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Meet the Innovation Agency team

Non-executive directors

Louise Robson
Chair

Louise has worked in the NHS for over 38 years, 26 of which have been on boards of NHS organisations. Before becoming Chair of Health Innovation North...

Louise has worked in the NHS for over 38 years, 26 of which have been on boards of NHS organisations. Before becoming Chair of Health Innovation North West Coast Louise was a  non-executive director at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital FT and an independent strategic adviser, leading collaborative development programmes.

 

Louise was Chief Executive Lead for Provider Collaboration for the North of England, working with seven Integrated Care Systems, fifteen Provider Collaboratives and over 70 trusts, as well as linking up with the national team on policy development.

 

Louise was Chief Executive at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, leading a challenging improvement agenda, and was Acting Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive at the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; rated as one of the most successful trusts internationally and, along with Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital FT, one of few nationally to achieve “outstanding” ratings at CQC inspection over several years.

 

She was Chair of Newcastle Specials Pharmacy Production Unit, Company Director for several health-related spin-out companies and participated in the launch of the Office for Life Sciences: Industrial Strategy.

 

She was previously Deputy Chief Executive/Chief Operating Officer for three former primary care trusts, with a single executive team, commissioning healthcare for 750,000 people. A clinician by background, Louise has worked in executive roles at successful trusts in the North, as well as at the former NHS Executive and Department of Health and Social Care.   

Mark Lawrie
Non-executive director

After graduating from the University of Liverpool Mark joined Cheshire County Council where he qualified as an accountant and obtained an MBA as part of...

After graduating from the University of Liverpool Mark joined Cheshire County Council where he qualified as an accountant and obtained an MBA as part of their management training programme.

He joined Deloitte Consulting public sector practice in 1996 and was promoted to Partner in 2001 when he became leader of their Midlands consulting business. He served as President of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy in the Midlands between 2005 and 2007.

In 2012 Mark was seconded to Deloitte’s Middle East firm to run its Doha Consulting practice and he led the firm’s strategy, governance and organisational work with Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 and Dubai EXPO 2022.

He retired from the Deloitte partnership in 2019, and now, in addition to working with Health Innovation NWC, acts as an adviser to the sport and major event industry, supporting governments, rights-holders and delivery organisations with the conception, implementation, operation, and governance of major events projects.

Executive Directors

Dr Phil Jennings
Chief Executive

Dr Phil Jennings is the Chief Executive of Health Innovation North West Coast. He also continues to practise as a GP and has a specialist...

Dr Phil Jennings is the Chief Executive of Health Innovation North West Coast. He also continues to practise as a GP and has a specialist interest in cardiology.

Phil is also Vice Chair of the network of 15 Health Innovation organisations across England. In this capacity he is the chair of the cardiovascular clinical working group and the lead for the Accelerated Access Collaborative’s Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme.

Phil’s previous roles include the Primary Care Lead for the Cheshire and Merseyside Cardiac Network; Chairman of NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group; and deputy medical director at NHS England and NHS Improvement North West.

Phil’s podcasts about the Rapid Uptake Products can be heard here.

Andrew Cooper
Clinical Director

Andrew has over 25 years’ experience in the NHS, starting as a registered nurse, specialising in community care and more recently as a senior manager in...

Andrew has over 25 years’ experience in the NHS, starting as a registered nurse, specialising in community care and more recently as a senior manager in commissioning, working across health and social care sectors.

His role at Health Innovation North West Coast includes responsibility for delivering improvement programmes commissioned by NHS England and Improvement – in maternity and neonatal care; in early identification of patient deterioration in all care settings; in mental health; in medicines safety; and adoption and spread of innovations.

As well as his Honours degree in nursing, Andrew also holds postgraduate qualifications in management and a diploma in Leadership for Quality Improvement. He has also achieved a distinction for a Health Executive MBA.

Tony Woods
Director of Business Development

Tony is responsible for operational management, programme reporting and the digital programme within Health Innovation North West Coast, working closely with wider system partners. He...

Tony is responsible for operational management, programme reporting and the digital programme within Health Innovation North West Coast, working closely with wider system partners.

He has more than 30 years' experience in the NHS, in information management and transformational change roles. Before joining Health Innovation North West Coast, Tony worked as Director of Strategy and Performance at NHS Knowsley CCG. He played a key role in the development of the Healthy Liverpool Programme as Programme Director for the Community and Digital Transformation Programmes.

He has played a lead role in partnership working within the local health and care systems including joint commissioning with local authorities; Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, NWC CLAHRC and was previously a member of the Innovation Agency Partnership Board.

Patient Safety and Care Improvement

Mandy Townsend
Associate Director - Patient Safety

Mandy is a biomedical scientist and started as a Junior B, rotating around all departments before specialising in biochemistry. She worked in pathology for a...

Mandy is a biomedical scientist and started as a Junior B, rotating around all departments before specialising in biochemistry. She worked in pathology for a number of years before moving into improvement work in the late 1990s.

Mandy has been on secondment to the National Testing Cell and DHSC for the duration of the pandemic, working in the Operational Supplies team as Deputy Director to build testing capacity and deploy a number of new technologies at pace.

Mandy is lead for the North West Coast Patient Safety Collaborative and is returning to Health Innovation North West Coast to her role as Patient Safety Lead.

Mandy also leads a number of local projects to deliver improvements in patient safety through the spread of innovations, both technologies and processes, and provides leadership for our medicines optimisation work.

