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New chief for health innovation in the North West

Louise Robson has been named as the next chair of Health Innovation North West Coast.

Robson is a senior leader with 38 years’ experience in the NHS and has spent 26 years on the boards of NHS organisations. She has previously served as chief executive at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and acting chief executive and deputy chief executive at The Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

She was also chief executive lead for provider collaboration for the North of England, working with seven integrated care systems, 15 provider collaboratives and more than 70 trusts, as well as liaising with national colleagues on policy development.

She is stepping down as a non-executive director at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to take on her new role.

Robson takes the helm as Health Innovation North West Coast embarks on its newly awarded five-year licence to drive the adoption and spread of innovations in health and care systems.

She said: “There could hardly be a more exciting time to be joining Health Innovation North West Coast. Innovation needs to be at the heart of our efforts to tackle the challenges the NHS will continue to face in the coming years.

“Part of that challenge is to make sure innovations reach the parts of our systems that will benefit most. I’m hoping the relationships I’ve built over the years in this region and nationally will help us bring solutions to the attention of decision-makers.”

Robson, who will join Health Innovation North West Coast in January, replaces Gideon Ben-Tovim OBE, the founding chair of what was originally the Innovation Agency, who held the role for 10 years.

Health Innovation North West Coast chief executive Dr Phil Jennings said: “Louise brings with her a great wealth of experience and excellent relationships with decision-makers in our area.

“We believe we have a reputation in the health and care community as an organisation that can help deliver solutions to some of the greatest challenges our systems face. I’m sure Louise will help reinforce that reputation and we’re very pleased she’s joining us.”

The Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS FT where Louise was acting chief enjoys a strong reputation internationally and, along with Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, is one of the few in the country to achieve CQC ‘outstanding’ ratings over several years.

A clinician by training, cheshire-based Robson has also served as chair of Newcastle Specials pharmacy production unit, based at The Newcastle-upon-Tyne NHS FT, has been a company director for several health-related spin-out companies, and participated in the launch of the Office for Life Sciences’ Industrial Strategy.

Health Innovation North West Coast is an NHS organisation whose role is to promote the adoption and spread of health and care innovations and boost economic growth. It is one of 15 health innovation networks, part of a national network known as the Health Innovation Network.

Health Innovation North West Coast covers Cheshire, Merseyside, South Cumbria and Lancashire, serving a population of just over four million residents.

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