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) training programmes in the UK and overseas.

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

Alan is strongly committed to working with Directors, member organisations and business partners to fulfill the Associations mission to be the credible, effective and recognised voice of the independent ambulance sector.

In his spare time Alan enjoys attending Horse Trials across all levels.

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 as a non-Executive Director 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.

Ali Hashim, Director

Ali is the owner and Managing Director for BEARS Ambulance Service, who provide patient and specialist transport services, including bariatric, high dependency and mental health patients.

Ali re-joined the Board in June 2019, having previously been Secretary when the Association was formed in 2012.

In his spare time Ali is a secret chef who likes nothing more than cooking for family and friends. He also supports community enterprise initiatives in third-world countries, supporting individuals to develop their business and local housing schemes.

Andrew Pooley, Director

Andrew is the Managing Director at ERS Medical, an Executive Director at First Medical and is also a commissioned Officer in the Territorial Army, in which he has served for some 15 years.

He has previously worked in several independent ambulance providers, including ERS Medical, where he was previously the Operations Manager.

Andrew has a proven record in project management, team building and improving operational efficiency within a health care environment.

Rob Johnson, Director

Rob is the Director of Operations at Bristol Ambulance EMS, a large south west based provider of emergency frontline ambulance resources and non-emergency patient transport to NHS and private patients.  He is also the company’s registered CQC Manager.

Rob has worked in the Ambulance sector for over a decade, having previously held managerial positions in the NHS Ambulance Service.  Before becoming involved in healthcare Rob was the Regional Operations Manager for a large retail company.  He has a diploma in Leadership and also a diploma in Management in Health and Social Care.

In his spare time Rob enjoys time with his family and can be found either driving (or more often repairing) his classic John Cooper S Mini.


Russell Hobbs, Director

Russell is the Managing Director for G4S Patient Transport Services, and is also responsible for a portfolio specialist transport contracts within regional functional over three other G4S businesses.

He started his career in the transport and steel industry in Sheffield, progressing to managing and leading  a national prisoner escorting business, responsible for the care and security of some 500, 000 prisoner per annum.

Russell led the national immigration escorting contract delivered on behalf of the UK Border Agency and was Operations Director in Custodial & Detention Services before joining Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust as their Executive Director of Operations.

He is a passionate leader with proven experience in successfully delivering multi million pound contracts and excels at creating, motivating and inspiring teams and engaging employees across numerous geographically dispersed sites.

When not at work Russell really enjoys travelling and spending time in the outdoors with his wife and 5 children

Jamie Smith, Director

Jamie is the Managing Director of North West Private Ambulance Liaison Services, based in the north west. He was one of the orginal  team that founded the company in 2012, having worked in an emergency care role within the NHS for 7 years before joining NWPALS.

Jamie was appointed an IAA Director in October 2018, stepping up from his role as Associate Director, part of the Association’s succession planning. He brings valuable experience of what it takes to build an ambulance company from scratch, energy and enthusiasm to the Board, and we look forward to his continued contribution to the IAA going forward.

Andy King, Director

Andy is the owner and Operations Director for Hearts First Ambulance in Hertfordshire, which he took over in 2013, having worked for 8 years for London Ambulance Service.

His company specialises in the patient repatriation in the UK and across Europe, and although out of scope for CQC registration, Andy has achieved CQC registration as a mark of the quality of the services they provide.

Andy holds a degree in Business and Management Accounting.

A Scout Leader of many years standing Andy also sits on his local GP’s Patient Support Group.

Tom Church, Director

Tom is the Managing Director of Ambulance Transfers Limited, and is an experienced senior level manager bringing a wealth of experience from both the NHS Ambulance Services and independent ambulance. As a previously registered HCPC paramedic of 22 years’ experience he can apply genuine patient focus to management principles which influence any organisation at every level.

He has held various public sector positions up to and include General Manager for an NHS Ambulance Trust and is adept in the management of services at all levels from tactical ‘day to day’ delivery to strategic vision and implementation.

Tom has significant experience of transformation processes to include service delivery, clinical and financial governance, workforce planning and resource utilisation. In addition, he has led on the mobilisation of services, both non-emergency and emergency ambulance service and associated support resources, to several NHS AmbulanceTrusts.