Her role involves her in the range of healthcare systems from primary and community via emergency, to acute, mental health and tertiary services, with a focus on the impact of culture on team and organisational success.

For 15 years before joining Health Innovation North West Coast, Mandy worked mainly in Wales, with Wales Audit Office, Healthcare Inspection Wales and Inspection Wales and Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

As well as her honours degree and Master’s, Mandy is a Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science, member of the Institute of Healthcare Managers and British Computer Society, and Affiliate of the Governance Institute: ICSA.

Gemma Byrne
Programme Manager Innovation Adoption

Gemma has previously worked as an audiologist for the NHS in Rochdale and Leeds before working in the commercial sector for a hearing aid manufacturer...

Gemma has previously worked as an audiologist for the NHS in Rochdale and Leeds before working in the commercial sector for a hearing aid manufacturer as a product trainer and product marketing manager. Her role involved helping clinicians improve the patient experience when providing new technologies such as hearing aids to patients. She also helped support product launches across a number of European countries.

Gemma then went on to work in the area of infection control, developing and marketing products to the NHS and distributors. She has regulatory experience in medical devices, cosmetics and biocides.

 

Charlotte Hall
Senior Programme Manager

Charlotte’s role is to lead a programme that focuses on the workforce benefits of innovation, pathway transformation and staff wellbeing. Charlotte has a degree...

Charlotte’s role is to lead a programme that focuses on the workforce benefits of innovation, pathway transformation and staff wellbeing.

Charlotte has a degree in Biomedical Science as well as qualifications in coaching and cognitive behavioural therapy.

She has a background in health education and behaviour change working in the charity sector and is an experienced programme and events manager.

Alice Fletcher
Programme Manager for Patient Safety (Mental Health)

Alice is a Programme Manager for the Patient Safety Team supporting the delivery of the Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme (MHSIP). The local delivery of...

Alice is a Programme Manager for the Patient Safety Team supporting the delivery of the Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme (MHSIP).

The local delivery of MHSIP, which Alice will play a key role in, will focus on meeting the ambitions of the MHSIP to nationally reduce the incidence of restrictive practice by 25 per cent  in all inpatient mental health, learning disabilities and autism wards engaged in the programme by April 2023.

We are aiming to directly support at least 10 per cent of wards in each of our NHS mental health, learning disabilities and autism trusts to use the restrictive practice change package by testing and implementing interventions.

Alice holds a BSc in Psychology, an MSc in Transforming Health and Social Care and is working towards a PhD in Mental Health research.

Eleanor Garnett-Bentley
Associate Director

As Associate Director for Transformation within Health Innovation North West Coast, Eleanor has a key focus on building collaboration and spread of evidenced-based innovation and...

As Associate Director for Transformation within Health Innovation North West Coast, Eleanor has a key focus on building collaboration and spread of evidenced-based innovation and emerging models of care across the Lancashire and South Cumbria footprint.

Within the team, Eleanor takes the strategic lead for Active and Healthy Ageing. She also leads the Prevention and Population Health agenda for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System.

Eleanor is a qualified consultant in public health, having trained in the North West, and has extensive experience of working within both the provider and commissioning arms of the NHS, local authority and  academia, in the UK and overseas and also at regional and national levels.

She also has a special interest in European public health, having previously held the UK Chair of the European Network of Medical Residents in Public Health, and acted as the strategic lead in developing national guidance and policies for independent schools across the UK around vaccination and immunisation.

Katie Whittle
Head of Programmes – Patient Safety and Care Improvement Team

Katie is Head of Programmes - Patient Safety within the Patient Safety and Care Improvement Team and has operational responsibility for the delivery of the...

Katie is Head of Programmes - Patient Safety within the Patient Safety and Care Improvement Team and has operational responsibility for the delivery of the NHSI commissioned national patient safety improvement priorities (NatPatSIPs) which are a key component of the Patient Safety Strategy. 

With over 25 years' experience in the NHS, Katie’s expertise as a clinician (health care assistant to matron, specialising in critical care, the acutely unwell adult and Sepsis) and knowledge of the health and social care system, provides an appreciation and understanding of the patient journey, processes and pathways of care and system redesign. 

Katie is a registered nurse, has an MSc in Quality and Patient Safety Improvement and is an Advanced Quality Improvement Practitioner and Human Factors Instructor.

Amanda Andrews
Programme Manager

Amanda is a programme manager for the patient safety team and supports the delivery of the Matneo SIP workstream. Amanda is a registered nurse and...

Amanda is a programme manager for the patient safety team and supports the delivery of the Matneo SIP workstream.

Amanda is a registered nurse and midwife who has experience within quality improvement and governance. 

Amanda has participated in the Each Baby Counts learn and support national project as a local development lead. This work has included the co-design and testing of new approaches to promote positive and supportive workplace practices around clinical escalation of care.

Rebecca Wardle
Patient Safety Programme Manager

Rebecca is a Programme Manager in the Patient Safety and Care Improvement Team and supports the delivery of the National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes (NatPatSIPs)....

Rebecca is a Programme Manager in the Patient Safety and Care Improvement Team and supports the delivery of the National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes (NatPatSIPs).

Rebecca has an extensive background in delivering projects, change and implementations across a variety of sectors and industries, including time spent working on global transformation initiatives.

