Professor Ford will join the Network from the University of Newcastle where he is the holder of the Jacobson Chair of Clinical Pharmacology, the Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Stroke Research Network and the Associate Medical Director for R&D at the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. In addition, he has maintained a clinical practice as a stroke physician and developed strong links with the life sciences sector.
The Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), was designated by NHS England in May, 2013 together with 14 other AHSNs. According to NHS England “AHSNs present a unique opportunity to pull together the adoption and spread of innovation with clinical research and trials, informatics, education, and healthcare delivery.
Nigel Keen, Chairman of the Oxford AHSN, said: “We are delighted to appoint Professor Ford as Chief Executive. With his great experience of the NHS, of clinical research and of academia, he is ideally suited to develop the Oxford AHSN and realise the potential of the skills, experience and knowledge that exist within the Network.”
Professor Ford, who will join the Oxford AHSN in November, said: “The establishment of the Oxford AHSN is an exciting opportunity to draw on the enormous resources of this part of England to improve healthcare and drive economic growth. I am looking forward to working with all partners who include prestigious organisations within both the public and private sectors.”
Professor Alastair Buchan, Dean of the Medical School and Head of the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford, said: “The University of Oxford is a world leader in many areas of clinical research and trials, informatics, and education. We work very closely with our local NHS partners, the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford Brookes University to improve health of our local patients and to generate wealth for our local health economy. With his great expertise and boundless energy, Professor Ford will help us engage with a wider Network of partners to make a greater impact on health and wealth in The Thames Valley and beyond.”
Sir Jonathan Michael, Chief Executive of the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, the host organisation for the Oxford AHSN, said: “This is a key appointment and I am confident the Network will be able to draw on Professor Ford’s skills and understanding of clinical and research networks, and the links between academia and the NHS. Professor Ford will be working to develop his team and plans to visit all parts of the Network over the coming months.”