SW AHSN Welcomes new Chair, Dr Alastair Riddell

Alastair Riddell

Dr Alastair Riddell has been appointed as permanent Chair of the South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN) Board of Directors.  Alastair is a medical doctor and brings over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical, life science and biotech industries as a corporate leader, researcher and entrepreneur. He also has an impressive track record as a Non-Executive Director and Board Chair for a number of organisations, and brings with him an outstanding network in the international research and development arena.

Alastair is currently on the Board of three biotechnology companies based in the USA and Netherlands all concerned with drug development. He has previously been CEO and Chairman of successful spin outs from Oxford and Cambridge Universities after years of directing clinical trials of novel drugs for serious hospital based illnesses.

SW AHSN is a company limited by guarantee with a Board drawn from its member organisations which include Clinical Commissioning Groups, Mental Health Trusts, Acute Hospital Trusts and Academic Institutions from across Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isle of Scilly.
The Board supports the SW AHSN’s remit to act as a catalyst for the spread of innovation, to create and connect regional health and care networks and to create the right environment for the private sector to engage with the health and care sector.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, GP and Managing Director of SW AHSN welcomed Alastair’s appointment, “The SW AHSN is carving a reputation for its excellent support of innovation, improvement and intelligence.  With Alastair as Chair we look forward to receiving the benefit of his significant experience in taking new healthcare products to market and developing companies.  He will be a key aide to help support and steer our activities for the benefit of patients and health and care providers in the South West.”

Formed in 2013, SW AHSN is leading and also collaborating on a wide range of health and care projects through its networks with NHS Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Universities across the South West.

Dr Alastair Riddell commented, “I am delighted to be appointed Chair of the SW AHSN and look forward to working closely with Rosie and her team to facilitate the adoption of healthcare innovations emanating from the 3 key constituents of the SW AHSN, the NHS, local Universities and local industry, into patient care. I hope my background in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life science sectors in developing new products and services will facilitate the AHSN in its primary goals for innovation. I am impressed by the quality of the staff in the AHSN and their commitment to the highest standards of service provision. We hope to deliver added value across the several areas identified in the Accelerated Access Review and the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans and be seen as an indispensable aid in making them happen. ”

Outgoing interim Chair, Richard Devereux Phillips is to stay on as a Non-Executive Member of the Board of the SW AHSN at Alastair’s request.  Richard has proven a hugely valuable resource in connecting the SW AHSN with the wider pharmaceutical community.

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