Rebecca holds a BSc in a life sciences discipline, as well as Prince2 Practitioner status and an MSP Foundation in Programme Management.

Michelle Coleiro
Programme Manager

Michelle works with the Atrial Fibrillation (AF) team at Health Innovation North West Coast, providing Quality Improvement support for the AF Collaborative which helps CCGs...

Michelle works with the Atrial Fibrillation (AF) team at Health Innovation North West Coast, providing Quality Improvement support for the AF Collaborative which helps CCGs and primary care to detect people with AF and improve their management.

Prior to supporting the AF team, Michelle worked on alcohol awareness and evidence into practice projects at the Innovation Agency.

Before joining Health Innovation North West Coast, Michelle worked with the CLAHRC for Greater Manchester for six years as a programme manager, working on quality improvement and service improvement projects, across several cardiovascular diseases and also mental health. She was also involved in running Quality Improvement Collaboratives in primary care and implementing new services for people with pre-diabetes and mental health problems.

Michelle also worked in the pharmaceutical Industry for 11 years, supporting medical education and market access activities, in both commercial and editorial roles.

Rhiannon Clarke
Programme Manager

Rhiannon is a Programme Manager in the Patient Safety and Care Improvement Team working on the spread and adoption of products covered by the MedTech...

Rhiannon is a Programme Manager in the Patient Safety and Care Improvement Team working on the spread and adoption of products covered by the MedTech Funding Mandate (MTFM) and Rapid Uptake Products (RUP) programmes.

Rhiannon previously managed the Liverpool Bio-Innovation Hub biobank, based in the University of Liverpool, for 10 years.

The biobank was partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with the aim of helping SMEs access high-quality biosamples and data.

Before this, her background was in laboratory-based health research, having worked both in the research labs at LHCH and then the Institute of Translational Medicine in the University of Liverpool.

Rosemary Hughes
Programme Manager - Cardiovascular Disease

Rosie is a registered occupational therapist who retrained as an allied health professional after 10 years in the marketing and communications industry. Following a period managing...

Rosie is a registered occupational therapist who retrained as an allied health professional after 10 years in the marketing and communications industry. Following a period managing clinical trials in respiratory medicine, Rosie completed her PhD in Health Services Research, supported by the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC), and currently manages the lipids workstream.

Health Innovation North West Coast provides the opportunity to bring together her experience across industry, academia and healthcare.

Kelly Smyth
Project Manager

Kelly Smyth is a Project Manager in the Patient Safety and Care Improvement team, working on respiratory projects across Cheshire and Merseyside, and Lancashire and...

Kelly Smyth is a Project Manager in the Patient Safety and Care Improvement team, working on respiratory projects across Cheshire and Merseyside, and Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Before joining Health Innovation North West Coast, Kelly worked at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine within programme management teams focusing on Neglected Tropical Diseases and Lung Health projects.

She has an MSc in Health, Exercise and Nutrition and a BSc in Health and Psychology. She is also Prince 2 qualified and is currently completing the APM Project Management Qualification.

Theun van Veen
Project Manager

Theun is a Project Manager in the Patient Safety and Care Improvement Team working on the cardiovascular disease (CVD) programme. At Health Innovation North West...

Theun is a Project Manager in the Patient Safety and Care Improvement Team working on the cardiovascular disease (CVD) programme. At Health Innovation North West Coast, his projects involve supporting primary care networks with the roll out of the BP@home Programme. This work is aligned with the UCLP Proactive Care Framework for managing high blood pressure and cardiovascular risk.

Theun previously worked at the University of Liverpool where he managed various (international) projects across a number of Departments including a biobank. At the biobank he was responsible for RD&I and quality control procedures as well as co-ordinating collaborative projects both within the university and with external partners. Theun has a PhD in Clinical Engineering from the University of Liverpool.

Michael Foo
Project Manager

Michael is a Project Manager in the patient safety team working on the cardiovascular disease (CVD) and lipid management programme. This involves working alongside NHS...

Michael is a Project Manager in the patient safety team working on the cardiovascular disease (CVD) and lipid management programme. This involves working alongside NHS colleagues throughout the North West Coast to support the implementation of various pilots for the better management of cardiovascular diseases.

Prior to joining Health Innovation North West Coast, Michael worked as a project manager for St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, designing and implementing an HR system that was rolled out across the North West.

Harley Ajalaye
Assistant Project Manager

Harley is an experienced Project Manager with strong project management skills. Harley considers himself to have exceptional organisational and planning skills working with various teams...

Harley is an experienced Project Manager with strong project management skills. Harley considers himself to have exceptional organisational and planning skills working with various teams to achieve set task and objectives. Well-versed in MS office suite- MS project, MS Word, MS Excel and other project management tools, Harley has been able to harness various project management methodologies and frameworks which include Lean Thinking, Agile methodologies and other concepts to ensure the smooth achievements of corporate objectives. Harley’s background and experience working in the private sector over the years in various industries which include, IT, Transport, SMEs has made his focus on successful implementation of projects a driving force.

Harley loves running and long distance walk and Harley uses his musical skills as a soothing therapy to re-energize his wellbeing.

Molly Bridgewood
Project Manager

Molly joined the PSCI Team for a 9 month secondment from the Coaching Academy in November, working on respiratory projects across Cheshire and Merseyside, and Lancashire...

Molly joined the PSCI Team for a 9 month secondment from the Coaching Academy in November, working on respiratory projects across Cheshire and Merseyside, and Lancashire and South Cumbria. 

