impressive portfolio of prestigious venues throughout the UK.

Margaret Serna CBE, Director

Margaret SernaMargaret is the Managing Director for Thames Ambulance Group and Premier Care Group and is also Chairman of the Lincoln College Group. She was awarded a CBE in the Queens birthday honours 2016 for services to Further Education.

A qualified accountant, Margaret is the former Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, the first ever appointment of a female to such a role in the NHS, and has extensive experience of both the NHS and indepdendent ambulance sectors.

Margaret is passionate about the benefits of life-long learning and skills development as a driver for change in the delivery of sustainable improvements to local communities. This ethos underpins Margaret’s work and support for a number of local charities.

Margaret is married with two daughters, who are reading Medicine and Law respectively at universities in the UK and Ireland. Any spare time presents a much relished opportunity to indulge in the Arts!

Clare Smith, Director

Clare SmithClare is the CQC Manager for Bears Ambulance and has worked in the independent ambulance sector for over 20 years, including the PTS and Event sectors.

She is passionate about promoting good working practice and training standards for staff and takes the lead for the Association in events planning.

Clare is qualified in leadership and management and in her spare time is a detachment commander in the Army cadet force, teaching and leading groups of teenagers.

Colin Vanlint, Director

Colin VanlintColin is the CEO for UK Specialist Ambulance Services and the most recent addition to the Board, joining in May 2016.

Having served in the Royal Marines Colin joined London Ambulance Service in 1986, and brings 30 years experience of working in the ambulance sector. He is the Chief Executive of UK Specialist Ambulance Services, having been appointed in 2015.

Colin is passionate about providing patients with the best care experience; his attention to detail is second to none!

Hayden Newton QAM, non-Executive Director

Hayden NewtonHayden Newton QAM was the Chief Executive Officer of the East of England Ambulance Service for 6 years until early 2013. Whilst at EEAST he was the National Lead for Operations and has undertaken national assurance projects on winter planning, Pandemic Flu, and the London 2012 Olympic and Para-Olympic Games.

Prior to his appointment he was the National Implementation Lead at the Department of Health on the development and implementation of ambulance performance standards. He is also a former Chief Executive of Kent Ambulance Service. He has been Chairman of the Association of Air Ambulances and President of the British Association of Public Communication Officers.

In 2013 Hayden was awarded the Queens Ambulance Medal in the Queens New Year’s honours. He currently runs his own company working with both private and public health care providers.