New Chair appointed to lead Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria Board

An experienced leader in the health and care sector has been appointed as the Board Chair for Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria (HI NENC).

Professor Dean Fathers will take up the role of Chair of HI NENC from December replacing Dr Arnab Basu, who has held the position for the last 10 years.

Dean joins the Board at an exciting time following the  successful five-year re-licence of HI NENC from NHS England and Government, and their subsequent renaming from Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria to HI NENC.

As Chair, Dean will draw on his wealth of NHS, academic and business experience within the health sector to guide and shape the strategic direction of HI NENC as it continues to support the development and spread of innovation regionally and nationally.

Dean said: “I am delighted to have been offered the opportunity to take on the role of Chair of Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria. It is clear from what has been achieved over the last 10 years that HI NENC is very well established as the regional authority on the adoption and spread of innovation, and is highly respected within the regional and national ecosystem.

“As HI NENC looks to the next five years, there is huge potential to build on the good work that has gone before and to explore new and exciting avenues for growth. I’m looking forward to offering my knowledge and insight during the journey ahead.”

Dr Nicola Hutchinson, HI NENC Chief Executive Officer, said: “It is an honour to welcome Dean as our new Board Chair. His strong portfolio of leadership and strategic roles, both within the health and care sector and industry, will be welcome additions to our Board at a time when we are  steering the organisation into a new era of opportunity.

“Our remit sees us work collaboratively with primary and secondary care, the regional Integrated Care Board, social care, and industry to drive a culture of innovation across the North East and North Cumbria. I have no doubt that with Dean’s expert guidance we will continue to strengthen our position within the region’s health ecosystem and play a leading role in ensuring evidence-based innovations are adopted with the ultimate goal of improving the health and wealth of our region.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to extend a sincere thank you to our departing Chair, Dr Arnab Basu, who has provided invaluable leadership to get the organisation to where it is today.”

Samantha Allen, Chief Executive, North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board, said: “Innovation in all its forms is crucial to improving the region’s health, supporting our workforce and boosting economic growth. Dean brings with him a wealth of experience and insight that will accelerate transformative innovation across health and care and help deliver our ambitious plans of better health and wellbeing for all.”

Throughout his career, Dean has held a vast array of chair and board positions across the health sector, including positions at Primary Care, Mental Health and Acute Trusts, a Strategic Health Authority, NHS Providers and the NHS Confederation, as well as extensive private and third sector board experience supporting health and social care organisations in the UK and internationally.

Dean, who is an Honorary Professor of Health and Care Leadership at the University of Nottingham, and a Visiting Chair of Resilience and Healthcare Leadership at the University of Lincoln, also has over 25 years of experience as a practised change practitioner having undertaken executive development and strategic change consultancy assignments with health organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia, and North America.

Alongside his Chair role at HI NENC, Dean is also currently: a Non Executive Director of the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman, a Non Executive Director of the Academy for Healthcare Science and a Trustee of charities Care After Combat and Portland College.