Whilst at the Coaching Academy, Molly completed an APM qualification and is looking to continue her learning throught this role. 

Lauren Peate
Assistant Project Manager CVD & Respiratory

Lauren joined Health Innovation North West Coast in 2017 as a Business Apprentice. She has since worked in our events and corporate support teams whilst completing...

Lauren joined Health Innovation North West Coast in 2017 as a Business Apprentice. She has since worked in our events and corporate support teams whilst completing a Level 3 NVQ in Business and is now completing the APM Project Management Qualification. Lauren has more recently provided support to the Managing Deterioration Safety Improvement Programmes and Medicines Safety Improvement Programmes in the Patient Safety & Care Improvement Team. She continues to develop her skills and knowledge in project management by assisting in the delivery of the CVD and Respiratory projects and programmes. 

Public Involvement

Deborah Parkinson
Public Involvement Lead

Debbie has a background in Citizenship and Participation and previously worked for Wigan Council as Citizenship Lead and NW Co-ordinator for National Healthy Schools Status...

Debbie has a background in Citizenship and Participation and previously worked for Wigan Council as Citizenship Lead and NW Co-ordinator for National Healthy Schools Status leading a large team and 143 schools to achieve ‘Healthy School Status’. She formed the joint schools’ Councils for both Primary and Secondary schools, ‘Little Voices’ and ‘Comunik8’ making real changes in schools and education.  Before joining Health Innovation North West Coast, Debbie worked in the private sector on contract to the Department of Work and Pensions where work included both staff and customer forums.  She is passionate about people having a say in what affects them and making a difference and believes ‘Every Voice Matters’. 

Holding a teaching qualification and degree she has taught IT in the community and is a volunteer bereavement support worker for her local hospice.

David Dewhurst
Public Involvement Officer

David has a background in support and guidance, over the last 11 years he has worked with members of the public within employment and engagement settings...

David has a background in support and guidance, over the last 11 years he has worked with members of the public within employment and engagement settings as a subcontractor to the Department of Work & Pensions.

David is experienced in building customer groups, developing questionnaires and gaining un-influenced customer feedback within a variety of settings.

Innovation and Industry Partnerships

Mike Kenny
Associate Director for Enterprise and Growth

Mike Kenny is currently the Chair of the AHSN Network Commercial Directors Forum, which brings together all 15 AHSN commercial directors to share knowledge and co-ordinate...

Mike Kenny is currently the Chair of the AHSN Network Commercial Directors Forum, which brings together all 15 AHSN commercial directors to share knowledge and co-ordinate national commercial activities.

Mike has a wealth of knowledge and experience of customer relationship management and a successful track record of partnership and collaboration with NHS providers and commissioners in the North West Coast.

He uses his relationship management experience to bring innovations into the North West Coast through engagement with industry, pharmaceutical companies, Local Enterprise Partnerships,  innovation hubs, NHS, academia, local authorities and small to medium enterprises.

He previously spent more than 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry in a variety of commercial, partnership and leadership roles in the North West and North East of England and Yorkshire. Mike studied genetics and microbiology at Lancaster University, one of Health Innovation North West Coast’s academic and business partners.

Steve Adams
Commercial Programme Manager

Steve supports businesses with innovations that can improve care and services for patients and staff. Steve has a clinical background plus more than 15 years’ experience...

Steve supports businesses with innovations that can improve care and services for patients and staff. Steve has a clinical background plus more than 15 years’ experience in sales and marketing in the medical device industry.

Before joining Health Innovation North West Coast he spent several years as a healthcare consultant to the NHS.

 

Indi Singh
Commercial Programme Manager

Indi supports businesses with the spread and adoption of innovation and technology within the health care sector. He undertakes a tailored approach to assessing and...

Indi supports businesses with the spread and adoption of innovation and technology within the health care sector. He undertakes a tailored approach to assessing and advising businesses depending upon their individual requirements. He has worked for Health Innovation North West Coast for a number of years building a network of high calibre contacts. 

Previously, as an Assistant Director of Finance in Manchester, Indi was responsible for delivering efficiency savings and has also held a number of consultancy posts in various NHS organisations focusing on finance, transformation and efficiency.  

A Chartered Accountant, Indi has worked in corporate finance supporting SMEs with funding and strategic business advice.

Laura Boland
Head of Programmes – Innovation Pipeline, Evaluation and Insight

Laura works closely with industry partnersand our local system to design and lead evaluations to capture the value and impact of innovation. She works to...

Laura works closely with industry partnersand our local system to design and lead evaluations to capture the value and impact of innovation. She works to close evidence gaps and understand how best to implement solutions so  they are ready for further adoption and spread. In addition to real world validation of recently adopted novel solutions she has collaborated with NWC ARC and NW Neonatal ODN on the NIPP programme to evaluate the impact of early, supported transfer home for neonates. 

Laura leads our innovation pipeline programme which progresses and tracks innovation with the greatest potential impact to improve health and care.

Prior to joining Health Innovation North West Coast in 2018 she spent 15 years working in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently as a market access specialist launching transformational products, and previously in business development.

Laura holds a B.Sc Biology and an M.Sc Economic Evaluation in Healthcare.

Paul Brain
Business Intelligence Programme Manager

Paul’s role at Health Innovation North West Coast is to help to get data into the organisation and to support the pipeline development. Paul...

