Two new faces – Professor Philip Beesley and Mr Peter Taylor - have joined the Board of Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust. The two hospitals serve a population of over 400,000 across six Boroughs – Elmbridge, Hounslow, Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, and Woking.

Professor Philip Beesley (59) is Dean of Science and Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at Royal Holloway, University of London in Egham. By training Philip is a biological scientist specialising in neuroscience and has been closely involved in the development of biomedical science at Royal Holloway and in the development of collaborative work with St. George’s University of London (from where the Trust receives a number of medical students) and Kingston University. . In his role as Dean of Science Philip is responsible for managing the seven Science Departments at Royal Holloway and is a member of the College’s Senior Management Team.

Philip enjoys music, theatre, photography, travel and trekking, when time permits. He lives in Virginia Water and is married with two sons and one grand daughter. Taking up his appointment Philip said: “I am delighted to be joining the Board of our local hospitals Trust at this time of exciting opportunity and development.” Philip does not have any political affiliations and holds no other Ministerial Appointments.

Mr Peter Taylor (63) was until recently a Senior Manager at the South East England Development Agency where he was responsible for engagement with small and medium size enterprises and promoting manufacturing and innovation. As an advisor to many industries he has an extensive knowledge of marketing, new product development and lean enterprise techniques. Peter has also held Marketing Director positions at companies such as Unipart International, Rank Travel and Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo). Peter is on the Executive Committee of Mediation North Surrey, a Community Mediation Charity and enjoys travelling, music, wine, walking and horse riding when he has the opportunity. Peter lives in EnglefieldGreen and is married with one daughter. He is a member of the Conservative Party but does not hold any other Ministerial appointments.

Speaking about his appointment Mr Taylor said: “The NHS is going through a period of change and real development and I am looking forward to making a contribution to an important part of our local community.”

Peter and Philip’s appointments which run from 16th July 2008 to 15th July 2012 were made in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) Code of Practice. All non-executive appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations there is a requirement for appointees political activity (if any declared) and any other Ministerial appointments to be made public. Non-Executive Directors receive remuneration of £6,005 per annum.

Welcoming the appointments Trust Chairman Clive Thompson CBE said: “The wealth of experience that both Philip and Peter bring to the Trust Board will be of great benefit to Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals and ultimately the patients and population that we serve. Their knowledge and skills will contribute greatly to our bid for Foundation Trust status and the implementation of our vision for the future of Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals.”

Professor Beesley and Mr Taylor take over the Non-Executive Director roles from Peter Field and Liz Brooks. Another Non-Executive Director, Jenny Murray and the Chairman Clive Thompson are due to stand down from their positions in the autumn and a further announcement will be made about their replacements.


The responsibilities of an NHS non-executive are to:

  • help the board work in the public interest and keep its patients and the public properly informed;
  • help to plan for the future to improve healthcare services;
  • make sure that the management team meets its performance targets;
  • make sure that the finances of the organisation are managed properly, with accurate information.


The time commitment required is usually around two and a half days a month for non-executives. The NHS looks for people who can contribute to the improvement of their health services. Successful candidates can come from a variety of backgrounds and any walk of life but will usually have senior experience which could be gained in the private, public or voluntary sector. Non-Executive Directors need to demonstrate a range of competencies required to contribute effectively at board level including strategic thinking, team working and excellent communication skills.