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MedCity CEO Neelam Patel appointed as non-executive director for the Health Research Authority

We are delighted to share that our CEO Neelam Patel has been appointed to join the Health Research Authority (HRA) Board, a role she will commence in April next year.

The HRA protects and promotes the interests of patients and the public in health and social care research. The Authority ensures research is ethically reviewed and approved, promotes transparency, oversees a range of committees and services and provides independent recommendations on the processing of identifiable patient information.

Neelam’s previous experience at the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and her extensive ecosystem expertise across the public and private sectors will help support the HRA’s ambition to modernise the online research application and management system.

Neelam said: ‘The HRA is about inclusion of patients and their voice in health research, ensuring research is transparent and ethical. Improving the approvals system to streamline and speed up clinical trials will make the UK more competitive globally. Combining this with our advances in technology and innovation development, across data, genomics, AI, and precision medicine, will really propel the UK forward as a world leader. The HRA is a key component in ensuring that these innovations are developed and implemented with the patient in mind and at speed.’

‘Joining the HRA at this really important time when life sciences are at the top of everyone’s agenda is hugely exciting. I believe that the HRA is a vital part of the ecosystem in getting the right innovations to the patient quickly. I hope that I can bring my experience of leading change in complex cross-sector environments to support the HRA during the next phase of its development.’

Neelam was appointed following a competitive recruitment process and her position has been approved by the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock. She will replace Graham Clarke who is the HRA’s longest serving NED.

HRA Chair Professor Sir Terence Stephenson said: ‘Neelam’s role at MedCity follows many years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and the public sector, with a common thread of bringing more good quality clinical research into the UK for the benefit of patients and our economy. This experience will be incredibly valuable to the HRA and we’re delighted that Neelam has agreed to join us.

‘We are incredibly grateful to Graham for his service. He has been crucial in helping the organisation to prepare for the end of the transition period, especially in his role as Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee. We will miss him and we wish him well.’

‘Neelam’s appointment also brings additional diversity to the HRA Board, helping us continue to work towards our ambition to be a more inclusive organisation.’

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