Paul’s role at Health Innovation North West Coast is to help to get data into the organisation and to support the pipeline development.

Paul has previously worked for the Patient Safety & Care Team working on local and national programmes, including Connected Health Cities, Maternity & Neonatal Safety Improvement Programme and Care Home improvement programme, amongst others.

Paul is  a Prince2 and Agile certified Project Manager and developed his Project Management skills whilst working in IT Support and capacity management environments within other local and national public service organisations.

His IT and data analysis skills are key to his project management style.

Omobolanle Olagunju
Project Support Officer

Omobolanle is a Project Support Officer in the Innovations and Industry Partnerships team. In this role she provides project support on real world validations of...

Omobolanle is a Project Support Officer in the Innovations and Industry Partnerships team. In this role she provides project support on real world validations of innovations in healthcare aimed to provide efficacy of such innovations in controlled settings.

She joined Health Innovation North West Coast in March 2022 and provided project support for the NHS Insights Prioritisation Programme project focusing on early supported discharge models in neonatal care.

She also provides support for the innovation pipeline programme, innovation insight projects and NHS Net Zero projects.  

She is passionate about projects that have potential to improve human health.

Previously Omobolanle worked at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control as a Senior Scientific Officer in the One Health / International Health Regulations division.

She also worked as a research assistant at Obafemi Awolowo University on a mother-to-child transmission of HIV project.

She holds a bachelor’s degree (2010, First Class Honours, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria) and MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases (2012, Royal Veterinary College, University of London).

Sarah Whittle
Project Support Officer

Sarah is a Project Support Officer in the Innovation and Industry Partnerships team. In this role she provides project support on Pipeline products and offers...

Sarah is a Project Support Officer in the Innovation and Industry Partnerships team. In this role she provides project support on Pipeline products and offers a wide range of support to the team. 

Sarah previously worked in the charity sector for an organisation called the Dyslexia Foundation where is gained her NVQ Level 2 and 3 in Business Administration. Sarah then went on to work for Alder Hey Children’s hospital as a Health Records Clerk before joining us.

She is currently studying to complete her NVQ level 4 in Project Management.

 

Lindsay Sharples
Associate Director for Enterprise and Growth

Lindsay Sharples has a strong track record of supporting innovation in health and care and securing funding to introduce innovations to the NHS from around...

Lindsay Sharples has a strong track record of supporting innovation in health and care and securing funding to introduce innovations to the NHS from around the world.

She is responsible for Health Innovation North West Coast’s three ERDF funded business support programmes – in Cheshire and Warrington; Liverpool City Region; and Lancashire. She also heads a team of international programme managers who work with overseas business and research bodies such as EIT Health, on funded programmes to bring cutting edge innovations to the NHS.

Her focus is to develop successful partnerships with academia, research institutions, NHS providers, local authorities and private sector partners to maximise opportunities for economic growth in the North West Coast, supported by local, national and international funding.

Kevin Moreton
Head of International programmes

Kevin joined Health Innovation North West Coast in August 2020 and stepped up to head our International support programme in September 2023. He is responsible for driving...

Kevin joined Health Innovation North West Coast in August 2020 and stepped up to head our International support programme in September 2023. He is responsible for driving our international strategy to ensure that the NHS gets early access to some of the world's best breakthrough innovations. 

The International team work with health and life-science businesses who are seeking to get their technologies and services into the NHS. The team provide tailored support to help businesses make the right decisions at the right time, maximising their opportunities in the UK and supporting engagement with our National Health Service (NHS).

Kevin has over 10 years’ experience of working on NHS-related projects. He has been employed at both the NHS Technology Adoption Centre (NTAC) and TRUSTECH, where he worked on a number of Health Innovation Network projects for Health Innovation Manchester colleagues. Kevin has also supported a wide range of health and life science start-ups and scale-ups with their attempts to introduce and implement their technologies in the NHS.

Gemma Barnacle
Programme Manager

Gemma is a programme manager with a varied background in the health and care sector and a passion for helping people through transformation and innovation....

Gemma is a programme manager with a varied background in the health and care sector and a passion for helping people through transformation and innovation.

Gemma studied BSc Psychology before working in private and public sectors in the field of addictions rehabilitation and other NHS mental health community and inpatient settings. She later completed an MSc Cognitive Brain Imaging and PhD Psychology.

Gemma began her career in the life sciences industry while working in the medical communications field. She worked with pharmaceutical partners in a variety of therapy areas including virology, immunology, respiratory, and neurology. She then joined the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the Technology Appraisals programme, and later worked in the transformation team, leading implementation and benefits management in the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation.

Gemma recently completed her Level 5 ILM Operations / Department Manager qualification, and APMG Change Management Foundation and Practitioner.

Louise Houghton
Project Manager

Louise is a Project Manager  in the International Team where she provides support across a range of bespoke projects designed to help international health and...

Louise is a Project Manager  in the International Team where she provides support across a range of bespoke projects designed to help international health and life-science businesses access the UK market and specifically the NHS. Louise is also responsible for providing project assurance, budget oversight as well as supporting wider strategic development.

Louise has over 5 years' experience of working on NHS-related projects, most recently working closely with the the Applied Research Collaboration for the North West Coast (ARC NWC) and the North West Operational Delivery Network (NWNODN) on a project to evaluate neonatal outreach models.

