23 February 2023
Wessex Health Partners (WHP), a new learning partnership accelerating better health through research, education and innovation, has appointed Christine McGrath as its inaugural Managing Director.
Christine has a clinical background and has developed her career from a research nurse to leadership roles regionally and nationally, founding and chairing national networks in healthcare research and development (R&D). She joins Wessex Health Partners from University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, where she held the position of Director of Strategy and Partnerships. A member of the executive team, Christine led on strategy, clinical networks, research and innovation, working across the whole organisation to collaborate with partners in the newly-formed Hampshire and Isle of Wight integrated care system and wider Wessex region.
Speaking about her appointment, Christine said: “As an executive leader in the NHS, I have dedicated my career to improving health and care through research, innovation and partnership working. From research nurse to Director and national lead, my work has been incredibly rewarding. I can see the enormous potential of combining the strengths and expertise in our region to tackle the health and care challenges our communities face and I am delighted to have the opportunity, both on a personal level and for our region, to lead Wessex Health Partners forward.”
Commenting on the appointment, Professor William Rosenberg, Chair of Wessex Health Partners, said: “Christine is dedicated to the prosperity of Wessex and the health and care of the Wessex population. She brings a vast knowledge of research and innovation networks to benefit the strategic delivery of Wessex Health Partners, and a strong track record in developing flourishing learning cultures through entrepreneurial thinking and tenacious execution. We are thrilled that Christine has accepted our offer to join the partnership.”
Dr Peter Phiri, Director of Research and Innovation (Interim) for WHP founding partner Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, said, “Christine’s appointment as Wessex Health Partners’ inaugural Managing Director marks a milestone in the organisation's journey. With a wealth of knowledge and experience in research and innovation from working with policy makers, NIHR, industry, integrated care boards and NHS R&D leaders, and a proven track record of achievement in the NHS, she brings not only a vast array of talent and expertise, but also a unique opportunity to drive strategic objectives and bring positive change to the health and wellbeing of the Wessex region. This is a truly momentous appointment, and one that holds great hope for the future of the region.”
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Notes to editors:
About Wessex Health Partners
Wessex Health Partners (WHP) is a partnership of universities and NHS organisations that learns together and accelerates improvements to health and social care through innovation, research and training for the benefit of the region’s population, patients and wider society. It aims to improve the region’s collective ability to tackle the greatest challenges facing the Wessex health and care system, generating greater collaborative and interdisciplinary research, and faster development and adoption of innovation at scale.
The founding partners comprise Dorset Integrated Care Board, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, the Universities of Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth, seven NHS trusts across the Wessex footprint (University Hospital Southampton, Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust, Hampshire Hospitals Trust, Southern, Solent, University Hospitals Dorset and Dorset County Hospital), and Wessex Academic Health Science Network. As the partnership develops, we hope to welcome new partners from the Wessex health and care system, higher education, local authority and life science sectors.
Christine will begin her role as Wessex Health Partners’ Managing Director in April 2023. She joins Professor William Rosenberg who has recently been appointed as the partnership’s inaugural Chair.
While Wessex Health Partners will be formally established when Professor Rosenberg and Ms McGrath formally join WHP in April, the WHP collaboration is already bearing fruit. For example, a University Hospital Southampton-led bid on behalf of WHP was successful in winning NHS England funding to develop the concept of a federated secure data environment for research and real-world evaluation across Wessex. The bid, one of only four funded across England, built on clinical and data science expertise and partnerships across NHS and higher education institutions within Wessex Health Partners, creating a trusted environment where researchers can access bigger health data sets with improved patient privacy, security and efficiency.
Wessex Health Partners is hosted by Wessex AHSN, formalised through a joint working agreement to provide administrative and general support together with back-office services.
For more information about Wessex Health Partners, please email email@example.com.