The new clinical director of LIVES has revealed he is determined to ensure the organisation continues to go from strength to strength.
Doctor Simon Topham will take over in the New Year from Doctor Yvonne Owen MBE who has stepped down after 18 years.
Dr Topham admitted he has a tough act to follow but said he was looking forward to the challenge of building on his predecessor’s astute leadership.
He said: “It’s going to be a massive challenge but one I am looking forward to.
“I am absolutely passionate about pre-hospital emergency care and I believe I have the wide range of skills and experience to help drive LIVES forward.
“Dr Owen did a tremendous job. She will be a tough act to follow. Fortunately, she is staying on and will help mentor me in the first few weeks before officially handing over.”
Dr Topham (50) is already well-known in the area and was a GP in Louth for 16 years.
He was born at Epworth on the Isle of Axholme and trained in Newcastle.
He moved to Louth in 1993 and immediately joined LIVES - effectively working under the leadership of Dr Owen.
He did leave the area to work in the Western Highlands of Scotland for four years before moving back to Lincolnshire to be closer to his family.
Dr Topham explained: “While in Scotland, I was based at a very remote practice in Ardrossan near Fort William.
“It was certainly an interesting time but my son had his first child and it made sense moving back here.”
Dr Topham, who is married with two children and four grandchildren, lives in Hemingby, near Horncastle.
He is a GP at a practice in Wragby where he works three-and-a-half days a week.
It promises to be a busy time for Dr Topham.
Apart from his work as a GP and at LIVES, he will continue as a volunteer doctor with the Notts and Lincs Air Ambulance.
He believes the different ‘roles’ could develop existing links between the various organisations - and help save LIVES.
Dr Topham, who is a member of the East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme (EMICS), added: “Building closer links between the various groups is something I would I am keen to see happen.
“At the end of the day, we all have the same aim - helping save lives.
“There’s no reason why we can’t work together.
“I love my role with the Air Ambulance. It’s basically one day a week. People say it must be exciting but I prefer the word rewarding”
Away from his professional duties, Dr Topham plays the Irish fiddle and likes gardening and outdoor activities.