Prior to joining Health Innovation North West Coast, Louise worked international programmes, supporting delivery of EIT Health’s Bridgehead Europe and Bridgehead Global programmes. She has also worked for the Department for Work and Pensions where she spent 10 years providing in-depth support to members of the public experiencing significant difficulties engaging with the labour market. She then moved to the business transformation side of the DWP where she worked on the delivery and implementation of the government's welfare reform agenda.

Louise is Prince2 Foundation and MSP Foundation certified.

Tracy Milsom
Project Compliance Manager - Business Development Unit

Tracy provides pre-contract bid development and submission; post contract delivery support and compliance for externally funded projects, working with teams across HINWC to adapt to...

Tracy provides pre-contract bid development and submission; post contract delivery support and compliance for externally funded projects, working with teams across HINWC to adapt to new funding streams and processes.

 

During her 6 years with the team, Tracy's main role has been to ensure compliance of the Cheshire & Warrington Health Matter's project, which was in receipt of grant money through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); working on guidelines and procedures whilst promoting best practice across the Health Matters projects.

 

Tracy has over 16 years' experience working with various grant funded programmes across the North West including the £32m regional growth fund project at Lancaster University; then managing the project support unit there with a portfolio of 12 ERDF and local growth deal projects worth over £60m. 

 

Tracy also have over 14 years' experience in contract research and development, working to Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) and working in a contract pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland.

Ann Humphries
Project Compliance Manager - Business Development Unit

Ann provides pre-contract bid development and submission; post contract delivery support and compliance for externally funded projects, working with teams across HINWC to adapt to...

Ann provides pre-contract bid development and submission; post contract delivery support and compliance for externally funded projects, working with teams across HINWC to adapt to new funding streams and processes. 

Previously, Ann worked on the LCR Health Matters Programme, a European Regional Development Fund project which completed in September 2023. She has extensive experience of over 20 years in European projects, having worked for a number of years at Liverpool John Moores University on projects including Open Labs, Sensor City and Digital Academy. Ann also worked at Alder Hey Children's Hospital on the Health Innovation Exchange project.

David Nutter
Project Manager

David is a qualified project manager with 15 years of NHS experience. He has worked across cancer services, radiology and primary care support, most recently helping...

David is a qualified project manager with 15 years of NHS experience. He has worked across cancer services, radiology and primary care support, most recently helping SMEs access the NHS using ERDF funding. He currently works in business support as a project manager in the Neonatal Technolody Enabled Care project. 

He spends his spare time with his baby daughter and wife, and plays American Football. 

Dr Phil Carvil
Head of Clusters - North West

Phil is responsible for the development of the HealthTec Cluster, funded under a joint partnership between the Science and Technology Facilities Council (part of UK...

Phil is responsible for the development of the HealthTec Cluster, funded under a joint partnership between the Science and Technology Facilities Council (part of UK Research and Innovation) and Health Innovation North West Coast.

Previously, Phil worked for three years for King’s Health Partners in London across 22 Clinical Academic Groups specialising in research analytics. During this time he undertook his PhD and an MSc at Kings College London in Aerospace Physiology at the Centre of Human and Applied Physiological Sciences, focused on evaluating an astronaut health countermeasure for the European Space Agency.

Earlier, he worked for Nuffield Health after undertaking a BSc and MSc in exercise science from the University of Chichester.

A firm believer in promoting diversity, inclusion and equality in life sciences, he is also a trustee for the LGBT+ charitable trust ‘Pride in STEM’.

 

Coaching Academy

Jen Kohan
Head of Programmes, Coaching Academy

Jen Kohan is an educator and instructional specialist with a passion for connected, experiential learning, and design thinking.  After twenty years in the American public...

Jen Kohan is an educator and instructional specialist with a passion for connected, experiential learning, and design thinking.

 After twenty years in the American public education system as a teacher, cognitive coach, and equity program coordinator, she currently serves Health Innovation North West Coast as Head of the Coaching Academy. Her work is grounded in reflective-practice, evidence-based improvement, and collaborative principles.

She holds a BA (Hons) in English and an MA (Hons) in Humanities, Qualified Teacher Status, and is trained in intercultural competencies, online learning, cognitive coaching, and implementation science.

Jen believes that a coach best serves individuals and teams through guided thinking structures related to specific needs and goals, as determined by participant stakeholders.

 

Wendy Burton
Programme Manager, Coaching Academy

Wendy is an experienced team coach, qualified in Aston methodology; and a qualified personal coach. She has trained in human factors; project management; Quality Improvement...

Wendy is an experienced team coach, qualified in Aston methodology; and a qualified personal coach. She has trained in human factors; project management; Quality Improvement and LEAN methodology; emotional intelligence coaching and leadership methods using neuro linguistic programming; and more recently Team Time with the Point of Care Foundation.

Since taking a BA (hons) in clinical leadership and MSc in healthcare leadership she has specialised in organisational development and effectiveness. Wendy’s previous roles have been in community and general practice nursing, management, improvement and commissioning.

More recently she has worked in the prison sector helping to embed restorative approaches through trauma informed care and team based working. She has also worked closely with local community health providers Mersey Care on their Restorative Just and learning Culture programme.

Wendy’s passion is restorative practice and team coaching, blending cultural values-based approaches that improve psychological safety with quality improvement methods, which ultimately create the conditions for innovation in practice.

Lindsey Roome
Senior Programme Manager

Lindsey is part of our Improvement and Education Team, designing and delivering programmes through our Coaching Academy. She previously worked at NHS England in Lancashire...

Lindsey is part of our Improvement and Education Team, designing and delivering programmes through our Coaching Academy. She previously worked at NHS England in Lancashire and South Cumbria as part of the prevention and population health team; personalised care and delivering the digital strategy in the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System.

She has a wealth of experience in managing programmes and is skilled as a facilitator, a natural connector of Communities of Practice and Action Learning Sets, along with being a Myers Briggs practitioner and a coach.  

Her earlier career was in both acute and primary care settings and earlier worked in human resources and training, delivering a number of national projects.

Natalie Latham
Programme Manager

Natalie is an experienced trainer, organisational development practitioner and skilled facilitator. She has a post-graduate certificate in Systems Thinking in Practice, and is a qualified...

Natalie is an experienced trainer, organisational development practitioner and skilled facilitator.

She has a post-graduate certificate in Systems Thinking in Practice, and is a qualified individual and team coach and has trained in adult learning, leadership development, quality improvement and using LEAN tools. She is experienced in designing and delivering EMCC-accredited coaching programmes and resources as well as facilitation and coaching for our external, national and local programmes.

Natalie has previously worked in a senior organisational development and effectiveness business partner role in an NHS Trust in the north west where she specialised in team-based working, performance coaching and leadership development across various community and inpatient settings. She has extensive experience of designing and delivering OD work in Forensic Secure Services. Her earlier career involved working learning and development for local government and the outsourcing industry.

Digital

Jenni West
Associate Director for Digital Change

As Associate Director for Digital Change, Jenni's role involves understanding the digital strategies across Cheshire and Mersey and Lancashire and South Cumbria and trying to...

As Associate Director for Digital Change, Jenni's role involves understanding the digital strategies across Cheshire and Mersey and Lancashire and South Cumbria and trying to support their agendas then  linking them into national work.

Jenni has been supporting the ICS and HCP in Share2Care, our Local Health Care Record Exemplar, and the Empower the Person work stream in the development of Personal Health Records (PHRs). She also supports our SMEs by guiding them in what it means to be NHS/Social Care ready.

Having worked in the NHS for over 15 years as a Pharmacy Technician, she then moving in to Health Informatics working with iSOFT to design and implement their Pharmacy Stock control system for the UK&I, as well as working for NHS North West on the National Programme for IT as Business Change and Benefits lead, Across Lancashire on various projects from step up step down bed management systems to the implementation of the Health Information Exchange and more recently at NHS Digital as Engagement Lead for NHS login and PHRs.

Ed Millensted
Head of Programmes

Ed focusses upon building and holding strategic partnerships across our footprint to support the spread of innovation at a system level. Ed collaborates with transformation...

Ed focusses upon building and holding strategic partnerships across our footprint to support the spread of innovation at a system level.

Ed collaborates with transformation programme directors, clinical networks and regional leads to understand priorities and identify opportunities for innovation spread, promoting innovation at the design phase of service change.

Adrian Quinn
Programme Manager – Digital Change

Adrian is part of the Health Innovation North West Coast digital team, supporting delivery of North West Coast digital change strategy and programmes to transform...

Adrian is part of the Health Innovation North West Coast digital team, supporting delivery of North West Coast digital change strategy and programmes to transform and connect health and social care, with a focus on adult social care, the regulated care sector and Technology Enabled Care (TEC).

His work with Healthier Lancashire South Cumbria and Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership has focused on empowering both people with care and support needs and adult social care staff through digital solutions.

Adrian is currently engaged in local delivery of NHSX’s Digitising Social Care Programme in support of the DHSC adult social care reform white paper.  He is also working with the North West Association of Directors of Adult Social Services to develop a strategic approach to digital and TEC across adult social care in the North West.

Adrian has more than 20 years’ experience across a variety of roles in social care, housing and the community and voluntary sector.  His work has centred on transformation, commissioning, engagement, communications, policy, partnerships, co-production, service re-design, innovation, and integration.

He holds an LLB (Hons), an MBA and PG Certs in both Leadership and Digital Health.

Operations

Claire Hodgson
Associate Director of Corporate Services

Claire is a seasoned professional in the healthcare sector, currently serving as the Associate Director of Corporate Services. With a comprehensive portfolio, spanning Governance, Operations,...

Claire is a seasoned professional in the healthcare sector, currently serving as the Associate Director of Corporate Services.

With a comprehensive portfolio, spanning Governance, Operations, HR, Finance, Communications and Events, Claire is focused on driving organisational excellence and efficiency.

Bringing a wealth of experience to her role, Claire has established herself as a proficient leader with an extensive background in the NHS.

Her journey began in health informatics, where she played a pivotal role in implementing transformative changes and driving service improvements across various care settings.

Claire's expertise extends to Project, Programme and Programme Management Office (PMO) Management. 

Her leadership extends beyond traditional roles as she has also led Business Development, marketing, communications, and events functions, delivering impactful outcomes across diverse NHS partnerships. 

Claire is passionate about leveraging her skills to contribute to the continuous improvement of healthcare services and driving positive change.

Her journey in the NHS reflects a commitment to excellence, a keen understanding of the intricacies of healthcare systems, and a track record of successful leadership in complex and dynamic environments. 

Anthony Roberts
Corporate Business Manager

Anthony provides direct support to the Chief Executive and Executive Team across a range of corporate business functions and leads the co-ordination of corporate projects. ...

Anthony provides direct support to the Chief Executive and Executive Team across a range of corporate business functions and leads the co-ordination of corporate projects. He provides secretariat to the Board and the Finance, Performance and Strategy Committee to ensure the Innovation Agency meets its obligations. 

Anthony’s 12-year career with the NHS has predominately focussed on providing executive support to Board Chairs and Chief Executives across a number of NHS organisations. He was previously the Corporate Affairs Manager at North West NHS Commissioning Support Unit (CSU).

Prior to Anthony’s NHS career, he worked within marketing as a Client Services Manager working with various national companies including Cadbury, Unilever, Liverpool Football Club and the MBNA Corporation.

Anthony is current studying his Company Secretarial and Share Registration Practice certificate with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).

Allison Hayes
Executive PA/Corporate Business Manager

Allison provides direct support to the CEO, Chair, and NEDs. Allison is the lead for HR, corporate and admin functions at our Daresbury office.   Allison ...

Allison provides direct support to the CEO, Chair, and NEDs. Allison is the lead for HR, corporate and admin functions at our Daresbury office. 

 Allison previously supporting the senior management of RLBUHT and Wirral CCG. Prior to her NHS career, Allison worked for the banking sector providing financial services to the public.

John Cliffe
Finance Officer

John leads on all aspects of day-to-day Purchase Order requests and financial management for the organisation, providing sound advice, support and information to assist in...

John leads on all aspects of day-to-day Purchase Order requests and financial management for the organisation, providing sound advice, support and information to assist in the achievement of colleagues requests. He collaborates with all teams in the organisation, to ensure all programmes are supported with the raising of PO’s and correct allocation of non-pay costs. John has worked within Health Innovation North West Coast since 2016, and has vast experience in providing management accounts and other financial information, for SME’s in many different sectors of commerce and industry outside of the NHS

Communications and Events

Greg Stringer
Communications Manager

Contact Greg if you have any queries about the communications portfolio, including public relations, social or traditional media or presentations. Greg started his career in...

Contact Greg if you have any queries about the communications portfolio, including public relations, social or traditional media or presentations.

Greg started his career in journalism and worked for regional newspaper titles in the Midlands and in the North West for around 12 years, and was latterly based in Manchester where he was responsible for several regional editions of the free ‘commuter newspaper’ Metro.

He moved into public relations in the early 2000s when he joined the Ministry of Defence in Liverpool where he was responsible for public relations for the Royal Navy, Army and RAF in the North West. This was an often turbulent period for the MoD as the UK military became involved in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Greg moved into NHS communications in 2013 when he became a freelance communications consultant. He was appointed to oversee communications for the Greater Manchester partner in the national Cancer Vanguard, a programme that piloted new approaches to cancer services.

 

Karen Hough
Communications Manager

Karen is a Communications Manager supporting business development. Originally from Canada but calling England home for the past eight years, Karen has 15 years of experience...

Karen is a Communications Manager supporting business development. Originally from Canada but calling England home for the past eight years, Karen has 15 years of experience in corporate communications with a Bachelor degree in Journalism and a Masters in Public Relations. Her experience has mostly been within public and health care sectors, most recently in pharmaceuticals and local government. 

Debbie Rigby
Communications Officer

Debbie has more than 10 years' experience in the NHS, having worked in a specialist mental health trust and more recently in a clinical commissioning group....

Debbie has more than 10 years' experience in the NHS, having worked in a specialist mental health trust and more recently in a clinical commissioning group. During this time, she has expanded her knowledge of new and innovative ways of delivering communications.

 

Debbie supports the wide range of programmes delivered by Health Innovation North West Coast by creating communications resources in collaboration with colleagues internally and in partner organisations.

 

She has a keen interest in digital communications including social media platforms and web content.

Helen Williams
Events Manager

Helen has responsibility for enhancing the reputation of the Innovation Agency by co-ordinating and delivering a busy calendar of events which will support not only...

Helen has responsibility for enhancing the reputation of the Innovation Agency by co-ordinating and delivering a busy calendar of events which will support not only a diverse programme of work with colleagues internally but our wider collaboration with partners both locally and nationally on joint events.

She leads on designing events and deciding on the best approach to deliver numerous projects and events running concurrently.

Helen has over 20 years’ experience in event management and most recently worked as the event and marketing manager for life science membership organisation Bionow for 15 years.

Phil Wright
Senior Marketing and Events Officer

Philip provides day-to-day support to the Communications and Events teams,  communicating with internal and external stakeholders, including event logistics. He is a qualified journalist and...

Philip provides day-to-day support to the Communications and Events teams,  communicating with internal and external stakeholders, including event logistics.

He is a qualified journalist and has over five-years of experience working in communications and events with England Squash, the national governing body for the sport. He has expertise in engagement, participation, relationship building and events management.

Alison Mythen
Events Coordinator

Alison has extensive experience organising a range of events including corporate awards, workshops and conferences – on line and in person. She is a key member...

Alison has extensive experience organising a range of events including corporate awards, workshops and conferences – on line and in person. She is a key member of the team delivering the North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards, a collaboration with NIHR ARC North West Coast and NIHR CRN North West Coast.

She was previously responsible for organising the NHS in the North Excellence in Supply Awards and her background is in events and projects in both the public and private sector.

 

 

 

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